Three-And-Out: Eagles-Raiders Predictions

Eagles TE Zach Ertz stretching at practicePlayer I’ll be watching

McManus: Zach Ertz.

This game is a homecoming of sorts for Ertz, who grew up  in nearby Danville, CA and played his college ball at Stanford. He has gotten tickets for about 20 friends and family members.


"Obviously, going home, I want to make some big plays out there," said Ertz.

The offense could definitely use it. The 35th overall pick has 14 catches on 25 targets for 201 yards (14.4 avg.) this season and has yet to find the end zone. The reason tight ends outside of Brent Celek weren't seeing the field more early on is because the run game was working just fine when the Eagles were in "11 personnel". The run game has dried up of late, so there is logic in getting someone like Ertz on the field more -- especially over a player like Jeff Maehl.

"I feel very comfortable. I've had some opportunities to make some plays and I think I've made the plays when I've had my number called," said Ertz. "Hopefully that number continues to go up over the next eight games of the season, whether it's blocking or in the pass game, wherever they need me."

Kapadia: Mychal Kendricks

I'll go with another California guy in Kendricks. The Fresno native said he has 43 people coming to the game, and he figures to play a big role in slowing down Terrelle Pryor.

Kendricks had a season-high 17 tackles (11 solo) last week, according to stats tracked by the Eagles' coaches. Against the run, he's at his best when the defensive linemen up front occupy blockers and Kendricks can run freely. The Raiders are a run-first team, and when they do pass, the second-year linebacker could be tasked with spying Pryor.

The key defensively will be forcing Pryor to be a passer and limiting the damage he does with his legs. Billy Davis will need Kendricks to answer the call.

Prop bet of the week: Nick Foles passing yards -- 265. Whaddya got?

McManus: I'll try the over. This will be a real interesting start to watch. Is his confidence rattled as a result of the Dallas game?  Will be be shaky and apprehensive? Will he respond to the adversity with a statement game? Somewhere in between? I'm guessing that Foles bounces back pretty well against Oakland.

It's probably a better situation for Foles to be on the road this week. Less pressure. An opportunity to dial in and, as Chip Kelly said, "just grip it and rip it."

Kapadia: Most of the time it's clear I have no clue what I'm talking about, but in this instance I'll just come out and say it: How Foles will bounce back from that start two weeks ago is a complete mystery to me.

My main issue is that he wasn't just missing throws against Dallas. He wasn't seeing the field and failed to identify wide-open receivers. For most of the past two seasons, Foles has showed a level of competency that was missing in that Cowboys game.

I'm anxious to see if he can rebound, but am taking a "show-me" mindset. So I'll go with the under.

Predictions

McManus: Eagles 27, Raiders 20

The way I see it, there are several key Eagles with something to prove. Foles, obviously. How about Kelly? He takes great pride in his offense and it has to be killing him that his unit has produced just three points in two games, giving his critics an opportunity to take out their knives. Guessing he was a motivated soul this week.

Same goes for LeSean McCoy. He has been slowed down lately and is eager to get loose. The defense, meanwhile, has been showing real signs of growth and are capable of keeping Pryor and the Raiders' attack in check.

Put that together, and it seems like the stars are aligning for an Eagles win.

Kapadia: Raiders 21, Eagles 20

For those keeping track at home, I miss with my pick pretty much every week. So you should be happy I'm going with Oakland.

To be clear, this comes down to the offense. The defense has issues against high-efficiency offenses that are able to move the football through the air. That's now what the Raiders are. I like the matchup for the Eagles from that standpoint.

The Raiders don't have a plethora of talent on defense, but they've been playing well on that side of the ball. Opponents, for the most part, all defend the Eagles the same. Oakland will focus on McCoy and force Foles to lead the charge.

I actually think the Eagles' offense will put it together at some point in the second half of the season. Just not sure if it'll be this weekend.

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  • DirtyWaters

    I know this is a transitional year but, I’m pretty let down by a lot of players I thought were going to have great years. By a lot of players I mean everyone listed in this article.

    • anon

      Double up vote.

