Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: BAL 27, PHI 20 (Line: PHI by 2)

Players to watch: Dennis Pitta, Michael Vick

Players Updated: Jeremy Maclin, Desean Jackson

The Ravens come off a big Monday night win over the Bengals and are looking like a playoff run is already in the cards. The Eagles slink back home after late game theatrics managed to post a comeback win over the Cleveland Browns who almost won that game with virtually no offense. The Eagles get favored here at home and it is a coin tosser but the Ravens are hitting on all cylinders. That's enough to merit an upset if only from the chance for more errors by the Eagles who were only 3-5 at home last year anyway.

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN 44-13 10 OAK -----
2 @PHI ----- 11 @PIT -----
3 NE ----- 12 @SD -----
4 CLE ----- 13 PIT -----
5 @KC ----- 14 @WAS -----
6 DAL ----- 15 DEN -----
7 @HOU ----- 16 NYG -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @CIN -----
9 @CLE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 240,2
QB Matt Schaub 240,1
WR Steve Smith 5-90,1
TE Dennis Pitta 4-40
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: It all came together after halftime on Monday when the Ravens reeled off 27 straight points to end the game with the Bengals. How much of it was facing the visiting Bengals and how much are true changes will be known in the next few weeks but so far - the offense has kicked it up a notch or three. Joe Flacco was to be "set free" and allowed more freedom and more passing in a more open offense. Mission accomplished. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 299 yards and two scores with no turnovers. He made good decisions and distributed the ball very well with seven different receivers catching two or more passes. He had five completions over 25 yards. This is no dink-n-dunk "let's give it to Ray" offense.

Consider too that Ray Rice only had ten carries. He gained 68 yards and score twice while adding three catches for 25 more yards. But that was only 13 touches for Rice. And that is a change. If Rice continues to be so wildly productive, it does not matter.

Torrey Smith was the hot sleeper for some and he looked sharp with a 52 yard catch but only added one more reception for five yards and a run for 13. They did not need much more from him obviously but it was slightly disappointing to see him with just three touches in the game. Anquan Boldin had a nice effort with 63 yards and a 34-yard touchdown where he wrestled the ball away from the defender in the end zone. It all worked for the offense. Jacoby Jones added three receptions for 46 yards as the newest addition to the receivers. Even Dennis Pitta ended up as the lead receiver with five catches for 73 yards and one score. It all worked. And everyone got some. And no one had a lot other than Ray Rice.

This is just one game but a very nice start to the season. And to the benefit of the Ravens, no longer can a defense just stop one or two players.

The Eagles defense was stout against the Browns but how much of that was the defense and how much was just the Browns offense can be argued. Back at home the Eagles will play tougher but they have to stop a whole lot of pieces on the Ravens now. That's unlike the Browns where nothing worked.

If Vick can throw four interceptions and fumble twice against the Browns, I love a defensive touchdown for the Ravens. The interception return by Cleveland for a score almost beat them.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 6 4 19 3 5 3
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 1 4 3 3 19 31

QB Joe Flacco, BAL @PIT 0000030021 ***
Flacco has been a high-volume passer the past two weeks, and given the state of the Baltimore ground game--and the way Pittsburgh's run D is playing--he'd better ice up the shoulder for Thursday. He went for 303 and 2 on his last visit to the Steel City, and he'll have another 40-plus attempts to approach those numbers here.
RB Justin Forsett, BAL @PIT 3004200000 ***
Forsett has yet to live up to expectations this season, and he has a lousy track record against the Steelers as well. It'll get worse before it gets better, as Pittsburgh has given up just 167 RB rushing yards through three games. The absolute upside is something like Dion Lewis delivered in Week 1 when he tallied 120 yards from scrimmage--similar to the 105 Forsett notched in last year's trip to Pittsburgh.
WR Steve Smith, BAL @PIT 0081101000 ***
Smith did little in two meetings with the Steelers last season, catching 11 balls for 107 yards. But he's on a roll as the only functioning member of Baltimore's passing game, plus he's facing a Pittsburgh defense that's allowed three straight receivers to top 95 yards. He'll get the volume, and in Stop #4 of his retirement tour he'll make things happen as well.
WR Kamar Aiken, BAL @PIT 004600000 ***
The only Ravens receiver besides Steve Smith to catch more than two passes in a game this season, Aiken vanished last week and can't be banked on for fantasy help.
WR Marlon Brown, BAL @PIT 002300000 ***
Brown, like every Raven not named Steve Smith, is an afterthought in the passing game. No reason to like his chances against a Pittsburgh defense that's allowed only one secondary target to top 40 yards this season.
TE Maxx Williams, BAL @PIT 005401000 *
Some intrigue to the rookie this week as he'll combine an uptick in opportunities with a Steelers' defense that couldn't hold Vernon Davis down in Week 2 and has given up TE TDs to Baltimore in three of the past four meetings.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Justin Tucker, BAL @PIT 1122 ***
Thursday night and division game both suggest field goal fest, and Tucker is more than capable of playing that game.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL -----
2 BAL ----- 11 @WAS -----
3 @ARI ----- 12 CAR -----
4 NYG ----- 13 @DAL -----
5 @PIT ----- 14 @TB -----
6 DET ----- 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL ----- 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 220,1
QB Mark Sanchez 10 200,1
RB Ryan Mathews 40 1-10
RB DeMarco Murray 60,1 3-20
RB Darren Sproles 30 6-50,1
WR Miles Austin 3-50
TE Brent Celek 4-40

Pregame Notes: Sure it was a win but it was Sylvester Stallone in drag kind of ugly. The Eagles squeaked past the Browns (a phrase I have never written) thanks to a touchdown pass to Clay Harbor with only 1:18 left to play. The sad part was that the Eagles literally produced three times the offensive yardage and yet beat them in turnovers 5 to 4. Michael Vick passed for 317 yards and two scores but was intercepted four times.

LeSean McCoy ran for 110 yards on 20 carries and gained 26 yards on six catches but lost a fumble. It was sloppy play for a team that seemed vastly more talented and yet drastically under prepared. Hard to do with only nine months to get ready.

Jeremy Maclin was the top receiver with seven receptions for 96 yards and one score but he was injured multiple times in the game only to return. He has been diagnosed with a right hip flexor which may impact this game. Updates as injury reports are released during the week but Maclin has a history of playing through dings. DeSean Jackson posted 77 yards on four catches and even Brent Celek ended with 65 yards on four receptions. The passing game worked well enough to get close and then not score. Or just stopped when Vick for threw another interception.

The Eagles were move the ball on a good defense but mistakes and turnovers almost ruined it.

Now facing the Ravens who throttled the Bengals will be an even bigger challenge. This game turns on mistakes and Vick needs a solid effort here to get past. After last week, that is hard to rely on.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 9 16 7 5 26 11
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 3 14 21 6 13 8

QB Sam Bradford, PHI @WAS 0000020010 ***
Bradford's been ordinary through three starts as an Eagle, with just one TD toss in each, and neither Mother Nature nor an underrated Redskins defense are poised to do him any favors.
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI @WAS 3003200000 ***
Mathews stepped up in the absence of DeMarco Murray last week, dropping 128 combo yards and a touchdown on a good Jets defense. That likely earns him a larger share of the touches going forward, especially with Murray scuffling as well as hurting. The Redskins haven't surrendered much to opposing backs, so it'll be a shrinking pie; split two ways there's a shot at fantasy relevancy for Mathews, but if Murray is active they're all bench fodder.
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @WAS 1005200000 ***
Sproles remains a threat in the passing game, but the Skins aren't giving up much in that regard and there are three Eagles vying for a slice of a small running back pie so you likely have better fantasy options at your disposal.
RB DeMarco Murray, PHI @WAS 2002100000 *
Murray's been hurt, and he's been lousy. Last week he was overshadowed by Ryan Mathews, and who knows what role he'll return to if and when he comes back. Keep him on the fantasy back burner for the time being.

Update: Murray is officially listed as questionable, but seeing as Ryan Mathews worked out so well for the Eagles last week there's no reason to rush DeMarco back to the lineup, is there?
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @WAS 006701000 ***
The Skins have allowed a WR TD each week, and Matthews is the most likely Eagle to come away with it this week. But between Chip Kelly's system, a tough Redskins D and the potential of hurricane weather you'll want to check other available options first.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI @WAS 003300000 ***
Agholor's targets are on the uptick, but it's a tough matchup and he hasn't proven anything yet so best let him chill on the fantasy bench--at least until the hurricane blows over.
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @WAS 004400000 ***
The Skins haven't allowed much to opposing tight ends, and Ertz hasn't done much either. So a reprise of his 15-catch, 115-yard lambasting of the Redskins last December seems unlikely.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI @WAS 3311 ***
Surges takes over for the injured Cody Parkey--maybe right as the Philly offense is starting to live up to preseason billing?

* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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