We mentioned earlier in the week after the Ravens’ impressive debut and the Eagles’ conversely sloppy performance last weekend that the casual NFL observer may be inclined to go with the Ravens in this showdown. And while many analysts are doing so, there’s a big red caution light that suggests the Eagles are going to take down the Baltimore Ravens today at Lincoln Financial Field. That caution light, of course, is the almighty point spread.
You can apparently forget that Joe Flacco looked potent in the no-huddle offense while Michael Vick sputtered and spun four interceptions. And you can apparently also forget that both Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are dinged up, too.
With all signs pointing to the Ravens coming into Philadelphia and getting the better of the Eagles, the point spread is actually rising in the Eagles’ favor. They’re now a three-point favor at Bovada–up from the one-point favorites they opened as. And sometimes, friends, the line just tells us all we need to know.
There was some legitimate concern that quarterback Michael Vick might be without his top two targets when he takes the field this afternoon in the Eagles’ home opener. But it now appears that receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson will suit up against the Ravens.
The Eagles will want to slow up the rhythm of what suddenly looks like an explosive Baltimore offense. And they’ll probably also want to protect the football better than they did a week ago. One seemingly easy way to do that would be by giving running back LeSean McCoy the football. His 20 carries a week ago wasn’t exactly an insultingly low number, but the Eagles would be smart to give the ball to McCoy 25 times if they want to win this game. And I think they’ll do that.
The bottom line is that the Eagles enter this game as a three-point favorite despite the expectation of most media types that Baltimore is the superior team. Still, the Ravens have the defending AFC Champion Patriots to look forward to in Week 3, while the Eagles are looking to prove that last week’s sloppy performance was a fluke. The Eagles are talented, they’re at home, and they should be the more motivated team. So I’ll take the Eagles, 27-23.