The Eagles (2-4) are on the road to face the Raiders (4-2) on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (5-1)
Sitting here trying to rationalize picking the Eagles Sunday in Vegas. They’re 2-1 on the road, so there’s that. The Raiders have been through a lot of drama with Jon Gruden leaving and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia taking over and that stuff takes its toll. They’ve lost two of their last three after that 3-0 start. The Raiders’ defense is nothing special, allowing 24 points per game. They lost to the Bears by double digits, for crying out loud. But I can’t do it. Until I see some sort of consistency from this Eagles team - a solid performance on both sides of the ball (and the coach) - I can’t pick them to beat a team like the Raiders that’s 4-2, has a top-10 offense and a QB throwing for 324 yards per game and is No. 5 in the league defensively in yards allowed per play.
Raiders 27, Eagles 23
Dave Zangaro (5-1)
Coming off a few extra days of rest, I’m really curious to see how many big changes might be coming from the Eagles. Some of the things they have been doing — especially on offense — haven’t been working. But I also watched the Raiders win last week and was impressed with how well they played shortly after they lost their head coach. I think the Eagles will have a real shot to win this game, especially if their defensive line can feast on a below-average offensive line in Las Vegas. But I need to see the Eagles show more consistency on offense, especially from young quarterback Jalen Hurts and from rookie play caller Nick Sirianni.
The last time I picked the Eagles in a tossup they lost to the 49ers. I think they are good enough to beat the Raiders if they get out of their own way; I just don’t have confidence they will.
Raiders 26, Eagles 24
Ray Didinger (5-1)
I was impressed with the way the Raiders played Sunday in Denver. I had no idea how they would respond to the resignation of coach Jon Gruden and the media firestorm that came with it. They played inspired football and defeated the Broncos 34-24 in a game that wasn't that close.
Can they retain that focus and energy for another week? The Eagles will find out soon enough. Derek Carr shredded the Broncos' third ranked defense for 340 passing yards. Carr looked more settled with offensive coordinator Greg Olsen calling the plays. Olsen coached Carr as a rookie and their reunion is paying dividends.
The Raiders rush defense isn't very good allowing an average of 131 yards a game and 4.6 yards per carry. It would seem to be an obvious weakness that an opponent can exploit but of course we know the Eagles have ripped those pages out of the playbook. Sorry about that Miles Sanders.
Raiders 30, Eagles 27
Barrett Brooks (4-2)
First and foremost for me, this is a reckoning! This will be my gauge on if this coaching staff is ready to be in the position to lead this team. The offensive game plan should be 55% run based. The Raiders are ranked 25th against the run. So, if the Eagles run 60 offensive plays, 33 should be hand-offs. I don't care if it’s QB runs, RB runs or sweep plays to WR and TEs. I just need the O-line run blocking and driving back defenders.
On the defensive side of the ball, I need them to stop the run. The Eagles are ranked 28th against stopping the run. It all starts upfront. I need huge efforts out of my DEs. There has not been a lot of production on the edges, which allows the in the middle D-line to be double-teamed all day.
This is it, Birds fans. This is the game in my opinion that should turn this season around and get it pointed in the right direction. It's up to this coaching staff to put these players in better positions to succeed.
Eagles 31, Raiders 24
Mike Mulhern (5-1)
The big debate with the Eagles at the moment is who is more to blame for their offensive woes: Nick Sirianni or Jalen Hurts? It’s a classic chicken or egg situation. How can Hurts succeed if Sirianni is putting EVERYTHING on the young quarterback’s shoulders? But how can Sirianni’s offense flourish without the quarterback being able handle all facets of the job? In reality, it’s a combination of the two. Sirianni can rely on his running backs more and tailor the offense to Hurts’ skill set by calling more designed runs for the QB. But Hurts simply must play better. He’s missed throws and reads that could have changed the complexion of some games. Sirianni also spoke again this week about how Hurts has been bailing on the pocket too early. After a 10-day break and some self-scouting, I think both parties step their game up on Sunday in Vegas. Playing a very middle-of-the-road defense like the Raiders should help, too.
On the flip side, the Raiders have really struggled to run the ball and have been relying heavily on big plays in the passing game. If they try to play to their strengths, it certainly goes in the Eagles’ favor. The Birds defense has done a great job limiting big plays while being unable to stop the run. Facing the Bucs, Chiefs and Cowboys has skewed the stats and the perception of what this defense can be. The Raiders simply aren’t in that class.
Eagles 27, Raiders 23
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