The Oakland Raiders had a chance to get to .500 and build some momentum for the second half of the season. Instead, they turned Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles into a legend and suffered a 49-20 loss to the Eagles that may change how people view coach Dennis Allen’s team.
Foles repeatedly smoked the Raiders defense to the tune of an NFL-record-tying seven touchdown passes. Oakland rarely got a hand on Foles or his receivers, allowing the Eagles to snap out of their offensive funk in a big way.
Here are some of the top takeaways from Oakland’s loss to Philadelphia.
*Any and all quotes and information used in this report were obtained firsthand.
Before leaving the game with a knee injury, Terrelle Pryor looked a lot like the quarterback who had so many problems in Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Eagles don’t have a defense quite as intimidating as the Chiefs, but they were just as effective in rattling the Raiders’ young quarterback.
Philadelphia did a good job of chasing Pryor out of the pocket and taking away the edge runs he’s had so much success with. He was sacked three times, hit numerous others and was rarely able to set his feet comfortably to make a good throw.
The biggest problem was that Pryor often failed to go through his progression. When the first option wasn’t open, he would pull the ball down and try to scramble. When he did that, the Eagles effectively swarmed Pryor and limited the damage.
Even his 288 yards of passing are misleading. The 66-yard completion to Rod Streater was on a short throw the wide receiver turned into a big gain.
Pryor will undergo additional evaluation on his knee Monday. His psyche might need a little more time.
Nick Foles wouldn’t have even been on the field had Michael Vick’s hamstring held up. Instead, the second-year quarterback carved up the Raiders pass defense like a holiday ham.
Foles became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to throw seven touchdowns in one game, tying a record matched already this season by the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning. Previous to this year, no quarterback had done it since 1969.
Rookie D.J. Hayden was the biggest victim of Foles’ big day. The Raiders’ first-round draft pick gave up touchdowns of 18 and 63 yards and was burned for a 59-yard completion. He stumbled on one, fell on another and was flat-out beaten on the third. In short, it was an ugly, ugly effort.
When a quarterback passes for seven touchdowns, however, the breakdowns are far more wide-ranging than one player. Oakland was repeatedly gouged for big gains when it dropped into zone coverages, and things weren’t much different in the man schemes.
“I don’t think Nick Foles ever seen anything on film that would give him any indication that he’d throw for seven touchdowns,” safety Charles Woodson said. “Nobody thought today that he’d come in and have this kind of day.”
Nearly two full years ago, Chip Kelly’s team at Oregon played an up-and-coming defensive coordinator at Stanford and put up nearly 400 yards of offense and 53 points.
Kelly got another look at that same coordinator, Raiders assistant Jason Tarver, and had pretty much the same results.
The Eagles racked up 542 yards in offense and rode the record-tying passing of quarterback Nick Foles to a lopsided win at the Oakland Coliseum. Philadelphia probably would have cracked the 50-point barrier, too, had Kelly not pulled Foles in favor of Matt Barkley in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders never really had a chance.
Kelly’s offense shredded Oakland through the air on its first drive, then pounded the Raiders into the turf with the running game on the second series. From that point on, it was anything goes for the Eagles.
It was also a sharp slap of cold reality for the Raiders defense, which went into the game 10th overall in the NFL.
Running back Darren McFadden was once again a non-factor, and that was before he left the game early in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. McFadden had just 12 yards on five carries, with nearly half of his yardage coming on one play. Philadelphia did a good job of knocking McFadden down near the line of scrimmage, just like so many other teams have this season.
Oakland got much better production out of the running game when McFadden was knocked out of the game.
Backup Rashad Jennings powered his way to 196 yards of total offense (102 rushing, 74 receiving). Jennings doesn’t have McFadden’s breakaway speed, but he’s a much stronger runner and gave the offense a presence it didn’t have with McFadden in.
As rough an afternoon as the Raiders secondary had, the defensive backs weren’t the only ones to blame for Nick Foles’ record-tying day.
Oakland’s pass rush, which had been the shining star on the defensive coordinator’s schemes, was invisible most of the game. Foles rarely had to scramble away from pressure and routinely stood comfortably in the pocket to make big plays downfield.
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, on the other hand, spent most of his day running around like a tourist trying to cross a street in Thailand during rush hour.
The defense was having so much trouble trying to cover Philadelphia’s receivers that defensive coordinator Jason Tarver was forced to scale back on blitzing, which has been a cornerstone of the Raiders’ success.
Without the blitzing, Oakland wasn’t able to get to Foles and knock him out of rhythm. The Raiders had just two sacks and two hurries. That’s just not going to get it done against any team.
Watson (far left) made his debut.
Menelik Watson wasn’t expecting to play after missing most of the last month with a calf injury. The rookie offensive lineman was pressed into duty, however, when right tackle Matt McCants limped off the field with a foot injury late in the second quarter.
For the most part, Watson did well. He didn’t allow a sack and was able to keep some of the pressure off quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
The best news was that the second-round draft pick made it through the game healthy. Oakland’s offensive line has been wrecked by injuries this season and needs all the help it can get.
Left guard Lucas Nix, for example, was knocked out of the game in the first half and replaced by Lamar Mady.
Dennis Allen said he planned to get rookie Matt McGloin into the game long before Terrelle Pryor limped into the locker room with an apparent knee injury.
The undrafted first-year player is the only other quarterback on the Raiders roster and had spent the first two months of the season as a spectator on the sidelines. His NFL debut against Philadelphia probably won’t earn him any playing time going forward, but it was a definite start.
McGloin passed for 87 yards on two drives and led the offense to a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. He completed his first three pass attempts and made a pair of nice throws to Jacoby Ford and Juron Criner on back-to-back plays that gained 22 and 20 yards.
Although there were some boos starting to rain down from the crowd while Pryor was in, the fact is that McGloin will go back to the bench next week. The job is still Pryor’s to lose, and he hasn’t done that yet.
As stunning as it sounds, the Raiders actually outperformed the Eagles offensively. At least statistically they did.
Oakland had 560 yards in total offense, 18 more than Philadelphia did. That’s the third most in franchise history.
The Raiders also ran 92 plays, 35 more than the Eagles. That meant that the visitors averaged nearly 10 yards a play, an incredible number by any standard.
Despite the disparity in plays and the slight edge in offensive numbers, all Oakland had to show for it was a 29-point loss that was one of the most lopsided in coach Dennis Allen’s tenure with the team.
The problem was that the Eagles had more explosive plays. They gained 40 or more yards on four plays and had another net 32 yards. The Raiders, conversely, had just two plays of 30 yards or longer.