Game Preview – PHI at OAK

Posted: November 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 63 Comments »

The Eagles head out to Oakland for the rare game at the Black Hole.

I wrote a preview for

I can’t say I’m confident because the Raiders are a weird team and weird things happen when you go to Oakland. At the same time, they aren’t a good team and this sure feels like a game the Eagles should win.

A lot depends on Nick Foles. If he struggles and the Eagles settle for FGs and play sloppy football, the Raiders can absolutely win. If the Eagles score 20 or less, the Raiders will be ecstatic. If Foles gets back to his old self and the Eagles can score in the mid to high-20’s, Oakland will be in a world of hurt.

The matchup that scares me is Nate Allen vs Terrelle Pryor. It won’t happen much, but all it takes is one time for a big play to happen. Nate doesn’t always take great angles. And he can be a sloppy tackler. If Pryor gets by the front seven, Nate and Earl Wolff need to get him down. This isn’t a guy you’re going to chase down very often.

I’m curious to see how well the defense plays. Oakland is dead last in passing. This should be a game where you can load up the box and stuff the run. Dare Pryor to beat you as a passer.

The Eagles already played RG3 this year. They faced him twice last year. They see Michael Vick in practice on a regular basis. That could help them when going against a runner like Pryor. In terms of size and speed, Pryor reminds you of Cam Newton. Pryor just isn’t as good a passer.

* * * * *

What is the confidence level in Foles having a bounce-back game?

You guys see that happening…yes or no?

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Fran Duffy did a great preview with all kinds of pics to illustrate what the Raiders do well on offense and defense. Must read material.

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Reuben Frank posted another one of his “25 Random Points” columns. These are always fun to read.

2. Before Billy Davis said, “Trust me,” the Eagles’ defense allowed 28 points per game. Since Billy Davis said, “Trust me,” the Eagles’ defense has allowed 18 points per game. I really like what Davis has brought to this team. I know his history. I know he hasn’t had tremendous defenses with other teams. But all I can go by is what I see, and I see a unit that battles every game, every snap. They don’t have a ton of talent, although I do like their young defensive linemen, but he’s found a way to get them to play sound, fundamental, team football. They’re physical, they tackle well, they don’t give up big plays, they stop the run. Heck, he even has Nate Allen playing well. Very impressed with Davis — and with his position coaches.

3. Speaking of Davis, I got more than 100 tweets the first month of the season from people who seriously believed the Eagles should fire him. They’re on my timeline. You can find them. I know it’s hard, but sometimes you just have to give people some time. You just have to have some patience. New staff. New scheme. New players. New everything. You can’t just go around firing people when things don’t go well for a few weeks. You try to build the right way, and you look for progress. And when you see it, you know you’re on the right track.

Good mixture of insight, information and entertainment.

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I posted a slew of things at EaglesBlog today. Check ’em out.

63 Comments on “Game Preview – PHI at OAK”

  1. 1 dislikedisqus said at 7:07 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Liked the Reuven Frank link. Be sure to check out #24.

  2. 2 Insomniac said at 7:08 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Who’s starting at NT? bennie or Geathers?

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 7:28 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Bennie Logan.

  4. 4 SteveH said at 7:21 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Just a friendly note to any fellow birds fans who might contemplate jumping off a bridge if we lose this game… keep in mind that we’re not the Jaguars, who just lost their best player indefinitely to suspension and on pace to be WORSE than the 0-16 Lions, based on margin of victory.

    So… repeat after me: we’re not Jaguars fans, we’re not Jaguars fans, we’re not Jaguars fans…

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 7:29 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Perspective is a good thing. Critical at times.

  6. 6 SteveH said at 7:31 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    An ugly 9-7 victory over Oakland doesn’t seem so bad when viewed in that light does it?

  7. 7 tag1555 said at 7:30 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    They also lost their top draft pick, OT Luke Joeckel, earlier in the year with a broken ankle.

  8. 8 GEAGLE said at 8:42 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    They also have Blane Gabbert lol

  9. 9 Lewwyn said at 12:18 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I’m still looking at this season as a can’t lose season, much like Tommy pointed out much earlier in the year. We lose, better chance of better draft picks and building this team the way Chip wants it. We win and we win.

  10. 10 Vick Must Go said at 11:04 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Do the Jaguars have fans?