  • Media Mike

    Terrelle Pryor is yet another incarnation of the scrambling village idiot. Just get outside pressure in his face from his right and he’ll have nowhere to run. Here are his numbers from the year; less than 200 yards a game and only 5 TDs thrown to 7 INTS and 3 fumbles.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      Dismiss Pryor if you wanna. He’s only thrown for less than 200 yards twice this year. Has at 63% completion percentage and has a 7.32 YPA. He’s good on the deep passes..not so much on shorter routes. Make him throw to the outside, or slants and you can bait him into an INT or two. He’s also super fast and strong as hell…boxing him in isn’t easy.

      • Media Mike

        Just use the 2010 anti-Vick Vikings game plan with D back blitzes in his face.

        • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

          I don’t think Pryor has a problem reading defenses or knowing where to go with the ball. His problem is simply accuracy. His passing has come a LONG way in a short time, but still has a ways to go. Just force him to throw it short, often. That’s your best option.

          • Media Mike

            I’m with that gameplan, but often accuracy issues come from not being able to read the D, trying to scramble too much, and then having your feet not set properly.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            True. With Pryor though I think it’s more the scrambling and not getting his feet set. His line isn’t the best. It’s either move or take the sack. And he’s not to the point where throwing it on the run is a good idea for him.

          • Media Mike

            Which is why I like the idea of blitzing a guy in his face to ruin his escape route. They were discussing this on Sirius earlier in the week.

    • Andy124

      Terrelle Pryor is yet another incarnation of the scrambling village idiot.

      That was certainly my expectation of him coming out of college. Gotta be fair though, young QBs will throw pics. I’m not going to crush him for that. He’s completing 63% of his passes. That’s impressive no matter how he’s doing it.

      Also, he’s missed two games, so he’s throwing for about 230 yards per game. It’s not a lot, but it does prorate to almost 3,700 over 16 games. Again, not bad for a virtual rookie.

      • Media Mike

        ESPN has him down for 1149 yards in 6 games. Wouldn’t that be just over 3000 in 16 games?

        • Andy124

          You’re right. Must have got cross-eyed, looked like 5 games.

          His last two games have actually been pretty darn bad, so hooray for that too.

  • JofreyRice

    For some reason, I get the feeling Ertz has a big game.

    • Media Mike

      That would be great!

    • 1972

      He should be getting more snaps than celek by now. Chips praise for celek every press conference is getting old . let your 2nd round pick get some work

  • G_WallyHunter

    Little off topic, but does it bug people as much as it bugs me that the Eagles didn’t take a receiver like Terrance Williams or Keenan Allen, or Dobson or Thompkins, or even Wheaton. I know Maclin still had a good ACL at the time, but hell, it would have been nice to get one of them on here.
    Keenan is drawing tons of praise for picking up the system and producing at a high level already, I sit there and wish he was in midnight green.

    I guess Eagles picked Bennie Logan (at 67) with the pick that they could have gotten those guys with (Except Thompkins undrafted), so that’s not so bad because he’s showing some great things out there and hopefully continues to show more with Soap gone.. But damn, I know hindsight’s a b****, but could the Eagles ever use one of those receivers above..

    • theycallmerob

      At the time of the draft, still had Maclin and Benn. And like the pick or not, I think seeing (and taking) Barkley in the 4th threw off the plans a little

      edit: I went back and looked, and there were a dozen WRs in camp. Granted, none of them were 1′s, but we all thought that this offense would have everyone running wide open. Amazing how none of them played well at all (cunningham, momah, etc.)

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya that kind of squashes it, having Benn and Maclin in camp, things looked promising. Like I said, especially in this case, hindsights just a massive biotch…
        Makes me that much more mad that Terrance went to the cowboys.

        Cunningham and momah just completely useless spots in camp, too bad they didn’t scope someone like Thompkins to bring in

        • anon

          there were people available after mac and benn went down.

          • theycallmerob

            curious who those were that you speak of? That was later in camp, by then it was mostly vested vets and other camp cuts. Any particulars in mind?

    • bentheimmigrant

      Kinda, but we had soooooooo many other needs.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya lol, through 8 games, what are the biggest needs now?
        I put WR behind QB

        but ya it was before Maclin was out, so at the time, WR was looking GREAT

        • bentheimmigrant

          As Eagles fans, we are among the most skilled in the world at using hindsight.

          • G_WallyHunter

            oh ya, mine’s 20/20

            Eagles fans definitely don’t need Captain Hindsight, that’s for sure.
            At least Keenan is on my fantasy team, he might snap this week, just wish he was snapping on Oakland instead.

            Where should WR be taken next year? 3rd rd?

          • bentheimmigrant

            I have no idea how the class looks, tbh. I’m fairly up on all the QB talk, and some of the pass rushers, but I’ve not seen much on who’s coming out at WR (I’m sure Geagle is about to tell me…). In my ideal world where Foles pans out, I’m happy with BPA all the way through.

            A lot will also depend on whether we re-sign Maclin, and how Benn looks. Maybe we’re back where we started and looking OK, and we can take a late round flyer on a project. If it looks like they’re not around, I’d even be happy with 1st round.

          • theycallmerob

            IMO, there are a lot of big receivers with ball skills in this draft; pretty deep all in all, but a few guys near the top that have impressed me are: Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, DeVante Parker, Brandon Coleman, and Marquise Lee

          • RIP illa

            Don’t like Lee, simply for the fact that he’s small. His game is good though. I just would like us to get a guy over 6 that has good ball skills in the air and can catch in the middle w/o getting broken up. Also love me some speed. Doesn’t have to be DJax speed, but enough to go deep would be nice. Think you also left off Beckham and Matthews.

    • JofreyRice

      everyone got scared off by Keenan Allen’s medical. He had some knee hyperextension, then came out and ran a 4.7 or 4.8 at his pro day–which usually clocks in faster. I’m not a big fan of that stuff, but 4.7-4.8 for a wide receiver is approaching the do not draft zone. You have to be pretty special at making contested catches with that kind of speed, because you’re not going to be “open” that often–e.g. Anquan.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Yea, that’s what I was hearing too, looks like he’s healed up pretty nicely.
        Teammates are praising him for his ability to get open so if he’s not using his speed to do that it must be his route running and knowledge of the game… maybe he has some speed back too.

        I understand that players were passed over, I guess I’m just saying all this hoping that Eagles can find that Terrance or Keenan next year

        • JofreyRice

          I’m right there with you. Jackson is a specific kind of receiver. He’s not the kind of guy that’s going to just come in and dominate a game the way Calvin, Andre or Dez do. I think Keenan Allen’s speed has returned, and he really put a lot of work into his craft of running routes at Cal. I watched him a lot, and a lot of his quieter senior season had to do with the QB (his half-brother), Zach Maynard.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Good info to know, happy I grabbed him in fantasy. We all know Djax isn’t that guy, it’d be great to have him as a #2, but he isn’t going to take #2 money.. will be interesting to see what happens this offseason
            What do we think a good number to renegotiate Djax to next year?

            I know right now it’s 11.5M or so?

            Probably too soon to say

          • JofreyRice

            man, I just don’t know. Problem is, who is playing WR for the Eagles if he walks? I fully agree he’s not worth 11.5 million, but at the end of the day, do we really want Jeff Maehl and Riley Cooper as our starting wideouts? We’re kind of in a pickle.

          • nicksaenz1

            Feel like Howie will figure those things out before the draft. Well, hoping he will, at least.

          • nicksaenz1

            I swear we make so many of the same fantasy moves that it’s approaching a scary level.

          • anon

            I’m ok w/ a trade if i thought we’d get fair value, but don’t think we would. He doesn’t need a complimentary possession receiver.

    • RIP illa

      Didn’t take hindsight to know that a guy on the last year of his deal should have been extended before hand (if the org wanted to keep him) or traded for picks (since he never had a breakout year outta all his years). Was saying this when offseason began. Don’t know why they’d try to pull the Landri approach w/ a guy who is at an important skill position and who I thought was valuable enough to the team to either keep or get something in return.

      Anyway. Wasn’t really feeling the Logan pick, and still not, but I didn’t think we would pick up a WR in the 3rd and didn’t really want one until the 5th. Wanted them to focus a bit more on D w/ the 3rd and 4th pick and get a developmental guy w/ some distinguishing measurable(s) that made him be worth the 2-3 years it would take to develop him. If that guy wasn’t around I would have went for Cooper Taylor in the 5th. But then again…I’d also thought we woulda had more picks via trading back.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Good post, agreed, who knows maybe Logan really shows something now that one less guy is rotating in. Here’s to hoping

        • anon

          I know he needs a year to buff up but i think he’ll be a good player eventually.

    • #7

      There’s always a player we wished we picked every year

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya, i know, I’m just speaking to WR, I know it’s kinda pointless discussing, just sucks to see those guys thriving

    • nicksaenz1

      I hear what you’re saying, but I think it’s easy to think those things when they’re performing well in their offense. Even if we drafted one of them, does Chip like the player? Does Shurmur like him? Do they like him enough to supplant Avant/Cooper/DJ2? It’s very possible, but never know.

    • anon

      Our FO is silly, i understand why they took Benny, who i like, where they took him. I can understand why WR wasn’t their highest priority. But i think our FO is lazy. After the draft they didn’t really do much to improve the team. I think they were just trying to field something to get through until 2014 when hopefully they would have a QB. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, can’t go years not drafting / developing players b/c you end up with NO depth.

  • Token

    Well it comes down to Foles on offense. They will likely focus on McCoy and shut the run down. I dont think Foles gets it done. DeSean may quit by the 2nd quarter this week.

    I see Pryor running for a bunch of yards. Its the first scrambling QB they have seen this season I believe. Probably going to equal either giving up big QB runs or breaking down in coverage as he buys time. The fact that we cant rush the passer is gonna hurt.

    • damrvrhunter

      Am with you. I really don’t think what happened to Foles in the Dallas game should be dismissed as a one time event. I think it’s a harbinger. The ineffectiveness of an Offense averaging 1.5 pts a game lately means discussing the Defense is irrelevant.

    • theycallmerob

      On the flip side, at least from a scheme/gameplan perspective, I doubt there are many other teams in the league as equipped to defend against a running QB or read-option/zone read based running game.
      Granted, if the execution is off, it’ll be a long day for the front 7. I agree with Sheil, Kendricks will be the key to spying those plays.

    • JofreyRice

      Always dangerous to say something qualitatively, but I think we know Foles isn’t going to be the guy. Really, his best shot here, is as a backup. Chip is going to go get a guy that can move around. So that kind of deflates some of the curiosity I have for Foles, like “how will he respond” etc. I don’t really care how he responds, the performance against Dallas probably determined his fate. Hard for me to seriously consider him as the future of the franchise after a performance that bad, and I just can’t see Chip going into his second season with a guy that’s not what he’s looking for in a QB.

  • 1972

    Weve been giving up points in the teens the past couple weeks. What usually happens is we come back down to earth after everyone overreacts about a certain part of the team. I think we give up 24 Sunday. Foles looks good, but not enough
    24-20 raiders.
    On another note,I hope we take the san fran approach in the draft.
    Keep foles for another year and draft a Braxton miller type in the 2nd round.
    I want a star 1st round defensive player in 2014

    • Will

      I want a star 1st round Safety if we can’t get Mariota…

      • theycallmerob

        Who is a stud 1st rd safety this year? Give me a rush OLB; guaranteed to make the secondary better.

        • Will

          true…OLB…another good choice if Mariota gone…

        • Will

          which OLB do you like Rob?

