Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#257 Baltimore Ravens vs.
#258 Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 7:30pm EDT
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Written by Ricky Dimon

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The Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens will be in Week 3 preseason action whey they clash at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Ravenclaw

The Ravens have been roasting people so far this preseason. They blanked Jacksonville 29-0 and then doubled up Green Bay 26-13 in their second preseason contest.

That being said, there is some cause for concern. Quarterback Lamar Jackson continues to run around like a madman on the field, something head coach John Harbaugh wants to avoid especially in the preseason. It is obviously essential that Jackson avoids the injury bug, which has already hit a couple of teammates. Harbaugh announced that slot cornerback Tavon Young will likely miss the season with a neck injury that happened during practice. Linebacker Chris Board sustained a concussion in the second quarter against the Packers.

Jackson completed 6 of 10 against the Packers for 58 yards and ran twice for 14 yards. Those are not designed runs as the Ravens are trying to keep Jackson in the pocket all preseason.

Another concern is the offensive line, especially at left guard. Jermaine Eluemunor left practice on Monday in the passenger seat of a cart. He was vying for the starting job at left guard with rookie Ben Powers and undrafted rookie Patrick Mekari. Veteran Pro Bowler Marshall Yanda has barely practiced in camp but should be ready for the regular season.

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Quarterback quandary

At this rate, you cannot blame the Eagles if quarterback Carson Wentz does not see the field during the preseason. Fellow QBs are dropping like flies and they cannot afford that to happen to the injury-plagued Wentz. Cody Kessler’s return to Jacksonville lasted seven plays and ended with a possible first-quarter concussion. Philadelphia’s third-string signal-caller was knocked out of the 24-10  victory over Jacksonville on the opening drive this past Thursday night. Jaguars defensive end Datone Jones came unblocked off the edge and leveled Kessler in the back. He was escorted to the sideline, evaluated for a head injury in the locker room and then placed in the concussion protocol. The Eagles were already without backup Nate Sudfeld, who broke his left wrist in the team’s preseason opener against Tennessee. Rookie Clayton Thorson, the only other QB on the roster at the time along with Wentz, played three-plus quarters and completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to former college quarterback and Alliance of American Football receiver Greg Ward on fourth down in the second quarter.

Enter 40-year old Josh McCown, who has come out of retirement to back up Wentz. With Kessler out due to a concussion and Sudfeld out of action indefinitely, Doug Pederson didn’t want to leave the backup duties to a rookie.

McCown may play a series or two as he tries to get used to working with new players and a new offense. Thorson should get most of the duties, most likely the entire second half. Running back Boston Scott is another player who should get plenty of action. He’s been one of their starts of camp and had a big fourth quarter alst week against Jackonville.

“In my 14 years playing or while coaching, I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of where we lost two quarterbacks like this,” coach Doug Pederson said. “The beauty of it is that we get them both back and we’ve still got a couple weeks of preseason to work out some of the details.”

The key though will be keeping Wentz upright. He may spend very little time on the field in preseason but a lot of it against opponents in joint practices, including this week against Baltimore.

“I feel good with where we’re at,” said Wentz. “Not just myself but as an offense from OTAs to where we’re at now … everybody is just responding and reacting quicker, so I think we’re just going to keep building that. Going against Baltimore (in two joint practices) and seeing different defenses, that’s just helped with where we’re at.”

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The Eagles lured Josh McCown out of retirement, so they will certainly have more than enough quarterbacks to at least get through the preseason. Given that this is the third and generally most important preseason contest, Wentz may see the field. Whatever the case, Philadelphia will want to treat its fans to an impressive performance. Don’t be surprised if Jackson scales it back just a bit, too.

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles

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To say Philadelphia is depleted at the quarterback position would be a gross understatement. It could be a long day at the office for the offense against a Baltimore defense that has been stout through two games. The under is 5-2 in the Ravens’ last seven on the road and 6-2 in their last eight on grass. It is also 10-3 in the Eagles’ last 13 at home and 7-3 in their last 10 on grass. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.