2015 Preseason Game 2 Preview: Ravens vs. Eagles


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The Ravens and Eagles have battled each other for three days of practice.

Now they get to square off for the real.

The Ravens will have their second preseason game of the season, and first on the road, Saturday at Lincoln Financial field starting at 7 p.m.

The starters will likely get more action than they did in Baltimore's first preseason win over the Saints. Starting quarterback Joe Flacco and company could see up to a half.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said scrimmaging against the Eagles for three days before practice shouldn't affect the game.

"You know them better than you would, and they know us better than you would," Harbaugh said. "It's just familiarity."

Three Matchups To Watch

WR Steve Smith vs. CB Eric Rowe

Steve Smith Sr. was particularly feisty in Philadelphia. He made it clear he wasn't happy to be there during his wife's birthday, and he didn't particularly like the treatment he was getting from the Eagles. There was a lot of trash talking going on, even by Smith's standards. Now Smith gets to go up against second-year cornerback Rowe, who hails from Smith's alma mater (Utah), although it doesn't seem Smith will show him any mercy for that reason.

OLB Terrell Suggs vs. LT Jason Peters

This is a matchup of two of the best in the game. Suggs has six Pro Bowls to his name while Peters has seven. Suggs took Thursday's practice off, so he should have a little fresher legs for the game. Peters is a former undrafted product who was mentored and developed by Ravens Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo.

CB Rashaan Melvin vs. WR Nelson Agholor

With Lardarius Webb sidelined over the past several days, Melvin will likely be thrust into the starting lineup. Melvin can use the opportunity to show he could be the starter, even if Webb isn't injured. Melvin has had several strong practices recently. Now he'll be opposite a very fleet-footed first-round wide receiver in Agholor, who was taken six picks before Breshad Perriman.

Three Keys To The Game

Keeping A Level Head

The Ravens and Eagles went against each other for two hard, competitive practices (and a walk-though). Tempers occasionally flared, but the peace was kept. Now with full tackling allowed, they can take out any frustrations on the field. The key is to continue their practice decorum and not let it get out of control. Harbaugh will want his team to be physical, yet disciplined, as always.

Another Hot Start

The first team offense and defense each had about as good a start as one could ask for in the preseason opener. The offense marched 16 plays for a touchdown. The defense produced back-to-back three-and-outs.  That got the momentum headed in the right direction, and the Ravens want to keep it that way in their second showing.

Get Used To The Road

The three days in Philadelphia were good practice for the longer road trips the Ravens will take later this season to San Jose and Phoenix. Now the rookies, who will play a big role this season, will get their first taste of what it's like to play a game on the road. Yes, it's only the preseason, but Philadelphia fans should still create a hostile atmosphere.

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