          • theycallmerob

            that’s pry more a question for Geagle, but from what I’ve seen Barr looks like a stud. Mack, a smaller school guy up in Buffalo, and Mosley at ‘bama also look good. Hubbard, the other ‘bama kid, is huge (6’5″ and 250, easily the biggest I’ve seen play), but Barr is just a hair smaller than that.
            And a personal favorite of mine is Van Noy, out of BYU. I like him better than I did Ziggy Ansah last year.
            Granted, if Reid was still coach, he’d probably lose his mind trying to make that decision (“man, I love my BYU guys, but I just can’t draft an OLB”)

          • Will

            lol…yeah be a first for Andy Reid for sure…lol…

          • JofreyRice

            One of the things I really like about Barr is his ability to get small around the edge. I doubt he’s the 6’4″ UCLA has him advertised as–I’d bet he measures out more like 6’2–but when the guy is coming off the cornere, he gets himself as small as Mychal Kendricks. Great use of his hands, as well.

            Having an OLB that can beat a one on one matchup would really, really help this defense.

          • Token

            Saw on twitter yesterday the Eagles are getting the least amount of sacks out of their OLBs as any other team in the NFL running a 3-4. They have 4…….not a misprint……4

            And I feel like all of those were from Barwin when he was unblocked.

          • JofreyRice

            I think 3 from Barwin and 1 from Graham. Awful!

          • Jerry Pomroy

            And I think you’re right on those stats. It will be very interesting for sure to see which way we go come the draft.

            Way I see it, they need a consistent rush OLB, S & possibly a young CB on D. Probably in that order of importance.

            On offense, a QB (possibly depending solely on Foles, but if he doesn’t seize it, QB is by far the most important), big WR (I think if we grabbed Evans our current QBs just got that much better), a G to push Herremans & probably a backup RB that can run between the Tackles.

            A good rush OLB will help the secondary for sure as their getting consistent pressure & helping to prevent plays making it into the secondary.

            As for who they pick in 1st rd, I think they need to look at which player is there when they pick & take the one that makes the biggest positive impact on the team. If the QBs you covet are gone & say Barr is, take Barr. If the QBs are gone & so are the impact OLBs, take Evans, etc. Don’t reach, take the best player available that can help you & make immediate impact.

          • theycallmerob

            Unlike QBs, it’s hard (and unlikely) to find a stud rush OLB outside of the first round. If we’re outside the top 10, don’t see Chip getting “his” QB.
            http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/stats/playersort/NFL/SCKS/2013/regular?&_3:col_1=15

            And here’s the link to what you said, Kempski reported on it:
            http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/red_zone/Grading-the-Eagles-at-the-halfway-point-Defense-edition.html

            Chiefs OLBs have 20 sacks. Skins have 11.5. Heck, even the Browns (9) have more than double our tandem.
            Glaring Weakness

        • Will

          HaHa Clinton-Dix or Ed Reynolds…stud Safeties…

          • theycallmerob

            I’d add Loston (LSU) to that list, but again…depending on where we pick, not sure a safety would be the best value at our spot.

            Granted, with so many needs, I’m always open for a trade-back to grab some picks. I think it was Andy I was discussing this with the other day….especially if a T needy team is making a play for Lewan or Matthews.

            edit: How could I forget my main man Lamarcus Joyner at FSU? I think he’ll be a star in the NFL, regardless of his slightly smaller stature. The kid is just a playmaker.

          • Will

            Dix,Reynolds FS…Loston SS…

          • Will

            Getting Dix & Loston would be sweet…

          • theycallmerob

            Chip plays left and right, not really free and strong. I don’t care too much about their “designations” now, rather their size and ball skills.

          • Will

            Loston and Dix would be the top 2 then…good point about the need for an OLB to really help the secondary…

          • cliff henny

            or that jones cat at FSU, those 2 destroyed Clemson. the two best athletes on the field when clemson had the ball, that’s saying something!

          • theycallmerob

            yessir. got some data entry to do tonight, but it’s not so much I can’t enjoy a 6pk and watching those two destroy miami. Definitely don’t like FSU, but absolutely can’t stand miami.

          • cliff henny

            see how Harris does. reports are his struggles were due to ankle. not so sure. caught games last yr, and when j-rice said he was 4-5th ranked q to start yr i was quite surprised. he might have played himself into 2nd or 3rd rd pick.

