coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 10/29/2013 06:55 PM in NFL

Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders: Preview and Pick

Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders: Preview and Pick

The Philadelphia Eagles started off very nicely with a big win, but since then they have slumped massively due to injuries and ineffectiveness on offense. They are starting to stumble down the NFC East and will need a big win now if they want to stay in the race for a playoff spot. It won’t get easy as they head to the west coast to take on the ever improving Oakland Raiders. The Raiders were expected to be doormats but instead they have had a decent season to include a win a week ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders Odds

The NFL point spread for this game has yet to be released due to injuries to the quarterback position and it is yet to be seen who will be under center for the Eagles. This line will be determined by who is at quarterback whether it is Michael Vick, Nick Foles, or Matt Barkley. Regardless of who is throwing the ball, the Raiders just may be favorites for this game so make sure to check the top rated online sportsbooks leading up to the kickoff of this game.

The Raiders are winning because they are running the ball again. Darren McFadden had his 1st game with multiple Rush TD since Sept. 25, 2011 (in 34-24 win vs Jets). It is the 5th multiple Rush TD game of his career. The Eagles have 3 wins this season, all against teams who were winless at the time... Any team that entered a game against the Eagles with a win has beaten them. They beat the 0-0 Redskins (Week 1), the 0-4 Giants (Week 5) and the 0-4 Buccaneers (Week 6), which means that they could have a very tough time beating the Raiders this week.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveals that the home team is in a good spot to win and perhaps even cover this game. The Raiders are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 home games, 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game and 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game, -7 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game and 6-17-1 ATS in their last 24 games overall.

Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/30/2013 12:02 PM

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has named Nick Foles the starter for Sunday's contest in Oakland against the Raiders.

The move comes less than 48 hours after the team cleared Foles to return to practice.

Foles left a 17-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 20 after three quarters with a head injury. In his second straight start for an injured Michael Vick, he connected on just 11-of-29 passes for 80 yards before exiting.

It was the second concussion of the young signal-caller's career, after going through a similar process as a freshman at Arizona.

Rookie quarterback Matt Barkley completed 11-of-20 passes for 129 yards and three interceptions in relief, then finished 17-of-26 for 158 yards and one pick in this past Sunday's 15-7 loss to the Giants in relief of Vick.

Foles has completed 52-of-90 passes for 622 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions for the 3-5 Eagles, who have dropped two straight games.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/30/2013 12:03 PM

When The Eagles Have The Ball:

After two consecutive games without an offensive touchdown, the Eagles offense faces some serious questions. What happened to the 53-play first-half tempo that we saw in the season opener? What has happened to the running game? Who is the team's starting quarterback? Now at two games under .500 (but still just a game back of first place in the NFC East) the Eagles will have a chance to go out west and regroup. Now 0-10 in their last ten regular season games at Lincoln Financial Field, the trip to Oakland could be the change of scenery that the Eagles need to get back on track offensively.

For the fourth straight week, the Eagles must prepare for a game without knowing who their starting quarterback will be because of injury concerns. Chip Kelly said on Monday that he is not expecting Michael Vick to play this week after re-tweaking his hamstring against the Giants. On Tuesday, Nick Foles returned to practice after going through the post-concussion protocol that kept him out the week following the loss to the Cowboys. Foles and Barkley split the first-team reps on Tuesday and the focus will be on whether Foles can prove to the coaching staff that he is ready to return to the field. If Foles can't go, California native Matt Barkley would likely get the start. Barkley has appeared in the Eagles' last two games in relief, and has performed at a decent level. He has shown the ability to lead receivers and get the ball out quickly, but turnovers continue to hamper the young quarterback's progress.

Whether it is Foles or Barkley who takes the field on Sunday as the starter, the Eagles offense will have to find a way to make something happen against a talented and physical Raiders defense. Oakland ranks 10th in the NFL in yards allowed per game (330.9) and 12th in points allowed per game (21.4). The one area where Oakland's defense has lacked has been in pass defense, as they allow 241 yards per game through the air on average. The Raiders do have some talented players in the secondary, including one-day Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, who is now playing safety, along with cornerbacks Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins, and first-round rookie D.J. Hayden.

