Viva Las Vegas: Eagles v. Raiders Week 7 preview and official prediction
After a mini-bye week, the Philadelphia Eagles are back in action this afternoon, traveling to Las Vegas to face the 4-2 Raiders. Las Vegas has gone through a lot of turmoil the last few weeks with the controversy surrounding former head coach Jon Gruden. However, they’ve still been playing good football and don’t look to have slowed down much, if at all.
Like the Chiefs and Buccaneers, the Eagles’ secondary will have to take much of the workload today. Derek Carr has thrown for over 300 yards in four games this season while wideout Henry Ruggs leads the NFL in yards per catch with 22.2.
Ruggs was teammates with DeVonta Smith at Alabama, and the two remain close to this day. The defense will also have to try and contain TE Darren Waller, who is now listed as questionable with several lower-body injuries.
While they are a threat through the air, the Raiders running game is one of the weakest in the NFL this year. Las Vegas averages just 3.3 yards per carry, the lowest in the league, while the Eagles are ranked 28th in rushing defense — allowing 135 yards per game.
Another issue has been the Eagles’ inability to get off the field. On third downs, Philadelphia has allowed an abysmal 46.2% conversion rate. If the Eagles’ run defense can step up today, they should be able to take advantage of the Raiders’ weak running game in short-yardage scenarios.
The Eagles’ linebackers have been in the midst of a change, with Davion Taylor etching out a starting role, so keep an eye on how often Alex Singleton sees the field today. One of the linebackers’ problems alongside the entire team has been the excessive amount of penalties. Although it has slowed down the last few weeks, Philadelphia still leads the league with 54.
On offense, the Eagles will need to attack the run game far more than they have in weeks prior. Vegas has one of the worst rushing defenses in football, letting up 130 yards per game and dealing with several injuries. Meanwhile, the Eagles have the second-highest yards per carry in the NFL despite having the fifth-fewest attempts.
Alongside their secondary, the Raiders have also been able to disrupt the quarterback on defense, generating 16 sacks so far on the year. Maxx Crosby has burst onto the scene this season, and it’ll be quite the challenge for Lane Johnson in his first game back. While Johnson is back, Eagles safety Anthony Harris has been listed out as of last night with both groin and hand injuries.
|Philadelphia Eagles||+2.5 (-104)||+124||O 48.5 (-110)|
|Las Vegas Raiders||-2.5 (-118)||-146||U 48.5 (-110)|
If the Eagles want to win, they need to adjust their game plan and rely more on the run than they have this season. A win on the road against a team of this caliber can be massive in changing the direction of this season. Philly will have their work cut out for them, but they haven’t been one to shy away or give up so far.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Raiders 24
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Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports