The Eagles went into New York last week to take on the Giants. They came away 34-29 winners but were given a real scare by their divisional rivals. In such a close game you would assume that your backup, starting his first game since Week 8 of 2016, would be slinging interceptions, but you’d be wrong. Nick Foles played very well for Philly, throwing for 237 yards and four touchdowns as he had to keep pace with all the errors the Eagles defense were committing.
The Raiders hosted Dallas last week and fell to a 20-17 defeat. The game was very poor, and the Raiders were down 10-0 at the half but bounced back on two touchdowns from Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree. The defense created some chaos, with Khalil Mack registering two sacks and Sean Smith picking off Dak Prescott twice, but it just wasn’t enough in the end.
Get back on track
The Eagles won’t be playing defenses as poor as New York’s or Oakland’s every week, they won’t be able to bank on 30+ points from a Nick Foles offense every time. Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz need to get the defense back to its best quickly because the NFC playoffs are loaded with strong teams that can exploit any chink in the armor of the #1 seed.
Oakland were meant to be a power this season, instead they have faded into nothingness. The offense has struggled, the defense has been a disaster, and the blame is piling up at Jack Del Rio’s feet. The Raiders head coach signed a four-year extension in February, but things have gone south so quickly that there is plenty of talk about moving on from Del Rio already. A big win over a top team would go a long way to quieting the doubters.
Matchup to watch: Lane Johnson vs Khalil Mack
Lane Johnson is the best right tackle in the NFL. Khalil Mack is one of the best edge rushers the NFL has seen this decade. Normally I would need to hype up an OT/DE battle but this one speaks for itself and is a genuinely wonderful christmas present from the NFL scheduling gods.
Fantasy tip: Eagles QB Nick Foles
Cheap in DFS, and playing the worst passing defense in the NFL. I’m not sure what better combination you could ask for really.
Betting tip: Eagles (-9)
The Eagles have to win, and they will want to win big to show they are still a force to be reckoned with.
Prediction: Eagles 34-20 Raiders
Oakland will score, but they won’t be able to stop Nick Foles from distributing the ball to Philly’s roster of playmakers. This should be a simple one, but preparation will be key, and the distraction of christmas will tug at a few players.
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