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Experts make Eagles-Raiders predictions
For the second straight week, the Eagles couldn't move the ball. And for the second straight week, they failed to score an offensive touchdown in a 15-7 loss to the Giants (see last week's predictions).
The Birds will put their quest to snap their 10-game home losing streak at home on hold this week, when Nick Foles returns to quarterback the Eagles against the Raiders in Oakland (see game notes).
Here are our predictions:
The outcome of this game kinda depends on which Nick Foles shows up. The Tampa version would ease my apprehensions about picking the Birds to pull this out. I'm figuring he'll be better than the Dallas version, but just being better isn't enough. The Raiders aren't anything to get excited about, but they're better at home and the Eagles haven't faced someone this year like Terrelle Pryor. Gonna have to go with the Silver and Black.
Raiders 26, Eagles 24
It's not really about the Raiders on Sunday, it's about Nick Foles. Overall, the Eagles are the better team, but until Foles proves that his performance against the Cowboys was an aberration, I just can't pick the Eagles to beat anybody. He was that bad against Dallas. World-class bad. So he's got to show me he's the guy who played so well against the Giants and Tampa, not the guy who stunk it up against Dallas.
The Raiders don't do a whole lot of things well. Terrelle Pryor is a tremendous runner, but that's about it. But if Foles doesn't get his act together, it won't matter.
Raiders 23, Eagles 14
I doubt most Eagles fans can name even three players on the Oakland defense. Charles Woodson, yes. Tracy Porter, maybe. Anyone else? I didn't think so. Ted Hendricks and Howie Long are long gone. But this group with Nick Roach, Vance Walker and in particular Lamarr Houston is fast and physical. They are very tough, especially against the run, so if the Eagles are going to win, Nick Foles will have to come up bigger than he did against Dallas.
The Eagles are 0 for 3 against the AFC West this season with losses to San Diego, Kansas City and Denver. I think the trend continues Sunday.
Raiders 20, Eagles 17
Nick Foles is back and he has something to prove after his last outing in Week 7 against Dallas. It was the worst of his career -- 11 of 29 for 80 yards and a concussion.
Now Foles has redemption on his mind heading into the Eagles' matchup with Oakland. The Eagles have to find a way to get LeSean McCoy going on the ground early, but that won’t be easy against a Raiders defense that is sixth in the league against the run.
The Eagles' defense has to come up with a plan to keep Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the pocket, because if he finds a seam or gets outside … it's off to the races. Pryor is the Raiders' leading rusher, the top rushing quarterback in the league and 18th overall in rushing yards. While the Raiders may be just 3-4 overall, they are 3-1 at the Black Hole.
The Eagles have played better on the road than at home, but I don’t think the odds favor them in Oakland.
Raiders 27, Eagles 17
The Eagles' offense scored three points against the Cowboys and no points against the Giants. Stay with me here, because this next part is complicated: Three points, divided by two games, carry the denominator, multiplied by the cosine equals really awful. (Football math is hard.)
The Eagles will need more than three points to beat the Raiders. It's true. It's called analysis. Look it up.
Eagles 17, Raiders 14
What's happened to the Eagles' high-powered offense?
Have opposing defenses figured out how to stop Chip Kelly's attack?
Or is the one thing that spoils almost any offense -- losing a quarterback (let alone two) -- to blame?
I agree with Grantland's Bill Barnwell -- that it's the latter (scroll all the way down to the pic of Kelly).
So with that said, will Nick Foles show that he's the guy who displayed such poise and promise against the Giants and Bucs and not the guy who played petrified against the Cowboys?
If he's the former, then a couple big plays by Terrelle Pryor won't be enough to beat the Birds. But if he's the latter, then Pryor will prevail.
Until Foles shows me otherwise, I'll take the latter.
Raiders 17, Eagles 13