Philadelphia Eagles leave it late before beating Oakland Raiders
26 December, 2017, 11:05 | Author: Virgil Todd
The Philadelphia Eagles will just try to finish the season strong after locking up home field thanks to a 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders to close out week 16 on Monday Night Football, improving to 13-2 in the process. Both teams look forward to their two match-ups every year and pray the other team has a bad season and misses the playoffs, like any good rivalry in the NFL. Nick Foles then completed four straight passes for 21 yards. On defense, the Eagles were busy, combining for a sack, 3 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles that were all recovered, including a fumble return for a touchdown for Derek Barnett as time expired.
Foles, making his second start since the Eagles lost MVP candidate Carson Wentz with a torn ACL late in a win over the Rams on December 10, could not generate anything against a Raiders team motivated to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Eagles took over at the Raiders' 30-yard-line, but two incompletions sandwiched around a short Zach Ertz gain meant the Eagles settled for a 35-yard Jake Elliott field goal that tied the game. Foles floundered on Monday and the Eagles' offense was stagnant.
The Eagles are middle of the road as far as sacks allowed are concerned, so keep a close eye on Mack all evening to see if he can make life hard for Nick Foles.
But Philadelphia could not muster much after that, going one of 14 on third downs as Foles either held onto the ball too long or was off-target to his receivers.
Not only do they average an impressive 246.4 yards through the air - good for eighth in the NFL - they also have an elite ground game, averaging 140.5 rushing yards per contest, which ranks second in the league.
I'm not surprised the Eagles starting quarterback Nick Foles and the offense struggled against the Raiders.
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MACK ATTACK: Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack didn't have any sacks for the first time in six weeks, but he caused Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson to commit two holding penalties and have a false start penalty. The Eagles have been burnt five times this season for completions of 60 yards or more. The result was a 63-yard touchdown pass as Cooper strolled into the end zone.
Obviously, the outcome of this game most likely would have been much different with Aaron Rodgers in the game after the Packers chose to rest their beloved quarterback since they have already been eliminated from the postseason, and now the pressure is on the Eagles to come through against the Raiders in front of a national audience.
Derek Carr struggled again in last week's 20-17 loss to the Cowboys, but did throw a pair of touchdown passes to Michael Crabtree.
Eagles: Elliott was wide right on a 33-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
There are rumours that Raiders coach Jack Del Rio is on the hot seat and if he is fired, there will obviously be an entirely new coaching staff in Oakland.
Oakland have already fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton in November and replaced him with John Pagano, whose unit played well in Philadelphia. Many are calling for Downing to be fired, and it is a move Del Rio is expected to make.
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