January 21, 2018

Eagles Defeat Raiders, 19-10

On Christmas Day, I was seriously considering not watching the game between the Raiders and the Eagles.  The Raiders weren’t playing for anything.  When the Chiefs defeated the Dolphins, that knocked the Raiders out of playoff contention.  Besides, I like to enjoy myself on Christmas.  I had visions of the Eagles coming away with a 42-10 win.  Memories of the last time Nick Foles went up against the Raiders were fresh in my head.  But, I decided to watch the game anyway.  It was a cold night in Philadelphia and the Eagle fans were in a rowdy mood.  If the Eagles won this game, they would clinch home field advantage for the playoffs.

On their second possession of the game, the Eagles marched right down the field and Jay Ajayi capped the drive off with a 17-yard catch and run for a touchdown.  The Raiders were running the ball well with Lynch.  He was finding holes in the vaunted Eagle defensive line.  But they couldn’t put together any scoring drives in the first quarter.  Early in the second quarter, Cooper got behind the secondary and hauled in a pass for a 63-yard touchdown.  The mood in the stadium took a drastic change.  Instead of smiling faces and loud cheering, everyone had a sour expression on their face.  They looked like a bunch of pouting little kids that didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas.  That put me into hysterics.  I couldn’t stop laughing as they kept showing shots of the crowd.  The score was tied 7-7 and they were acting like it was the end of the world.  The score remained 7-7 at halftime.

In the second half, the Raiders came out running.  Lynch and Richard were getting some big gains.  As a matter of fact, Carr didn’t throw a single pass until they faced a third and three from the Philadelphia six-yard line.  Carr threw for Crabtree in the end zone and the pass was incomplete.  Let me get this straight.  You ran the ball all the way from your 25 to the Philadelphia six.  On the most crucial play of the drive, you throw?  Run the ball again!  They couldn’t stop Lynch!  That’s just more evidence that Todd Downing doesn’t know what he’s doing.  Tavecchio made a short field goal and now the Raiders were winning 10-7.  Oh!  Look at the terror on the faces of those Eagle fans!

Then the turnovers started happening.  Carr was picked off, then Ajayi fumbled.  After that play, Lynch fumbled and gave the ball right back to the Eagles.  That led to a field goal and the score was tied 10-10.  The Raiders drove down to the Philadelphia 30 and called on Tavecchio to try a 48-yard field goal.  Right before the snap, announcer Sean McDonough said “He hasn’t missed a kick on the road all year.”  The infamous announcer jinx worked again and the kick was wide right.  Right after that play, Foles was picked off by Nelson and the Raiders once again had a chance to take the lead.  They had the momentum and it looked like they might find the end zone.  But it wasn’t to be as after a nice gain, Richard fumbled and the ball was recovered by the Eagles at the Philadelphia 16-yard line.  Just like they had been doing throughout the game, the Raider defense rose up and forced another punt.  As a matter of fact, they forced the Eagles to punt eight times.

With 1:06 to go in the game, the Raiders had the ball at their 46-yard line.  If they could put together a nice drive here, they could give Tavecchio another shot.  But that didn’t happen.  As this game progressed, Carr was looking weaker and weaker.  He took some big hits and it looked pretty obvious that his back was hurting.  Maybe he should have taken himself out of the game.  Maybe they should have run the ball to get into field goal range.  That would have made sense.  Instead Carr threw to the right side for Cooper and the pass was picked off by Darby at the Philadelphia 48-yard line.  Short completions to Agholor and Ertz moved them to the Oakland 30.  With 22 seconds remaining, Elliott made his 48-yard field goal attempt and the Eagles took a 13-10 lead.  In a last ditch effort, the Raiders tried to lateral the ball and it ended up being fumbled, scooped up and returned for a touchdown by rookie Derek Barnett.

The smiles and loud cheering that had disappeared from the Eagle fans early in the first half returned as the Eagles won 19-10.  Everyone went home happy knowing their beloved Eagles would have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  I’ve got some news for Eagle fans.  If Foles plays as badly as he did in this game, they will make an early exit from the playoffs.

For the Raiders, Derek Carr completed 15 of 29 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown and two horrendous interceptions.  63 of those yards came on the touchdown pass to Cooper.  Cooper led the way in receiving yards with 66 and he and Roberts were tied for the lead in catches with three.  The ground game was running on all cylinders and Lynch was the leading rusher with 95 yards on 25 carries.  All totaled, the Raiders rushed for 137 yards on 33 carries.  I thought the defense played extremely well in this game.  They applied lots of pressure to Foles and forced lots of bad throws.  If they knew how to catch a cold football, Foles would have most likely had three or four interceptions.  Bowman, Nelson and McDonald tied for the lead in solo tackles with six apiece.

For the Eagles, Nick Foles completed 19 of 38 for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception.  Ertz led the team in receptions with nine and yards with 81.  Ajayi was the leading rusher with 52 yards on 14 carries.  As a team, the Eagles rushed for 78 yards on 21 carries.  Chris Long was the one defender the Raiders could not contain.  He terrorized Marshall Newhouse and although he registered only one sack, he was in the Oakland backfield all night long.  Bradham and Jenkins tied for the lead in solo tackles with six apiece.

Up next for the Raiders is a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers.  The Chargers are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot and they’ll be looking to get a win.  I wouldn’t rule out sitting Carr for this game.  Let him rest his back and give either Manuel or Cook the nod to start at quarterback.  Either way, it’s the last game of a very disappointing season for the Raiders and I have a feeling lots of changes are going to be made.  Until then, take it easy.

The Raider Guy





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