What: Eagles (5-8) at Ravens (7-6)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
OUT – CB Jimmy Smith (ankle).
QUESTIONABLE – TE Crockett Gillmore (thigh), DB-LB Anthony Levine (toe), G Alex Lewis (ankle), CB Jerraud Powers (concussion).
OUT - RB Darren Sproles (concussion), OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee).
QUESTIONABLE – G Allen Barbre (hamstring), TE Brent Celek (stinger), WR Dorial Green-Beckham (abdomen), LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (illness), WR Jordan Matthews (ankle).
Five questions to ask:
1. Is this a trap game for the Ravens?
You could tell during the week that the Ravens were still ticked off about losing to the Patriots. Can they put that behind them? They had better. Losing to the Eagles would be a devastating setback, one that could cost the Ravens a playoff spot.
2. Are the Ravens vulnerable to big plays without Smith at cornerback?
When Smith doesn’t play, bad things often happen to the Ravens’ defense. While the Eagles don’t have a playmaker like Odell Beckham Jr. or Dez Bryant, they have a quarterback in Carson Wentz with a big arm. Wentz has been throwing the ball 40, 50, or even 60 times a game. Expect him to take some deep shots, to see if the Ravens’ secondary can handle it.
3. Will Wentz be punished by the Ravens’ pass rush?
The Eagles’ offensive line is banged up. Their running game is suspect. Sounds like a game that Ravens pass rushers Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs, and Matt Judon should be licking their chops for. If the Eagles fall behind early, Wentz could be under serious duress.
4. Will Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco have a big day?
The Eagles’ pass rush has tailed off, with only eight sacks in the last seven games. The Eagles’ cornerbacks have had issues. In their last home game, the Ravens exploded for 38 points against the Dolphins. Don’t expect that, but Flacco could put up some good numbers.
5. How committed will the Ravens be to the running game?
That question has been asked often this season. The running game can be a huge asset in December when the weather turns nasty. The Ravens need more offensive balance, and would be wise to get running backs Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon involved early, and to stick with the running game.
Prediction: I don’t think the Ravens will dominate, but I see them doing enough to win.
Ravens 24, Eagles 16