If the Eagles were still the team they seemed to be a month ago, I'd be tempted to pick them to win. Baltimore hasn't been that good without corner Jimmy Smith (ankle) this season, and the Ravens were in the news Thursday for some spleen-venting over their Monday night loss to the Patriots, a crusher that wasn't as close as the final score indicated. They are on a short week, and they know they didn't measure up, again, against the team they'll probably have to beat to get to the Super Bowl. Hard to know what the emotional tone will be, coming off of that.
Quarterback Joe Flacco said on a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters Wednesday evening, "You can tell some people are still a little bit ticked about it . . . It's time to move on."
But with Isaac Seumalo possibly playing right tackle, running back Wendell Smallwood done for the season, concussed Darren Sproles possibly out, top wideout Jordan Matthews still gimpy and the Eagles' defense still prone to giving up big, back-breaking plays, nah, I'll pass on predicting an end to the Birds' six-game road losing streak.
Flacco has a big arm, along with Dennis Pitta (65 catches, 547 yards), Mike Wallace (62, 903) and Steve Smith Sr. (58, 646) to throw to. That oughta be enough, unless the Birds' pass rushers can turn the dial back to the first month of the season.
Prediction Ravens 17, Eagles 9.