Andy Benoit of TheMMQB.com looks at the matchup between the Eagles and Terrelle Pryor:
The Eagles probably assumed that the best read-option opponent they’d see this season would be in Weeks 1 and 11, when they faced RG3 and Washington. Instead, it will be here in Week 9, when they face Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders. Much like Cam Newton, Pryor has the size-speed combination to run read-option keepers out of traditional power-blocking plays. The Eagles will have to stay very disciplined up front.
Ashley Fox of ESPN.com offers her thoughts on Chip Kelly’s first eight games:
This is where Kelly finds himself midway through his first season as an NFL coach. He isn’t smarter than everyone else. He isn’t an offensive guru. His philosophies on training and nutrition, while forward-thinking, aren’t revolutionary.
Once he has an opportunity to select a quarterback in the first round of the draft — presumably in 2014 — and build around him with players he chooses and doesn’t inherit, maybe then Kelly will prove to be an offensive innovator. Maybe then he can run teams out of the stadium with a rapid-fire offense that thrives under the repetitive accuracy of the starting quarterback. Maybe then Kelly can run more plays than the New England Patriots and exhaust opponents with a relentless attack that includes an effective read-option package and keeps defenses on their heels.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com predicts a 23-17 Raiders win:
The Eagles looked horrible last week against the Giants. Now they must take a long trip against a Raiders team that is playing good defense and coming off an impressive victory over the Steelers. The Eagles offense is a mess now. Oakland wins consecutive games.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com predicts a 16-10 Raiders victory:
Nick Foles will take the reins for the Eagles, who have scored all of 10 points the past two weeks. Now, that doesn’t mean the Raiders will win 30-7, either. Yes, Philadelphia surrendered 27 points to the Redskins and 33 to the Chargers, but that was back when the Eagles’ offense was faring much better. NFL defenses generally step up when they know their team is starting a backup, and Philly coordinator Bill Davis’ unit likely will circle the wagons, as it’s been doing recently. Expect the Raiders to pound the run while trying to get Terrelle Pryor out in space. Meanwhile, it’s time to give Oakland’s defense some love. The Raiders have been stout against the run. They’re not giving up chunk plays at all, literally: No one has a run of 20 yards or more against them this season.
KC Joyner of ESPN.com looks at how the Eagles’ current personnel is being used in Kelly’s scheme:
It would be great if Kelly were more like a modern-day Don Shula and willing to radically alter his game plans to suit the talent on his roster. But the reality is that Kelly’s system can still be a success at the pro level, it’s just going to take some fundamental roster changes to make that happen.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com goes with a 27-23 Raiders victory:
Don’t look now, but the fourth team in the AFC West — a team no one’s talking about in that division — has a bit of a nice stretch of schedule coming up. At 3-4 and very much in the AFC wild-card hunt, the Raiders have the Eagles (3-5), New York Giants (2-6), Houston Texans (2-5), Tennessee Titans (3-4), Dallas Cowboys (4-4) and New York Jets (4-4) in consecutive weeks. I’m not saying they’re about to go on a 2012 Redskins-esque run to the playoffs, but I’m also not NOT saying that.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk predicts a 17-9 Raiders win:
The Raiders complete a rare two-game sweep of Pennsylvania’s pro football teams without ever having to leave the Bay Area. All four NFC West teams will be at or above .500 come Sunday, thanks to their ability to pulverize the teams of the NFC East.
Doug Farrar of SI.com says the pressure’s on Nick Foles:
The Eagles’ offense has been wretched in its past two outings, mustering all of three points against the Cowboys and Giants. (Philadelphia scored its only TD of Weeks 7 and 8 on special teams.) Foles was wholly responsible for the former effort, throwing for just 80 before an injury drove him from Philadelphia’s loss to Dallas.
He’ll get a shot at redemption Sunday in Oakland versus a middle-of-the-road pass defense. Another disappointing performance could send the Eagles to their third straight loss and a 3-6 record.
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com says it’s make-or-break time for Foles and the Eagles:
The Eagles’ season is in the hands of Nick Foles. Foles hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 90 passes, but the effectiveness of LeSean McCoy drops off considerably when Foles plays instead of Vick. Raider QB Terrelle Pryor is 3-1 at home and the Eagles haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in two games.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld predicts a 23-20 Eagles win:
Kelly’s offense was billed coming into the league as tight end friendly. The tight ends do play a lot of snaps, but they’re not big parts of the passing game. Neither Ertz nor Celek has cleared 60 yards in any game this season.