Oakland (3-4) has won 2 of their last 3 games and start a stretch where they play the Eagles, the New York Giants, and the Houston Texans. Those 3 teams that are a combined 7-16 and are all very winnable.
In order to win this weekend, they need to reverse a trend of struggling to move the ball and failing to score in the second half. The Raiders have been outscored, 86-43, after halftime and need to stop giving up first half leads.
“We’ve got to execute better,” head coach Dennis Allen told ESPN. “We’ve got some opportunities to make some plays and we don’t make the plays that are available to us.”
And his quarterback agreed.
“We got to find a way to keep on punching, keeping drives alive in the second half,” Pryor told ESPN. Pryor threw 2 second half interceptions in their 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers but they almost choked away a 21-3 halftime lead.
Philadelphia (3-5 and losers of 2 straight) is coming into this game after losing at home, 15-7, to the New York Giants. The Eagles offense has scored just 3 points in their last 2 games combined, despite having the 2nd best running attack in the NFL. They need a win to try and stay in the NFC East race for first place.
Nick Foles is going to start after sitting out with a groin injury and concussion, Michael Vick was knocked out of the Giants game with a hamstring injury. And it appears Vick’s time in Philadelphia could be coming to an end after this season.
Philly’s running game isn’t as explosive without Vick and his 9.1 yard per carry average. In the 2 games he missed, the Eagles averaged just 111 yards per game (down from 150ypg) and 4.4ypc (down from 5ypc). And they will be facing the improved Oakland run defense that is ranked 9th as opposed to 18th last season. The Raiders have been difficult to run against this season and that’s a big reason they have been a better overall team.
LeSean McCoy will likely have to carry the load on offense, but Foles has been great at protecting the ball (no turnovers in 5 games) this season and also at evading the pass rush, he has been sacked just 5 times. However, he isn’t the most accurate passer, he is completing just 57.8% of his passes. The Raiders defense is excellent at pressuring the passer so something has to give there.
Pryor leads all QB’s in rushing yards with 391 yards and is close to breaking Rich Gannon’s team record (529 yards in 2000). Philadelphia’s run defense is even better the Raiders, they are the 6th best run defense unit in the League. However, they allow a lot of big plays against the pass. They are allowing over 300 yards per game (31st) and have given up 14 TD’s (tied for 21st). Pryor will be looking for his play receiver Denarius Moore (27 receptions, 23 for First Downs, 16 yards per catch, 5 plays of at least 20 yards and 4 TD’s) early and often when he falls back to throw.
Prediction: Raiders win, 17-16.
-The two teams have met 10 times before and have split the all time series, but the Raiders have won 3 of the last 4 games.
-Darren McFadden needs just 8 rushing yards to move into 7th place on the franchise’s all time rushing list.
-Kicker Sebastian Janikowski has converted 140 straight PAT’s without a miss.
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