Following consecutive home losses to division rivals, no one knows what to expect from the Philadelphia Eagles' offense anymore. The once-potent scoring attack was stifled by two defenses that each ranked in the bottom five in the league.
Fortunately, the Eagles do have as good of a time as any to turn their season around. They’re still just a game back of first place in the NFC East, and they play an Oakland Raiders team that is 3-4 and rates just 26th in the NFL in total offense.
Nick Foles will get the start at quarterback in the Eagles’ quarterback carousel, as Michael Vick returned too early from a hamstring injury and re-injured himself. Foles is coming off a dismal performance against the Dallas Cowboys, one in which he became just the eighth quarterback ever to pass for 80 or fewer yards on at least 29 passes. He will have his chance to bounce back, given that he does have a fully healthy supporting cast, save for Jeremy Maclin.
Look for a low-scoring game, one that comes down to maybe a field goal in the fourth quarter. The Eagles should be able to win this one, but then again, they should have been able to score an offensive touchdown in each of the past two weeks as well.
The Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback was heavily criticized after his last start, and rightfully so. Foles was completely inept, generating absolutely no offense for the team. Still, he brings a passer rating of over 100 into the contest, and he has six touchdown passes to no interceptions on the season.
If Foles is going to redeem himself, this is a good time to do so. Foles faces a surprisingly solid Oakland Raiders defense that ranks in the top 12 in both total defense and scoring defense. He will need to simply minimize his mistakes, which can be interceptions, but also avoiding sacks, finding his open receivers and managing the game.
Essentially, if Foles can play the role of Alex Smith in this one, that should be good enough for the Eagles to win.
Handing off to LeSean McCoy may be the best bet for the Eagles. McCoy is still a dominant back, even after two straight subpar games.
He's talented enough to receive 25 to 30 carries easily, and he can make plays as a receiver out of the backfield. Second-year back Bryce Brown doesn't pose enough of a threat as a backup for McCoy to lose snaps, and McCoy should be good for at least 125 total yards and a score.
The entire Eagles offensive line is still intact, and that bodes well for McCoy. Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are a top duo for tackles, and they have exceptional ability to get downfield. Guard Evan Mathis is an All-Pro in the making and Jason Kelce is making a case for himself as one of the top five centers in the business. All that suggests a good game for McCoy.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ best weapon is still DeSean Jackson, and he has the ability to turn the game around with one single play. Jackson's unique talent and amazing speed allows him to take the top off the defense, and neither Mike Jenkins nor Tracy Porter is any match for Jackson.
What could stop Jackson is if the Oakland Raiders take him out of the game early. Jackson has a tendency to get frustrated when he's not involved, and he still wears his emotions on his sleeve. Nearly half of Jackson's 32 career touchdowns have come in the first quarter, further alluding to his involvement early or not at all.
Nick Foles doesn't throw the deep ball as well as Michael Vick, but he showed he can throw it long, as he hauled in a 36-yard pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that iced the game. The Eagles are 17-4 lifetime when Jackson scores a touchdown of at least 35 yards.
The Philadelphia Eagles should be able to put up at least 25 points in this contest. They have an All-Pro running back, a Pro Bowl receiver, talented tight ends and a solid offensive line at every position. Chip Kelly's offense has stalled in recent games, but the Eagles still put up bunches of yards.
The trick will be converting third-down opportunities into first downs and scoring within the red zone. Oakland has an underrated defense, but this is the type of squad Kelly should beat with ease.
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