The Philadelphia Eagles had a strong defensive effort in their season-opening win against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. DeMeco Ryans, Eagles’ middle linebacker, was a big factor playing extremely well against the run and the pass. Ryans had five solo tackles in the Eagles’ 17-16 victory against the Browns.
They’re going to need him to put together another great performance when the Eagles (1-0) host the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. (CBS3). The Ravens, led by quarterback Joe Flacco, will bring a no-huddle offense to Lincoln Financial Field. Flacco completed 21 of 29 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns on Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. He has three good receivers in tight end Dennis Pitta (5 receptions for 73 yards and 1 TD), wideouts Anquan Boldin (4 receptions for 63 yards and 1 TD) and Torrey Smith (3 receptions for 57 yards). Ryans knows how you can defend the Ravens’ offense.
“You just have to be poised,” Ryans said. “You have to be poised with the no huddle – you can’t panic. That’s the biggest thing they want you to do is panic and change personnel and matchup with what they’re doing.
“You can’t panic. You just have to be calm, play solid and stop them on first and second downs to get them in third and long. That’s the thing to do is get it to third and long and get them off the field quick. When they’re trying to move as quick as they are and you’re trying to get them off the field, it kind of stops them from trying to come out in the no huddle. It can play to both team’s advantage. Our thing is to get stops as quick and early as possible.”
Ryans, a 6-foot-2, 247-pounder, was a big offseason acquisition by the Eagles, coming over in a trade from the Houston Texans. He was a two-time Pro Bowl and an AP All-Pro selection during his playing days in Houston. Ryans is impressed with the way the defense played in the first game.
“It’s about our defense coming and working together,” Ryans said. “Everybody was trying to make a play. It’s everybody working together.”
In addition to a good passing attack, Baltimore has a solid running game with Ray Rice, who had 10 carries for 68 yards and 2 TDs in the Ravens win against the Bengals. Rice is one of the best running backs in the NFL. Ryans is well aware of Rice’s ability to pick up huge chunks of yardage.
“Ray Rice is a nice player,” Ryans said. “He’s a very durable guy and you see the last few years that he has been in the league, he has gotten it done with both rushing and passing. He doesn’t miss a lot of games and doesn’t miss a lot of snaps. He’s a very durable player. He’s a very good player.”