Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Oakland Raiders
- QuarterbackThe Eagles appear to be in serious trouble at the quarterback position for the foreseeable future. Michael Vick made his return to the lineup in Week Eight against the Giants, but he re-injured his hamstring and had to be replaced by rookie Matt Barkley. The former USC quarterback has not thrown a touchdown pass and he has four interceptions.Terrelle Pryor is not a classic drop back passer, but he is a competitive player who will do everything in his power to get his team the victory. That meant running for a 93-yard touchdown early in the first quarter against the Steelers. Pittsburgh never recovered and the Raiders emerged with a 21-18 victory. Pryor has some passing skills and should be able to exploit the Philadelphia secondary.
- OffenseThe Eagles are at a disadvantage on offense because of their quarterback situation. Running back LeSean McCoy is one of the most versatile players in the game, but he becomes the focus of opposing defenses because Barkley is not a threat. DeSean Jackson has explosive speed, but he is frustrated by inability of the quarterback to get the ball downfield.The Raiders don’t have to depend on Pryor running the ball because Darren McFadden is a solid pro who can run between the tackles. Denarius Moore is a decent deep threat who can stretch the defense and make some difficult catches. Rod Streater knows how to get open and keep drives alive with his third-down receptions.
- DefenseThe Eagles have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL, as they rank 31st in defense and they lack the pass rush and secondary play to stop most passing attacks. Outside linebacker Connor Barwin leads the team with 3.0 sacks, but the Eagles rarely pressure opposing quarterbacks. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans leads the team with 66 tackles and he also has three passes defensed.The Raiders came out very hard against the Steelers and dictated the pace of the game with the way their defense played in the first half. The Raiders rank a surprising 10th in overall defense and they get a huge lift from middle linebacker Nick Roach who leads the team with 51 tackles. Cornerback Tracy Porter is a solid hitter with 39 tackles and he also has nine passes defensed and one interception.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles have struggled with their special teams coverage units this season and they rarely make a big play despite the presence of the explosive Jackson. Alex Henery is an average NFL kicker who has made 14-of-18 FG attempts. Donnie Jones gets decent height on his punts.The Raiders have done a decent job in punt and kickoff coverage but there is some vulnerability in those areas. Sebastian Janikowski has one of the strongest legs in the league, but he is struggling this year and has made just 7-of-11 FG attempts. Marquette King has been an ordinary punter this season.
The Raiders rarely appear to have advantages over their opponents in a majority of the key areas, but they do against the Eagles. If Pryor can take advantage of the Eagles’ poor defense, they could register a rare blowout. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor