By Danny Cox
One of the biggest obstacles has been taken out of the way for the Oakland Raiders, and that came after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend. That victory broke a 10-year losing streak coming off of a bye week, and it was done in a rather impressive manner as well.
Now, their next obstacle will be the Philadelphia Eagles coming to town, but it may not be too big of one.
Right now, the Eagles are dealing with a quarterback controversy that hasn’t come about because of one playing better than another, but due to injuries.
Michael Vick was the starting quarterback for the team, but his hamstring took him out and caused back-up Nick Foles to take over. Foles got a concussion last week and that caused rookie Matt Barkley to come in and take over. With Foles injured, Vick came back this week against the New York Giants but heard a “pop” in his hamstring and had to come out of the game.
Thus, Barkley was back to take over and threw two interceptions en route to a loss to the Giants.
With just one day in the books this week, Vick has already been ruled out against the Raiders. Foles took the mandatory cognitive tests on Monday, and the results of those tests will determine his status for the Raiders game. But even if he passes those tests, he still needs to be cleared by an independent neurologist just to practice.
That means the Eagles are currently moving forward with Barkley as the starting, and only healthy, quarterback for this week.
No matter who is at quarterback, DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper are difficult receivers for anyone in the league to cover. The thing is, the Raiders won’t really have that much to worry about if there isn’t a decent quarterback throwing to them.
With that being said, the Raiders will be able to focus more on running back LeSean McCoy and keep him from breaking free and using his speed to get past everyone.
Defensively, the Eagles have the second worst passing defense in the league and that should allow for Terrelle Pryor to possibly open up his passing game. He’ll need to do that too because the Eagles have a rather decent rushing defense and he won’t get nearly as many open lanes to run for 93 or even five yards.
Linebacker DeMeco Ryans and defensive end Fletcher Cox will patrol the middle of the field and the line, but there isn’t a lot of other help for the Eagles.
The Eagles aren’t necessarily a bad team, but they’ve been stricken by serious injuries and there is no leader on offense. Oakland can take advantage of that situation and use it to get their first win streak of the season going.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.