The Ravens have been in Philadelphia since Tuesday night. On Saturday, they finally get to play the Eagles no holds barred.
Here are five things to watch in Saturday night's game:
Joint Practices Effect
Head Coach John Harbaugh said he doesn't think the fact that the Ravens and Eagles practiced together for three days leading up to the game will have any effect on the game other than the two teams knowing each other a little better. The two teams went at it on the first two days of practice with tough, competitive work. There were only a few scuffles, but the intensity will take another step up now in a game.
First Starting Quarterback Test
The Ravens' first-team defense pitched back-to-back three-and-outs in the preseason opener against the Saints. Part of the reason for that, however, was that the Saints didn't start Pro Bowler Drew Brees at all. The Ravens faced backup quarterback Luke McCown from the start. Baltimore's secondary is the unit under the microscope the most. Now it will get a step up in competition level having to face Eagles quarterbacks Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and the one and only Tim Tebow. Cornerback Rashaan Melvin has a chance to assert himself as it appears Lardarius Webb will be out.
Returners Getting A Chance
Baltimore didn't get a opportunity to evaluate its kick returners in the preseason opener and would very much like to change that in the second game. The Eagles and Ravens joined each other for special teams sessions and kicked to each other. They featured some light hitting. The teams could continue that trend of testing one another by not booting the ball out of the end zone on each kickoff.
Thin Offensive Line
The Ravens were without right tackle Rick Wagner (foot) for Thursday and Friday's practices. Left guard Kelechi Osemele (foot) also missed time. Even backup Jah Reid (back spasms) has been out. That probably means the Ravens will get a good look at a couple of second-year former starters, James Hurst and John Urschel. It will also be the first chance to evaluate rookie guard Robert Myers after he missed the first preseason game with a concussion.
Receiver Battle Continues
One wide receiver separated himself during the preseason opener, and that was Michael Campanaro, who has continued that momentum in practice. But there are still jobs (or maybe just one) to be won at wide receiver amongst Jeremy Butler, Aldrick Robinson, rookie sixth-round pick Darren Waller and undrafted rookies DeAndre Carter and Daniel Brown. Third-year veteran Marlon Brown is also looking to make his first big plays of the preseason after being limited by injuries (back/hamstring). Who steps up this time?