Injuries have played a big role in the Eagles' lack of a consistent passing attack, but the drop-off in the running game has been worrisome. LeSean McCoy is healthy, and the starting offensive line has been intact for almost the entire season. Even with a sturdy line, McCoy has been held to 55 rushing yards or fewer in three of the Eagles last four games, and things won't get any easier against the Raiders. Oakland has been terrific against the run, holding opponents to an average of 89.9 yards per game on the ground, ranking sixth in the NFL. It doesn't matter who is behind center on Sunday afternoon, because if the Eagles can't run the ball and become one dimensional, winning the game becomes much more difficult.

The Raiders' front seven may not have the same name-recognition as their secondary, but the group has played well this season. Middle linebacker Nick Roach leads the team with 51 combined tackles. In the trenches, defensive end Lamarr Houston leads the team with four sacks and six total tackles for loss. Rookie pass rusher Sio Moore has also provided a boost and is coming off a 2.0-sack performance in last week's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/30/2013 12:04 PM

When The Raiders Have The Ball:

The Oakland Raiders sport one of the NFL's lowest-ranked offenses overall, averaging 314.9 total yards (25th), 18.0 points (26th) and 15.9 first downs (32nd). Even so, it is a unit that can pose problems for opposing defenses because of its unorthodox style and unique quarterback, third-year pro Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor, the former Ohio State star who wrestled the starting quarterback job away from Matt Flynn (since released) before the season, is an incredible athlete with natural ability as a runner and thrower. He has begun to carve out his niche in the NFL and is making himself into a viable threat at the position. While Pryor's evolution is still in its embryonic stages and the Raiders currently rank last in the league in passing yards per game (176.0), he has been accurate throwing the football and is completing 63.1 percent of his passes. He's also averaging 7.32 yards per attempt, which ranks 15th among starting quarterbacks. That said, he has thrown only five touchdowns to seven interceptions. Where Pryor really hurts defenses most is as a runner, as he has run for 391 yards on 53 attempts in six games (65 yards per game). That threat was on display on the very first snap of last Sunday's 21-18 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers when Pryor kept the ball on a read-option run and gashed the middle of the defense, galloping untouched for a 93-yard touchdown. This is the first time all season the Eagles defense will face a dual-threat quarterback (disregarding Robert Griffin III in his first game back from knee surgery), so the unit will have a new challenge for which to prepare and each player must be even more disciplined with individual assignments.

The Raiders offense boasts one of the league's best rushing attacks, ranking fifth in the league at 138.9 yards per game. A lot of that has to do with Pryor, who leads the team in rushing yards. Running back Darren McFadden ranks second with 340 yards on 93 carries (3.7 average), and backup Rashad Jennings is third with 140 yards on 36 carries (3.9 average). While the run game has not been dynamic outside of Pryor, it consistently churns out yards and McFadden, who has scored four touchdowns on the season, possesses the kind of explosive ability that makes for a potential breakout at any time.

Speedy wide receiver Denarius Moore leads the team in receptions (27), yards (431) and touchdowns (four). He is flanked by former Temple Owl Rod Streater, a big target (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) who came out of nowhere as an undrafted rookie in 2012 and has steadily progressed in his second season, posting 23 catches for 319 yards and one touchdown. Rookie tight end Mychal Rivera is third on the team with 12 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown, while McFadden and Jennings have combined for 24 catches for 179 yards. Marcel Reece is a bit of a wildcard as a fullback, since he plays a versatile role and can hurt defenses as both a runner and receiver.

Meanwhile, as the Eagles offense sputters, the defense continues to improve and ascend. Against the Giants, for the fourth straight game, the defense lowered its points allowed total. This time, the defense kept the Giants out of the end zone and held them to just five field goals. While the effort ultimately was not enough because the team lost, it was an encouraging sign to see the defense build on its recent performances. The Eagles still rank 31st in the NFL in yards allowed per game at 401.8, but that is a number that keeps falling each week. Likewise, the Eagles now rank 23rd in points allowed per game, at 26.4. The unit still ranks 31st in passing yards allowed per game (302.3), though is tied for fourth in passes defended (47). Meanwhile, the defense has moved into 10th in rushing yards allowed per game (99.5).

The front seven has been getting better pressure as of late, as defensive ends Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton continue to wreak havoc and establish themselves as one of the NFL's best bookend duos. The Eagles now rank 26th with 16 sacks and will be going up against a struggling Raiders offensive line that is second-to-last in the league with 29 sacks allowed. This is an opportunity for the pass rush, including Trent Cole and Brandon Graham, to make a statement. Speaking of opportunities, the Eagles defense, which ranks 25th in the league in third-down efficiency by allowing a 40.9 percent conversion rate, must find a way to get off the field against a Raiders offense that is converting only 35.1 percent of its third downs (26th in the NFL).