  11. 11 GEAGLE said at 11:08 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I feel bad for the 27 fans that they do have, not only do they Have to watch putrid football to support their team, but they have to buy one of these ugliest jerseys you could possibly design

  12. 12 Vick Must Go said at 11:13 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    27 fans… hilarious! And 23 of those 27 fans are in London

  13. 13 GEAGLE said at 11:19 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    The other 4 are children of players who are too young to have realized how bad their daddy sucks yet!!,

  14. 14 Vick Must Go said at 11:40 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Nice. I was going to say the owner’s family are the other 4, but yours was even more scathing. Well played, Sir.

  15. 15 tag1555 said at 7:49 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    If you’re of a certain age, Eagles-Raiders games are never “just another week” because of the ’80 Super Bowl loss. I’m sure some fellow fans feel the same way about the Patriots after ’04.

    Aside from the Super Bowl, there’s a couple other games that stand out. In ’86, Buddy’s first year, we went out to Oakland and beat a favored Raider team 33-27; this was extra satisfying in that it was the first time we’d faced them since ’80 and there were still a number of Raider starters remaining from that team. In ’95, one of the first games under Rhodes, we had a 17-3 lead and ended up getting blown out 17-48 – this also turned out to be Randall’s last game as a starter for us.

    Here’s the full head-to-head history:

  16. 16 makarov123 said at 7:54 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Weird things at a Raiders game? Never

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 9:15 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Forgot about that.

  18. 18 GEAGLE said at 8:43 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    No need to be posting pictures of NNamdi Asomogha on this site..let it go man! Lol… Friggin PIGEON!!!!

  19. 19 A_T_G said at 9:10 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Okay, now that we have all read and reacted to Tommy’s detailed season review, I would like to poll the impression of the team thus far.

    This forum has the most nuanced, well-written conversations out there, but I want none of that now. I want you to compare the season to your expectations from the summer, put them on the balance scale, and reach a summative verdict.

    Hypothesis: the Eagles are progressing at least at the pace I expected thus far this season. Up vote to agree, down vote to disagree. Feel free to add qualifiers, but vote first.

    (Note: add one to the up votes total, because I cannot vote. )

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 9:16 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Free in-home lasik surgery to the first 237 voters. (no guarantee the “doctor” will be “sober”)

  21. 21 A_T_G said at 9:19 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    Wow, great deal! I paid $19.95 for mine – per eye!

  22. 22 jshort said at 10:46 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    might be able to fix some of the voters with my unlicensed, drunken dentist. He still has a chair hooked up in his garage. Have to go first thing in the morning, with a six pack and a bottle. When his hands stop shacking you hop in the chair. Does great work, just have to time it. 20 bucks cash makes him happy, along with the bottle and 6pack

  23. 23 A_T_G said at 1:05 PM on November 3rd, 2013:

    That’s funny, or a little scary.

    I tried to start an unlicensed, drunken gynocological practice in college, but I kept screwing it up because of the overhead.

  24. 24 fran35 said at 11:58 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    I think that the Birds are performing mostly how I expected. I expected the defense to have a steep learning curve. The one thing that I was hoping for was some clarity in the QB position. Either Vick played so well, we all loved him, or he failed and the kids got to play. Vick has played inconsistently when healthy. But he is injured. I just wish the clack would commit to a rebuild with the QB situation so we can see what we’ve got in foles or Barkley. Also, of glaring note: Kelly’s offense is way more pedestrian than I ever thought it would be.

  25. 25 GEAGLE said at 8:56 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I’m one of the few that can say that the defense is progressing the way I expected them to…all though, I was wrong about the methodology. my expectations were that we would be playing a 4-3U once the season started with Graham playing more snaps then Cole..other then that, the defense, like I promised, is better than we thought.,
    im sure you remember quotes like:
    ” Philly will grow to love Billy Davis and Cary Williams”
    “We got a much better OLB than many realize in BRAMA Bull Barwin”
    So I think I can say that defensively the season has reached about 90% of my expectations..

    Offensively, is a different story…I knew our pass game would struggle at times, but the expectation was that we would have a dominate line! and a dominant run gAme…this has fallen short of my expectations.
    we miscalculated either Herremans regression, or need for an adjustment period going from T to G. We miscalculated Jason Peters, we didn’t expect him to need so much time to shake the rust off and get back to top form. I do NOT believe that he has regressed, I just thinks he needs some time! At the latest, I expect to see the old JP by week 1 in December..

    Hate to say it, but I knew Chip would need this year to get acclimated to the NFL and that it wouldn’t be all roses this year, but I didn’t expect it to be this rough of a transition. He has made more mistakes than I would have expected to see out of I him. We certainly miscalculated the TE portion of our offense..
    Offensively, I would probably say that they have only met about 70% of my expectations! there have been too many mistakes, too many pissed opportunities..

    ST, I’m not that thrilled with. Its better than what we have gotten accustomed to these past couple of years, but it’s not good enough considering how much emphasis we put into it

  26. 26 ACViking said at 10:24 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    One other Raiders-Eagles connection.

    Al Davis got his start in pro football by convincing the great Sid Gilman to hire him while attending a coaching convention in Atlantic City in 1959.

    All Eagles games are shown on local AC television.

    So there it is.

  27. 27 Mitchell said at 11:55 PM on November 2nd, 2013:

    If Justin Gilber (CB) from OSU is in the second round (have no idea where he will go) do we take him? He has potential to be a ball hawk with 4 picks so far this year, good size at 6′ 200 and is pretty quick with a 4.5 40. From the limited film I could watch he seems to keep his man in front of him even if the receiver does make the catch. Heck, Miss St. didn’t even really throw it his way. He is also a kick returner who hits the seam hard and has been known to take it to the house. I guess the question is, even though we seem to have decent corners now, do we take another in the “second” round even with other needs for our team. Damaris is also struggling a bit this year at returner so we could potentially kill two birds with one stone.

    This is the game against Miss. St.

  28. 28 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 12:02 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    We might as well be playing on Halloween, because between Nick Foles and this Raiders team, no one knows whether this will be a trick or a treat game for the Eagles.

    I just hope I’m lucky in that the game isn’t being blacked out here in the Bay Area (which has happened fairly frequently in the recent past).

  29. 29 Lewwyn said at 12:16 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I’m betting Nick Foles plays well. I have no evidence to suggest he will, but I also have no evidence he will fail as badly as he did. I just can’t imagine this team not rebounding at least a little bit.

  30. 30 GEAGLE said at 9:03 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Im with you Bruddah,,. It’s redemption day, and the kid is going to soar..raiders is a good defense at home, so I’m not expecting us to hang 30 plus on the scoreboard, but i am expecting St. Nicholas to put up 27, and like Tommy, I don’t think raiders can hang with 27…
    Expect Riley Cooper to have another 70 yard day…FOles knows how to use him..
    Today is pretty simple…it comes down to, can Folesy and these WR, overcome man coverage? Folesy SHREDDED the Bucs zone but FOles Lost his damn mind against the cowboys man coverage. THAT isn’t going to happen again, FOles will get Cooper and ERTZY involved…my concern is Deseans ankle being healthy enough to consistently beat his man….if Desean is seriously hobbled and if end doesn’t step up and get himself involved in This game, it’s going to be an ugly day….but one bad game against Dallas means NOTHING to me..I fully expect FOles to be GAME today!

  31. 31 anon said at 1:42 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    My prediction is we win Dallas loses and all the threads go back to talking about playoffs.

  32. 32 GermanEagle said at 3:16 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    The Cowboys losing to Christian Ponder?! Lol, dream on…

  33. 33 GermanEagle said at 3:23 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Oh boy, I really don’t want to sound like Morton, but I just don’t see the Eagles scoring more than 20 points today. This struggling offense paired with an all time record of 0-3 in Oakland doesn’t give me great hope.
    Hopefully Foles proves me wrong that he’s not Kevin Kolb v2.0 and lights up the Raiders secondary. Go Foles. Go Eagles!

  34. 34 ACViking said at 7:57 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    You don’t sound like Morton.

    He would have begun his comment with “I told you so.”

  35. 35 A_T_G said at 8:59 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    And you forgot to make contradictory statements about the future so that you can say “I told you so,” regardless of how things turn out.

