The Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens are each capable of making a Super Bowl run. Of course, Eagles fans like myself know that injuries could wreck Philadelphia's chances, if they haven't already. The Ravens are also well aware of this, as both Baltimore and Philadelphia lost important linemen before the season even started - but they've each looked okay so far.
Months ago, the Eagles lost Pro Bowl offensive lineman Jason Peters for the season after he tore his Achillies, just like the Ravens lost Pro Bowl defensive master Terrell Suggs. Each of these injuries were blows that could have easily ruined Philadelphia and Baltimore, and still might. But it didn't ruin either of them in Week 1, although it could be another matter when they face off in Week 2 on Sept. 16.
The Eagles relied on Peters to block for LeSean McCoy, which helped make McCoy one of the most explosive runners in football last year. Without Peters to clear the way, Philadelphia feared that McCoy would take a step back this season. Yet when Philadelphia let him have the ball against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 9, he did well enough to run for 110 yards.
Of course, McCoy was stopped more by the Eagles' unbalanced attack plan than the Browns themselves. Against a real team like the Ravens, the Eagles will need even more from their star runner. But without Suggs to stop him, hopefully the task will be easier.
The Ravens already have more than their share of defensive legends. However, with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis only getting older, they needed Suggs to give them depth. Yet even with Suggs sidelined, the Baltimore defense had its way with Cincinnati on Sept. 10 while the offense racked up 44 points. And unlike Peters, Suggs still has a chance at coming back later in the year.
Will the Ravens miss Suggs more when the games are closer - especially if Reed and/or Lewis get banged up? And will the Eagles miss Peters more when McCoy is clamped down by a formidable defense - when he actually gets the ball?
It is obvious that Baltimore and Philadelphia will feel these losses more at some point, yet the question is how much. But it was very clear that the Eagles have much more to worry about than Peters, especially since McCoy was one of the few who excelled against the Browns. As for the Ravens, they were pretty care free without Suggs for at least one week.
Philadelphia and Baltimore are pretty used to having setbacks derail their Super Bowl hopes. As such, not having Peters or Suggs around is fairly par for the course for them. But which team is more ready to overcome their big hole at the line of scrimmage for longer than a week?
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
Other stories by this contributor
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Baltimore Ravens
- The Ravens
- Terrell Suggs
- the Eagles
- Jason Peters