Though Carson Wentz won’t be playing in Week 3, we should still get a nice preview of these two teams when they clash on Thursday in Philadelphia. Both the Eagles and the Ravens plan on contending this year, and this will be our first chance to see what these teams might look like during the regular season.
After getting bounced from the playoffs early last year, both squads hope that better luck with health, more experience, and key signings will lead them further into the postseason in 2019.
The Ravens signed former Saints running back Mark Ingram with the hope that he will provide a key rushing threat. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is already very mobile, and a back like Ingram could make Jackson more dangerous while adding an elite running threat to the team.
Philadelphia had a high-profile offensive veteran signing of their own in DeSean Jackson. It’s unclear how much the elite receiver has left in the tank, and just how much he will draw coverage away number one offensive threat Alshon Jeffrey. A key matchup to watch will involve Ravens corner Marlon Humphries, who should offer a nice barometer of how these pass catchers match up against elite secondary talent.
In short, Thursday will offer the first chance to see if key additions to each squad will help these teams get over the hump.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Eagles vs. Ravens game continues the NFL Network’s run of nationally televising the first week of the preseason, but even if you’ve cut the cable cord or you want to watch it on your mobile device, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that. But first, you’ll need to get acquainted with NFL Network.
What is NFL Network?
If you want to be immersed in pro football, NFL Network is the place to go. There’s plenty to love about NFL Network, including the ability to watch exclusive shows like Good Morning Football, NFL Total Access, A Football Life, Inside the NFL, and most importantly, Sunday’s NFL GameDay once the regular season begins.
There’s also daily programming devoted to power rankings and fantasy football that football lovers will geek out over. NFL Network shows most Thursday night games during the regular season, and it’ll exclusively show some of the international games in 2019. Take note, though: NFL Network can no longer be seen via DirecTV Now.
If you want to watch the Eagles vs. Ravens online via Sling TV, you’ll need to be subscribed to either Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month). Both of those packages include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels, NBCSN, and FS1—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers.
Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network.
From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
Other ways to watch NFL Network online
If you subscribe to NFL Network through a cable provider—or you know someone who does and they owe you a relatively large favor—you can also watch via the official NFL app. All you have to do is download it from your streaming device of choice—Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, or Android TV—and then enter in your cable credentials when prompted. You can also stream on any iOS or Android device, or on your desktop. Just visit nfl.com/watch.
Eagles vs. Ravens: Why it matters
While both of these teams showed potential last year, potential doesn’t win championships.
The Eagles and the Ravens are going to have to improve their supporting cast if their signal-callers are going to lead them to the promised land. Carson Wentz has been great when he’s been able to stay on the field. The quarterback missed five games last season and famously was out for the postseason during the team’s 2017 Super Bowl run.
Jackson was an interesting player for the Ravens last year, but he failed to place himself firmly in the elite category of young quarterbacks alongside Patrick Mahomes. One number he will have to improve upon this year is his 58% completion percentage.
These quarterbacks are going to need help from their supporting casts if they are going to take their teams to the next level. Will Ravens center Matt Skura be able to hold his own against punishing Eagles defender Fletcher Cox? Will big, physical third-round receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside make a difference for an Eagles team looking to upgrade their weapons?
For two teams hoping to push past the real of “just good enough,” every potential roster upgrade matters. Whether it’s more productive offensive weapons or a stronger line, these squads are going to try to give their star quarterbacks every advantage they can heading into the season.
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