Don't Be Fooled, Eagles Still Explosive


What can the Ravens take from Philadelphia's sloppy and narrow victory over Cleveland in Week 1?

"Nothing," linebacker Ray Lewis said.

The Eagles rallied to beat the Browns, 17-16, inside of two minutes last Sunday. But it wasn't pretty by any stretch of the imagination.

Quarterback Michael Vick threw four interceptions and fumbled twice. Running back LeSean McCoy fumbled once and lost it. The Eagles had 12 penalties for a whopping 110 yards.

But the Ravens aren't expecting a sequel.

"For us to go in there and say, 'The Eagles are not as good as they said,' we'd be fooling ourselves," Lewis said. "This is the same offense that can throw four picks, and it can put up 400 yards, and you see it week-in and week-out."

Actually, the Eagles put up 456 yards of total offense Sunday – 26 more yards that the acclaimed Ravens offense put up against Cincinnati. The Eagles ran 88 plays. That doesn't count the Eagles' four 20-yard plus plays that were called back by penalty, according to Harbaugh.

"You really can't go by the score in terms of evaluating that," Harbaugh said of the Eagles-Browns game. "Go by the yards, go by the big plays. … They've got weapons, and they've got the ability to really gain chunks of yards at any time."

The chief weapon is the one under center in Michael Vick, but he's coming off one of the worst games of his career. He threw the ball 56 times for 317 yards in Cleveland, including the four passes to the other team. It was the second time in his career that he's thrown four picks in a game.

Vick told Baltimore reporters that he was just trying to force too many throws and that the game served as a wake-up call for him.

"I tried to make something happen when I felt as if we should have already had more points on the board," Vick said. "I just got impatient and just tried to rush things and just tried to do too much. … I think I'll do a better job this week, and as the season goes on at protecting the football and just becoming a better quarterback."

The Ravens aren't buying that Vick, a four-time Pro Bowler, isn't already a very good quarterback.

In fact, Lewis' concern is that the team's younger players could give him too much credit, not too little.

"You can't be enamored with what he does or not," Lewis said. "He is Vick, and he is a very, very, very, very special talent. But, we are ready to go play a full football game."

Head Coach John Harbaugh called him an "unbelievable athlete" and praised his arm talent, saying he's very accurate, quick to release the ball and strong-armed.

"He's just got lots of talent," Harbaugh said. "This team, their offense, it's just as explosive as any in the league, maybe the most explosive offense in the league right now. They've got speed and playmakers everywhere."

The Eagles' other offensive playmakers are wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, running back LeSean McCoy and tight end Brent Celek. Third wide receiver Jason Avant can burn defenses too and caught 52 passes for 679 yards and one touchdown.

Philadelphia averaged 399.1 yards per game last year, ranking it fourth in the league. And not much has all changed on that side of the ball in the offseason.

"The only vulnerability they can show us are the ones we create," Lewis said. "It's the National Football League. Some days you have good days, some days you have bad days. Hopefully, for my side, they can't put two days in a row together."

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