With Pryor's mobility a focus, the game plan of defensive coordinator Bill Davis will be a storyline. Does Davis employ a spy on Pryor and, if so, who? Mychal Kendricks – who is coming off what head coach Chip Kelly described as his “best game” – has the type of speed and athleticism to match Pryor. DeMeco Ryans remains his steady, productive self, while Connor Barwin has been one of the defense's top performers as both a pass rusher (3.0 sacks, tied with Cox for the team lead) and in coverage (seven passes defended, second on the team).

Finally, the secondary too continues to improve with each game. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are playing physically and aggressively, while Brandon Boykin blankets slot receivers. Nate Allen and Earl Wolff have developed chemistry and become a solid, effective starting tandem. Wolff continues to progress and show flashes, and Allen has really come on and been dependable both as a tackler – especially in the open field – and centerfielder.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/31/2013 02:51 PM

The Oakland Raiders are hoping to make a push toward the playoffs, though it won't come easy if their offense continues to vanish after halftime.

Thanks in part to their instability at quarterback, the Philadelphia Eagles are having trouble producing any offense at all after a hot start.

Now the Eagles will turn back to Nick Foles, who will try to make the most of another chance Sunday against a Raiders team seeking its third straight win at the Coliseum.

Although the Raiders held on for a 21-18 victory over Pittsburgh last Sunday, they continued their recent trend of starting strong before having to rely on their improving defense in the second half.

Terrelle Pryor broke loose on a 93-yard touchdown run and Darren McFadden ran in a pair of scores to help the Raiders build a 21-3 halftime lead before they were outscored 15-0 in the fourth quarter.

"We got to find a way to keep on punching, keeping drives alive in the second half," said Pryor, the only quarterback leading his team in both passing and rushing yards.

Oakland has outscored opponents 59-20 while averaging 196.3 yards over the first 30 minutes in its last four games, but has been crushed by a 63-10 margin and generated just 91.3 yards in the second half of those contests.

On the season, the Raiders rank 12th with 185.9 yards per game and four turnovers in the first half but sit last in the NFL with 129.0 yards along with eight giveaways in the second.

"We've got to execute better," said coach Dennis Allen, whose team seeks its third win in four games. "We've got some opportunities to make some plays and we don't make the plays that are available to us."

Allen will give Pryor another chance to turn things around after he went 10 of 19 for a career-low 88 yards with two interceptions against Pittsburgh. He's connected on 52.8 percent of his passes for 304 yards with one score and five picks in his last two contests, though his 162 rushing yards have somewhat made up for it.

Now Pryor will try to help Oakland put together a complete offensive effort as it looks to reach the postseason for the first time since 2002.

The Raiders begin a soft part of their schedule against Philadelphia (3-5), followed by the New York Giants (2-6), Houston (2-5), Tennessee (3-4), Dallas (4-4) and the New York Jets (4-4).

"We've got an opportunity with Philadelphia coming in here, if we can play well, get our record back to .500 and maybe we can create a little bit of momentum," Allen said.

Though they're only one game behind Dallas in the NFC East despite two straight losses, the Eagles appear to be heading in the other direction after Sunday's 15-7 defeat against the Giants.

With Michael Vick out for the second time because of a hamstring injury, Foles makes his third start just two weeks after suffering a concussion against the Cowboys.

Foles has appeared in five games, two as a starter, and has completed 52 of 90 passes for 622 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. He shined against Tampa Bay on Oct. 13, going 22 of 31 for 296 yards with three touchdowns, but completed only 11 of 29 attempts for 80 yards before getting knocked out against Dallas a week later.

"I feel very confident," Foles said. "Same confidence I had after the Tampa Bay game. You feel emotions, you are human. You play bad, you let everyone down."

Foles will try to jump-start an offense that has totaled three points in its last two losses after averaging 27.7 during a 3-3 start.

LeSean McCoy, who leads the NFL with 733 yards rushing, managed only 103 on 33 carries in his last two games. Leading receiver DeSean Jackson had 11 catches for 84 yards in those contests.

"I have confidence in the group," coach Chip Kelly said. "It's the same group for six games we were on track to set records. We're not going to do something new. We have to settle down and our playmakers have to make plays."

