The Eagles don’t have to travel very far for their Week 15 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. But the length of the trip hasn’t seemed to matter this season for Doug Pederson’s team. They’re not playing at home, and that’s the most important thing.Ravens vs Eagles Game Details
Game: NFL Football, Week 15
Date: Sunday, December 18
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
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Save for their Week 2 win in Chicago, they’ve been flat out awful on the road this season. They’re 1-6 away from the Linc this season, and have a -48 point differential in their last six* road games (-8 PPG) this season compared to a plus-53 in six home games (+8.83 PPG). And that’s after two straight home losses.
*Since their lone road win over the Bears.
The Eagles are 2-1 against the AFC North this season, including their best game of the season when they stunned the Steelers, 34-3, in Week 3. But if they want to finish the season with a winning record against one of the three divisions in which they played all four teams (2-2 against NFC North; 0-4 vs. NFC East with two games left), they’ll have their work cut out for them.
What once looked like an enticing matchup between two talented QBs from FCS schools has lost some of its luster in recent weeks. And, as tends to happen with the Ravens, the talk heading into this one has become about the Ravens defense and whether or not Wentz will be able to score enough points to win without a few of his favorite receiving targets.
Here’s a look at how the two teams matchup on paper and how our writers see the game playing out:
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Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said Tuesday his unit’s tendency to give up big plays “was the tale of the game” in Sunday’s loss to the Redskins. So, naturally, the Ravens might try to hit on some long passes this week just like Washington did against Philadelphia’s secondary.
And Wallace is one of the NFL’s speediest and most dangerous deep threats. He’s averaged 15.1 yards per catch since entering the NFL in 2009.
McKelvin, meanwhile, failed to stick with Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson last week on a 80-yard touchdown and has given up several long plays this season.
If Wallace and McKelvin are matched up Sunday, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is likely to look that way. McKelvin won’t want to get beat deep — not if the Birds plan to avoid a repeat performance of their last loss.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz vs. Ravens safety Eric Weddle
Weddle is one of the NFL’s best safeties, and he has a knack for reading quarterback’s eyes, a a talent quantified by his four interceptions.
He’ll aim Sunday to bother Wentz, who’s thrown seven pick over the Eagles’ four-game losing streak.
The Birds are 4-2 when Wentz doesn’t throw an interception and 1-6 when he does. So they’d better hope he can avoid the play-making Weddle in Baltimore.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham vs. Ravens right tackle Rick Wagner
Flacco’s scouting report can be boiled down pretty easily: The Ravens’ one-time Super Bowl champion has big arm, throws a pretty deep bowl and isn’t very mobile. So, how can opponents get Flacco off his game? They have to pressure him.
If Flacco has time to throw down the field he can make defenses pay.
That’s where this matchup comes in. Graham has been the Eagles’ best pass-rusher in 2016, while Wagner’s emerged as a top-notch right tackle for Baltimore.
This head-to-head battle could determine whether Flacco is comfortable Sunday, and that could be the difference in the game.