Michael Vick. LeSean McCoy. DeSean Jackson. Jeremy Maclin.
Playmakers galore for the Philadelphia Eagles.
But the Ravens know just what they’re getting in to as they head north to take on an unconventional and dangerous Eagles offense.
The Eagles joined the Ravens as one of the only two teams in the league to produce 19 plays of 10-plus yards in Week 1.
Ray Lewis is aware of that challenge ahead with a quarterback as dynamic with his legs and arm as Vick.
“Everybody knows it. It’s no secret who this guy is,” Lewis told reporters this week. “This guy is fantastic with the football, without the football, however you want to deal with it. So I just think that we have to go in there and we have to play our game. You can’t be enamored with what he does or not. He is Vick, and he is a very, very, very, very special talent. But we are ready to go play a full football game.”
As for the weapons at Vick’s disposal, there are plenty. McCoy led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns and rankedfourth with 1,309 yards on the ground last year. The 5-foot-11 tailback ran for 110 yards in Week 1.
Jackson racked up 961 receiving yards while Maclin added 859 for a solid receiving duo. Jackson also is a threat in the reverse game.
“We just have to contain them,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “They’ve got big-play guys, so we have to know where they are on the field at all times.”
Linebacker Courtney Upshaw said the game plan can’t be to hang loose and wait and see how the Eagles attack.
“You want to get after them. Being a part of the Baltimore Ravens, as soon as I got here, I saw that all this defense, they like to get after it and I’m sure that’s what we’re going to do,” Upshaw said. “Mike Vick, he’s going to make plays. We’ve just got to continue to try to get after it.”
Coach John Harbaugh knows there’s plenty to be wary of when facing Vick and his outside-the-pocket presence.
“Michael adds that speed factor,” Harbaugh told reporters. “You really have to cover your guy, though. You really have to stay on your man downfield and then rally up on the run as best as you can. Hopefully, our D-line can chase the scramble down, as well. Hopefully, we don’t let him out of the pocket too much, but it would be hard to bat 1.000 on that one against a guy like that.”
But the Eagles have a formidable defense to go with it. Last week, they held Cleveland to 16 points and 210 yards. Last season, Philadelphia ranked eighth in total defense while leading the NFL in sacks.
“They have a good front. They’ve had a good defense there for a lot of years,” quarterback Joe Flacco told reporters this week. “They have good DBs. They can put pressure on the quarterback, and then they can cover in the back end to even create a little more pressure. They do a really job, and it’s going to be a tough task. It should be a great test for Week 2.”