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, I don’t know what’s happened to him. I still really like him as an athlete, quick and has a live arm, but something is missing this year. Lot of bad decisions.

            I think Hundley needs another year in the NCAA. He’s talented, but raw. With the way the NFL works now, he’ll be thrown to the wolves almost immediately, and it could retard his growth.

            The draft may end up lighter in QBs than we first thought it would be.

          • Token

            It certainly will be lighter.

            Hundley shouldnt come out. Def not ready if he ever will be. Kid goes to hell with any sign of pressure.

            Its basically Bridgewater and Mariota assuming Mariota doesnt take a crap the rest of the way. Even MM needs some work. Mechanics need some straightening out. But hes got that skill set everyone wants. I think he will dominate in shorts when the season is over.

            Boyd is just blah. Not a good runner. Not a good passer. Bad under pressure. Bad decisions. I dont see anything that made him even be in the discussion of a top QB. Especially when hes got weapons on offense.

          • JofreyRice

            Hundley’s probably got another season before the sanctions come down on UCLA for recruiting practices, so he should take it. The Pac12 might be UCLA’s to lose next year. Sanctions gotta be on their way, tho. They have never had that much legit NFL talent. Jon Franklin, Hundley, Datone Jones, Barr, Joe Fauria, Shaq Evans, etc.

          • nicksaenz1

            Don’t forget they’re the school that produced the one and only “First Down” Freddie Mitchell aka FredEx.

    • theycallmerob

      upvote for your last line, unless somehow Chip gets the QB he truly values (be it Mariota, Bridgewater, whoever)

    • cliff henny

      or a stud WR. can picture Evans, texas A&M, playing opposite d-jax, very easily. he makes great traffic catches and runs thru tackles on those WR screnes.

      • 1972

        Whens the last time we made a big move in the draft? I Would love to take evans in the first round. 2nd rd QB/ OLB 3rd rd FS

        • bentheimmigrant

          Graham?

          • 1972

            The infamous Earl Thomas draft SMH

    • Token

      You can have all the defensive studs you want. If you dont have a QB in this league you have no chance.

      • 1972

        Agree, But if our guy isn’t there I would keep foles and develop a second rd pick. and grab a stud OLB in the first rd

        • Jerry Pomroy

          I’d have no problem with this if they took the same approach as say SEA & 49ers where they built up their teams so much to the point that they had few holes to fill & could take their chances on a developing QB. If that were the case, I’d go with a Derrick Carr who has better developed passing skills & can run when needed over Miller who is quite the opposite & probably more of a project.

      • 1972

        Boyd Hunley Miller Mettenburger. a few of these guys will be there in the 2nd round.

  • Will

    Get ‘er done…

  • Will

    Get’er Done in Oakland…

  • #7

    Unfortunately, I think we lose this game. We tend to struggle in Oakland. Raiders D is on the rise.

  • ACViking

    Evans of A&M is not in the Julio Jones/AJ Green league. He’s big, physical, and as fast as Hank Baskett.

  • nicksaenz1

    Just watched “A Football Life” on NFL Network about Reggie and Jerome. Brought a tear to the eye.

  • theycallmerob

    After catching the 2nd half of the game Sat. night, I’m sold- let’s draft Barr in 2014, and Jameis in ’15. And a helluva post-game interview for such a young kid. I’m sold.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Ya It’d be great if we can somehow snatch Jameis in 2015, kids got swag. and that’s assuming he comes out then. Might have to wait until 2016

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I’m all for building up the team & then going all out for your QB. Makes for an easier transition when you do go for the QB. Especially if your building in the mold of say SEA or 49ers. Not that we are, but those are some examples where they built the team up & then took chances on their QB. Only difference would be that they went 2nd & 3rd rd on their QBs because their teams were so good defensively & had solid ground games in place that they could take a chance because they already had few holes to fill.

  • hawaiieaglesfan

    Eagles have a terrible record when they play on the west coast. Hoping Foles will bounce back in this game. We really need the win to stay within striking of Dallas.

  • dislikedisqus

    Prop bet pretty accurate – for 1 half.