1. The Philadelphia Eagles defense needs to contain the edge.
Baltimore is one of the fastest teams in football and there’s no debating that. They added more speed in the offseason by drafting J.K. Dobbins and Devin Durvernay. Blitzing Lamar Jackson or just simply trying to generate pressure will not work in this game. He’s going to get outside of the pocket and make plays with his legs. That means the Eagles will need to put more emphasis on containing edge.
This is something this Eagles defense has struggled with the past few years, especially on misdirection plays. It’s much easier said than done. Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and Josh Sweat need to do a better job of it than they have in recent weeks. The interior defensive line should be able to generate some pressure as usually with Fletcher Cox gaining double teams most of the time. If the defensive ends can protect the edge and force Lamar to stay in the pocket, that could have a big impact on this game. Someone on the defense will still need to spy on Lamar for the majority of the game as well.
If the defense is going to get beat, it’s better if Lamar does it in the pocket than just giving the defense fits with his legs. Last week versus Cincinnati, Lamar wasn’t all that great despite the final score. He was missing wide open reads in the middle of the field and forcing throws that did not need to be made. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has to take notice of this and force Lamar into some bad decisions.
Containing the edge will also help limit those jet sweeps and reverses that defenses have tortured the Eagles with. Last week, it was gadget player Ray-Ray McCloud. The Ravens are no strangers to this and will do it every so often. Versus Cincinnati, they did it with Duvernay and it went for 42 yards. This defense needs to come in prepared for that now that it is on film.