  36. 36 BreakinAnklez said at 8:41 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Morton would be…

    Because the Eagles did not draft Robert Quinn (instesd we got Graham who i always knew would be a bust despite his amazing production at the Big House and his performance at the Senior Bowl), we should have picked Earl Thomas over Nate Allen (anyone with half a brain could see that despite Nate’s college production) and we did not mortgage the next 5 drafts to get Andrew Luck our franchise will now be set back for years. Also, I don’t know why we passed up Richard Sherman or Kam Chancellor, or any other late round gem. Just highlights the failures of Howie and our scouts for not being able to foresee their stardom.

  37. 37 GEAGLE said at 9:04 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I am certainly a fan of the “mighty” Quinn

  38. 38 Vick Must Go said at 11:09 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Interestingly, both teams have been playing good D. I predict overall score based more on the relationship of the teams instead of their respective offense. Division games tend to be lower scoring… and I expected the Dallas and Giants games to follow suit. This game is not only a division game, but it isn’t even a conference game. So I suspect a higher score than most. At least in the 20s for both teams.

  39. 39 planetx1971 said at 5:53 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Tommy I had never seen the “Pigeon Incident”! Can’t believe Oakland wasn’t atleast flagged for a personal Fowl. Also that Baby Andy costume was AWESOME. Is ANYONE having more fun than Big Red? More like “Big Redemption” this year. Gotta think at this point barring a total collapse, he’s an absolute lock for coach of the year.Too good of a guy to begrudge him any success I.M.O. anyway … GREAT stuff on the blog man.

  40. 40 anon said at 7:51 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    What a difference a QB makes.

  41. 41 GEAGLE said at 9:06 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    And not having an Oline coach as a DC…and not being allowed to pick the players…and actually handing the ball off to your stud RB….took him 14years of experience, and getting fired, but it seems like he has finally learned lol

  42. 42 anon said at 9:59 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    It’s be interesting to see how they hold up in the divisional games.

  43. 43 Anders said at 10:02 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    AR hasnt learned anything. Despite having Alex Smith, he is still pass pass pass and Jamaal Charles.

    Alex Smith is on his way to more attempts in a season than McNabb ever had and I think we can all agree that McNabb is a much better QB than Smith.

  44. 44 Vick Must Go said at 11:10 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Hard to argue with success though…

  45. 45 Anders said at 11:59 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    He hired a very good dc and took over a defense with 4 pro bowlers

  46. 46 Vick Must Go said at 12:15 PM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Yeah, and I’ll agree with that point. Hard to know how much of the success is really due to Reid. The team is winning because of the D, and Reid most certainly has no hand in leading/assembling that D.

  47. 47 planetx1971 said at 6:18 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    So I was just subjecting myself to one of the all knowing writers @ He has the Raiders taking us down 16-10. Guess nobody believes in our O anymore. This makes my blood boil! Of course I’m desperately wanting Foles to play well, we so need him too. But what stuck in my craw most for some reason was the belief that Oakland’s stout run D will shut down Shady. Granted they are pretty good, but i’ve seen #25 tear up great run D’s plenty & I want him to SO BADLY. The stat being they’re trumpeting incessantly is that they haven’t given up a run over 20yds yet. I want Shady to do it ATLEAST once a half. I know he can do it dammit!! Please Lesean? Please??

  48. 48 Mike T said at 7:59 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Go ahead…keep under-estimating Oakland. You haven’t even seen them play. You just look at the record. Eagles lose 27-6

  49. 49 GEAGLE said at 9:13 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Excuse you but I saw the raiders past 3 games, and there is nothing to underestimate about going on the road to face a team that’s 3-1 at home(home field advantage? What a foreign concept)…
    the raiders defense plays pretty well at home! and I don’t see how you can claim that the raiders are being underestimated when 90% of people are picking them to win including practically all of our former eagles players turned analysts….if anyone is being underestimated it’s JOLLY OL ST. NICK!!! Fly Folesy fly…he is hanging 27 on a good Raiders defense, let’s see Pryor keep up. I have seen enough RBs pretending to be QBs to fear Pryor!!,
    And to those who gave me fantasy advice and wanted me to hedge my bets and play Pryor over FOles…I had Pryor in all week! but SCRE THAT!!! Im going all in with ST Nick,,,,”scared money, never makes money”. FLY FOLESY FLY!!!
    Raider have a fast agile DL like the Bucs did, stylistically I think that’s a favorable match up for our Oline, instead of having to face the beefy Shaun Rodges types…

  50. 50 Vick Must Go said at 11:11 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I suspect the Raiders will win, but no chance the Eagles put up 6 points in a non-conference game. Oakland’s D will not be as “juiced” to play the Eagles as they would be to play the Chiefs/Broncos/Chargers

  51. 51 Anthony Hart said at 8:39 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Tommy, things have been awfully quiet at Scout’s Notebook. Will you be touching on any draft targets soon or are you waiting for the end of the season? Would love to hear your thoughts on some of the QB prospects. Thanks and great work as usual!