That could be a difficult task against Oakland, which ranks 10th in total defense (330.9 ypg) and has forced eight turnovers in its last three games after having three takeaways in its first four.

While the teams haven't played since 2009, the Raiders have won three of the last four meetings.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/01/2013 02:56 PM

In the Philadelphia Eagles’ first game this season, they raised a huge warning flag to the rest of the NFL.

New head coach Chip Kelly unveiled the team’s spread offense he’d brought from the University of Oregon, and the fast-paced, no-huddle Eagles ran 53 plays for 322 yards and 21 first downs in just the first half of a 33-27 victory over the Washington Redskins.

In that game, Philadelphia amassed 443 total yards, including 263 on the ground, and the 1-2 rushing combination of running back LeSean McCoy (184 yards) and quarterback Michael Vick (54) was devastating.

Suddenly, the rest of the NFL was wondering if Kelly’s offense was about to revolutionize the pro game. By spreading out players across the field and thinning out the defense and using up-tempo play calling and a wide-open philosophy, the Eagles’ offense looked as if it might score 30-plus points per game.

“The tempo really worked,” McCoy said after that first game. “I don’t think anyone has seen it that fast.”

But in the seven games since, the Eagles’ offense hasn’t been nearly as dynamic. As Philadelphia comes into Oakland Sunday to play the Raiders (3-4) at Coliseum, the Eagles have gone 2-5 since that opening game, and Vick is now sidelined with an injury.

And, in their past two games, both losses, they’ve scored a combined 10 points.

Quarterback Nick Foles, also banged up, is scheduled to start against the Raiders.

Though Oakland’s defense has been solid this season – the Raiders are the No. 6 defense against the run – it faces a big challenge Sunday against the Eagles and McCoy, who is the NFL’s No. 1 rusher with 773 yards. Philadelphia can move the ball through the air, too, with dangerous receiver DeSean Jackson, who has 45 catches for 673 yards and five TDs. Philadelphia ranks No. 5 in the NFL in total offense at 397.1 yards per game.

In order to come up with their fourth win of the season and get back to .500, the Raiders will have to slow down that offense while also being more productive when they have the ball. In their past four games, the Raiders offense has stalled in the second half, leaving their defense on the field longer.

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen knows the Eagles will put pressure on his defense to tackle efficiently.

“They do some things from a tempo standpoint that can make it difficult on you,” Allen told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group this week. “They do some things where the concept of the offense is really to spread the defense out and get their playmakers in space. Being a great tackling team will be critical in this game.”

Added Allen: “This is an explosive offense that can put a lot of points on the board. We have to understand who we’re dealing with.”

If the Raiders can’t stop McCoy, they may have no shot at a victory, and Raiders defenders know that.

“When a team is going to come in and try to run the ball on you, you have to have the mindset they’re not going to have success,” said Oakland defensive end Jason Hunter. “Guys are working hard on it at practice, making sure they’re in the right places and on Sundays just playing with passion and aggression.”

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/01/2013 02:56 PM

The season may have progressed halfway through but there is still time left and plenty of matches to live up to expectations. That is exactly the case with the Oakland Raiders who made a vow on their training camp that they would definitely improve their defense against the running games. They can do that when they face the Eagles and the lead rusher in NFL, running back LeSean McCoy.

McCoy has racked 733 yards on eight games. When he looked at the tapes from previous Eagles matches against other teams, he said that yards wouldn’t be easy to get this time. The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum, Oakland, California on November 4.

"I'll tell you what, it seems like they all have a big motor. They know who they are. They're a big, athletic group. They play well together,” McCoy said. “It's going to be a tough game. They play extremely well against the run. I'm curious to see what happens."

Even though most running backs would boast that the coming match would be a piece of cake, McCoy isn’t that type. Even with the best yard stats so far, he acknowledged their improved defence. For the past 10 years, the Raiders have been giving on average 89.9 yards to their opponents on every game. Per carry, they allow 3.6 yards. They haven’t let any runner get more than 78 yards whichever way they might try.

The Raiders always mostly play the match based on a basic run defence. The players don’t go too far from their positions and don’t stray from gaps. They anticipate tacklers by setting an edge and letting the runners come to them. They will always rush the ball in number, meaning that if one misses the tackle, there will always be more than one more to come in and finish the job.

Jason Hunter, defensive end for the Raiders said that when rushing the ball, it was imperative to keep the attitude that no matter what, you just can’t miss.

