TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 2: Baltimore Ravens At Philadelphia Eagles

Ravens
Eagles
AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
Quarterback
Winner The Ravens opened the season with a sharp 44-13 win over the Bengals and the best player on the field was quarterback Joe Flacco. No longer raw, Flacco is a polished leader with a strong arm. He combines poise, athleticism and an excellent sense of timing.
Vick appears to have many problems and his lack of accuracy and his tendency to force the ball into tight coverage is a problem that will keep the Eagles from becoming a dominant. Vick threw the game-winning TD pass against Cleveland but he also fired four interceptions.
Offense
Winner The Ravens have the strongest offense they have ever had since moving to Baltimore. Start with explosive running back Ray Rice and then add in a slew of receivers who can dominate. Anquan Boldin will make the tough catch while speedy Torrey Smith can go downfield and make big plays.
Winner The Eagles are loaded with players at the skill positions. LeSean McCoy remains one of the most explosive backs in the NFL. Speedy wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson can break any game open. Clay Harbor caught the game-winning TD pass against the Browns.
Defense
Winner The Ravens are always going to make plays on defense but now the unit does not have to shut out opponents in order to win games. Ray Lewis is the leader and is still productive, but the Ravens don’t need him to register knockout-type hits every game. Ed Reed is one of the three best free safeties in NFL history.
Winner The Eagles can dominate on the defensive end and the defensive end combination of Jason Babin and Trent Cole can make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans is coming off a 5-tackle game while strong safety Kurt Coleman had two picks.
Special Teams
The Ravens couldn’t get rid of the sting of last year’s defeat in the AFC Championship game without cutting placekicker Billy Cundiff, who’s short miss kept the Ravens from tying the game. New PK Justin Tucker was perfect in three field goal attempts against the Bengals.
Winner While the Eagles are happy with placekicker Alex Henery, they had to be kicking themselves when they saw former Philadelphia kicker David Akers boot a 63-yard field goal for the 49ers. The Eagles excel on punt and kickoff coverage

We'll Just Call it a Tie

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

Give the edge to the Ravens because they have shown so much improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Flacco is playing the best football of his career at a time when he has more weapons than any Baltimore quarterback has ever had. Vick is struggling with his reads and his accuracy and that could be the difference in this game.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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