  52. 52 GEAGLE said at 8:41 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Fire Billy Davis…that’s laughable!! People have lost their damn minds with their instant gratification,

    When Billy Davis said Trust me, I would answer fans who were crushing by saying..does that man sound like a guy who would stand up and make an unsolicited statement like “trust me” so that he could just blatantly lie to us? Didn’t seem like a liar to me, apparently he isn’t!!! “Philly will grow to love Billy Davis”
    Hell yeah Folesy can bounce back! Redemption day is upon us, and I’m all ost so JACKED UP, too bad it’s not even 9am lol.. Hate 4pm games

  53. 53 Vick Must Go said at 11:12 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Agreed. You at least need to give these guys 2 years to see progression, and likely 3 years due to complete philosophy change.

  54. 54 GEAGLE said at 11:16 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Yes team mates, new coaches, new schemes that require new techniques, basically a different way of playing football… takes time! Expecting instant gratification was foolish..but it was just as foolish to expect a talentless bunch that simply would be out gunned every week..That’s not the case! A degree of patience is required but a good measure of heading in the right direction is a defense that’s improving from one week to the next..they haven’t taken any steps backs, they just continue to work, continue to improve and come together…and THATS the measure of a well coached team…

  55. 55 Vick Must Go said at 11:39 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Well said

  56. 56 Nathan Rufo said at 9:49 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    For some reason, I have high expectations for Foles in this game. I’m not expecting huge plays necessarily, but I just can’t imagine he’s going to have another stinker here. I think he plays clean and efficient football and moves the offense down the field.

    Now, what would really be nice is if McCoy and the running game could get going. As Brent from EaglesRewind always likes to point out, play-action needs to a strong part of the gameplan with Foles. To some degree, pass to set up the run.

    Expecting at least 65% completions, 225 yards and a TD or two out of Foles. If he stays efficient and keeps the ball safe, I think that should be enough to win this one, and a step in the right direction for him.

  57. 57 GEAGLE said at 10:55 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Nick can’t freeze and hold onto the ball all game like he did against Dallas, and I don’t expect him to play like that again..but his teammates can’t play the way they did against the Giants…hopefully Deseans ankle won’t slow him down! what worries me about this game is the raiders defense hits hard. Let’s play smart, and hope our boys stay healthy thru this game..

    Shady a has to get in the damn ENDZONE today. He also needs to start thinking about moving the chains and worry less about swinging for the fences..I need ATleast 1TD out of shady today..It’s been too long. FOles has to continue to not turn the ball over and complete ATleast 60% 250yards and ATleast 1 TD, preferably two..

    I don’t want to see any fumbles today. Secure the ball on ST, and take care of the he rock on offense..These games all come down to TOs..our defense will force ATleast 1 today, so if we don’t give the ball away, we should have a nice chance to win this game

  58. 58 Vick Must Go said at 11:13 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I agree. If I had to predict, 60%, 250 yds, 2TD (either through air or ground)

  59. 59 anon said at 11:40 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I’m just hoping for a competitive game — I actually think the SD game was the prettiest of the season (defense was terrible but it was a great game to watch — we had so much promise then).

  60. 60 anon said at 11:42 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Wonder what happen to Jonathan martin. Wonder if we could get him for a song since he’s been run out of MIA. He can reunite with Ertz.

  61. 61 Vick or Nick said at 11:45 AM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Scones is a very likeable guy.

  62. 62 eagleyankfan said at 12:54 PM on November 3rd, 2013:

    I predict — low scoring. 17-14 Eagles. DJ late TD seals it.

    Fully expect Foles to rebound.

  63. 63 Dragon_Eagle said at 4:12 PM on November 3rd, 2013:

    Good acting job.