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One Winning Drive: Ravens-Eagles: Key Match-ups

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The Ravens are looking to rebound from a devastating loss last week to the Giants. Their playoff hopes are still alive, but the outcome of this Sunday’s game against the 5-4-1 Eagles could determine whether those playoff hopes remain realistic.

The Eagles, like the Ravens, have had many ups and downs this season. And of course, let’s not forget where John Harbaugh established himself as a premier special teams coach.

Here are two key match-ups to keep an eye on as the Eagles come to town.

Eagles Offense vs. Ravens Defense

Brian Westbrook

RB Brian Westbrook vs. Ravens Front Seven

It’s not often the Ravens worry about an opponent’s running game. Over the last 30 games, nearly two full seasons, the Ravens defense has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher. The pride this unit takes in its ability to stop the run is almost mythical at this point.

But last week things changed. The Ravens may not have allowed a 100-yard rusher against the Giants, but they almost allowed two. Giants starter Brandon Jacobs left the game at the half, having already totaled more than 70 yards. And in the second half, the Ravens gave up more than 90 yards to third-stringer Ahmad Bradshaw. And that doesn’t include the 41 yards they allowed to Derrick Ward. The trio of New York running backs steamrolled the Ravens - almost literally at points, putting lineman and linebackers on the ground on every play.

And that pounding is certainly changing the way we look at games upcoming. (more…)

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