Two three-win teams will battle it out this afternoon at 4:05 p.m. ET in Oakland, and the Raiders could actually end up at .500 if they are able to defeat the 3-5 Philadelphia Eagles today. The Raiders were able to hold off the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, with the most memorable play being that amazing Terrelle Pryor touchdown run that had players on both teams fooled.
ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski is one of my favorites, as I always enjoy his evaluations of quarterbacks as a former QB himself. Jaworski was a legendary signal-caller for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he’s not afraid to pick the “home team” (well, they are the away team against Oakland…but you know what I’m trying to say) either. In fact, he was the only ESPN analyst to pick the Eagles over the Oakland Raiders this week.
It’s always interesting to look at why a certain analyst decided to buck the trend, and I’m guessing Jaworski has faith in Nick Foles’s ability to turn in a good performance this week. Foles is frustratingly inconsistent on a week-to-week basis, which is why a healthy Michael Vick clearly gives the Eagles their best shot at victory as the starter. Vick isn’t healthy, though, so the Eagles have to turn to Foles, which is still a lot better than turning to rookie quarterback Matt Barkley. The Raiders defense has plenty of issues, but a victory today is up to Foles. I mean, LeSean McCoy can’t do everything.
Pryor has a very favorable matchup against an Eagles defense that will probably give Pryor too much room to throw it deep (worst safety duo in the league) or too much room to run. The Eagles almost have to pick a lesser of two evils, and I want to see how they defend Pryor rushing ability (do they spy him frequently?). Rod Streater and Denarius Moore are two excellent deep threats, which is a key advantage for the Raiders offense.
This game will probably be a close one, which is why it is interesting to see that Jaworski is the only one to pick the Eagles (and he changed his pick, it was previously a unanimous prediction in favor of the Raiders). It’s a lot more fathomable than Mark Schlereth’s decision to pick the Buffalo Bills over the Kansas City Chiefs. I wonder, did he pick the Bills before Thad Lewis was listed doubtful? Does he trust Jeff Tuel that much?
What do you guys think? Will the Eagles prevail or will the Raiders earn their fourth victory of the season?