Eagles vs. Raiders, Week 9: Breaking Down Oakland ’s Game Plan

The Oakland Raiders have historically had to prepare to defend against a running quarterback when getting ready to play the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the other way around now, as the Eagles must instead prepare for Oakland's mobile signal-caller, and how well Terrelle Pryor is able to run the ball will go a long way in determining which team will win this Week 9 matchup.

The game features two of the NFL’s top-five rushing teams, though each has gotten there by different means. The Raiders have done so behind the swift athleticism of Pryor, while the Eagles counter with the league’s leading-rusher in running back LeSean McCoy.

Both teams also own top-10 run defenses, meaning it will literally be strength versus strength for the entire game.

If there’s an edge to be had, it’s on the injury front.

With Michael Vick’s hamstring keeping him on the sidelines, the Eagles will instead go with Nick Foles at quarterback. Foles played well in relief of Vick earlier this season but struggled in a loss to Dallas in Week 7. He then sat out Philadelphia’s Week 8 loss to the New York Giants with concussion symptoms.

Oakland, on the other hand, is finally starting to get its offensive line back together. Center Stefen Wisniewski returned to practice last week following a two-game absence, and key backup Menelik Watson came back this week after being out with a calf injury.

Here’s a look at four of the things the Raiders must do in order to have a chance to get back to .500 and hand the Eagles their third-straight loss:

 

Clog the Middle Against McCoy

McCoy’s 733 rushing yards are nearly 100 more than the next closest running back in the NFL, Kansas City’s Jamal Charles, and more than half of those yards have come on inside runs. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), only 334 of McCoy’s ru...

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