The Oakland Raiders look to climb back to the .500 mark as they host the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles this week. The Eagles are 3-5 and coming off consecutive home losses to division rivals so they will be coming in with everything they have to keep pace in a weak NFC East division. As a whole, the AFC West has dominated their series with the NFC East so far, compiling a 9-1 record, but the lone loss does come from these Raiders.
The Eagles offense is still extremely dangerous being led by the explosive tandem of LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. The running game is the integral part of this offense as the Eagles rank second in the league in rushing and McCoy’s 733 yards lead the NFL.
With QB Michael Vick back on the sideline however, Nick Foles will take the reins and he has struggled mightily this season. The Raiders defense would be wise to follow the gameplan of the Dallas Cowboys who focused everything towards stopping McCoy and forced Foles to try and beat him which he could not do.
In order for that to happen the Raider defensive line must dominate the line of scrimmage. If defensive tackles Pat Sims and Vance Walker can get in the backfield it can completely disrupt the timing of the offense. Furthermore, expect safety Charles Woodson to help D.J. Hayden over the top when covering DeSean Jackson as he is lethal and excels at getting behind the secondary.
If you put the pressure on guys like Foles, Jason Avant, and Riley Cooper, the Eagle offense becomes much less imposing.
On the offensive side the Raiders must dominate through the air. The Eagles secondary has consistently been exploited this season so Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford have the chance to have a huge game with some big plays. The Eagles run defense ranks eighth in the NFL but that is more due to the fact that teams never run against them because it’s easier to pass. Terrelle Pryor must show off his arm in this game.
Darren McFadden still has the opportunity to have an impact as they could catch the Eagle defense off guard by running the ball consistently, but McFadden is also an excellent pass catcher and must be utilized in both capacities in order for the Raiders to succeed.
The Eagle offense has scored only 10 point combined in the past two weeks so they are ripe for the picking if the Raiders can win the battle at the line of scrimmage. Assuming that happens, the Eagle defense should not be able to contain the big play ability of Pryor, Moore, and company leading to another home win and a .500 record for the Raiders.