"When a team is going to come in and try to run the ball on you, you have to have the mindset they're not going to have success," he said. "Guys are working hard on it at practice, making sure they're in the right places, and on Sundays just playing with passion and aggression."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/01/2013 02:57 PM

The Oakland Raiders (3-4) and the Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) meet in the regular season for only the 11th time with the series tied 5-5. Were the Eagles to win, they would become one of only nine teams to have a winning record against the Raiders. Considering four of the eight teams that currently have a winning record against the Raiders are expansion teams, it’s safe to say the Raiders are a storied franchise.

The most significant matchup between the two teams happened in Super Bowl XV, when the silver and black completely outclassed the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10, behind terrible quarterback play by one Ron Jaworski. You might know Jaworski as the Raiders-hating quarterback expert on ESPN.

This year’s matchup is highlighted by the absence of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who had considerable success in new head coach Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense before he incurred a hamstring injury. The Eagles announced earlier this week that backup quarterback Nick Foles has cleared the concussion protocol and been approved to play Sunday. If Foles struggles in this game, I wouldn’t be surprised if rookie Matt Barkley replaces him again as he did in their game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7.

The Eagles offense relied heavily on the run game and the read-option run by Vick, but his injury has altered their play-calling. In Week 6, Foles started his first game of the season against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers and looked the part of a starting NFL quarterback with three passing scores and one rushing TD. The passing attack of the Eagles relied on setting up the run with LeSean McCoy first and then going deep with play-action passes to DeSean Jackson. Perhaps the most significant aspect of Vick’s absence is the average rush yards of McCoy with (6.0 yards) and without (3.5 yards) him on the field. The scrambling ability of Vick certainly opens up the Eagles offense.

The Eagles defense has played rather well the past two weeks, only allowing 32 points to the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants combined. Linebackers Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans have played outstanding games the past two weeks and will look to stop the Raiders’ run game. The Eagles secondary has also played well, but are definitely the weak link as they are 31st in the league in pass defense. The Eagles front seven will play closer to the line of scrimmage and try to take away the running lanes for the Raiders’ ground game. The defensive line will try to put a lot of pressure on inexperienced Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor and exploit the banged up Raider offensive line. A weakness of Philly is definitely their inability to generate pass rush organically with their defensive lineman. This should help the Raiders exploit the secondary and also bounce runs to the perimeters, where Darren McFadden’s speed could come in handy.

The Raiders in turn, will have to start the game taking some deep shots down the field to vertically stretch the field. Failure to do so will bring the safeties closer to the ball and slow the run game. I expect the Eagles to put a “spy” on Pryor as the Pittsburgh Steelers did in Week 8 with Troy Polamalu. Tight end Mychal Rivera has the potential for a big game down the middle with the threat of Pryor. This could be the game when the Raiders offensive play book finally opens up and allows Pryor to exploit the Eagles secondary with Denarius Moore. Fullback Marcel Reece should be involved in the passing game more since he won’t be held back as much in protection. Reece has been a non-factor all season in the passing game because he has had to help out the tackles in pass protection.

The Raiders need to keep running the ball to keep the Eagles offense off the field. While they have played poorly the past two weeks, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they crank up their passing attack. Stopping the run is essential in stopping this offense. The Raiders head into this game boasting the fourth ranked rush defense and that should be a good matchup for the Silver and Black.

Rookie tackle Manelik Watson has practiced all week and could make his NFL regular season debut. Receiver Andre Holmes has a hamstring injury so look for Brice Butler and Juron Criner to get more play time.

The Eagles are a surprising 3-1 on the road this season, meaning a letdown by the Raiders offense could lead to an Eagles victory. I expect this to be a launching point for the Raiders on offense, their chance to break out different formations and personnel packages, and get back to .500. On paper this game should be an easy one for the Silver and Black, but Raider fans know how brutal the NFL can be.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/02/2013 11:31 AM

Quarterback Michael Vick (hamstring) is out for Philly. Linebacker Jake Knott (hamstring) is doubtful and safety Patrick Chung (shoulder), wide receiver Damaris Johnson (ankle) and linebacker Casey Matthews (hip) are all questionable.

Safety Tyvon Branch (ankle), guard Andre Gurode (quadricep) and tackle Tony Pashos (hip) are all out for the Raiders. Tackle Menelik Watson (calf) and wide receiver Andre Holmes (hamstring) are questionable.