"UPSET" PICK OF THE SEASON!!!
By the time the teams reach this point of the season, this game may or may not be classified as an upset. Depending on how the Eagles perform over their first 10 games will determine whether or not they come into M&T Bank Stadium as the favorite or underdog. Right now, they must be considered the favorite, even though they tanked it last year. However, knowing the Philly fanatics, they are probably already talking about going to the Super Bowl!
Most Eagles fans are evenly split on whether QB Donovan McNabb needs to go or not. I still think, when healthy, he is a major threat to take over a game. Unfortunately, the key word lately has been "healthy." McNabb has been injury-prone the past few years and many fans think it's time to move on to a younger QB. RB Brian Westbrook is still one of the best multi-threats in the league (and a certain first round fantasy pick each season as well!). He will present a huge challenge for the Ravens defense each time he touches the ball. However, he won't have much success on the ground, so his best chance at scoring will be on the short, quick dump off passes out of the backfield. Ray Lewis and Bart Scott better keep a keen eye on him all afternoon. McNabb has gotten better receivers over the recent years and figures to go to them often, due to the probable lack of success running the ball. Look for the Ravens to put tons of pressure on McNabb, forcing him to roll out, scramble for tough gains and pay the price with his body. Expect interceptions that could lead to the short field that the Ravens always seem to need to put points on the board due to their own offensive woes. Hopefully, those woes will work themselves out in the first 10 games and the offense will have established some resemblance of consistency by now.
The home crowd has always made a difference with this team, even in the lean offensive years. The Ravens seem to average almost ten more points a game at home than on the road, and this game should keep the trend intact. Look for the Ravens to nickel and dime the Eagles defense with doses of Willis McGahee and Ray Rice, along with short, efficient passing whenever needed to open it up to keep the Eagles defense from stacking the line of scrimmage. Finally, a victory over a high profile team to cheer about, as the Baltimore upsets Philadelphia!
Ravens: 27 Eagles: 20
Season Record: 6-5