By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — After gutting out a 21-18 home victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, the Raiders can reach the .500 mark with a win over another team from the Keystone State, when they host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at O.co Coliseum. This will mark the fifth straight sellout for the Silver and Black this season.
The game will be seen locally on Fox KTVU Channel 2 in the Bay Area.
Terrelle Pryor took the first snap of the game and blazed past a slow and old Steelers defense for a 93-yard touchdown. Pryor’s touchdown run was the longest in NFL history by a quarterback, and broke running back Bo Jackson’s franchise record 92-yard touchdown run set in 1989.
Running back Darren McFadden played a key role in the running, racking up 73 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
But the strength of the team was the play of Oakland’s (3-4) 10th ranked defense. Oakland’s defense limited Pittsburgh (2-5) to 276 yards of total offense and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger twice and sacking the Steeler’s quarterback five times.
Philadelphia (3-5) is coming off a 15-7 home loss against NFC East rival, the New York Giants. The Eagles looked inept on offense, and was nearly shutout by the Giants if it weren’t for an Eagles’ touchdown on special teams late in the fourth quarter.
Nick Foles, who has been cleared after suffering a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago, is expected to start for Philadelphia in place of Michael Vick. Vick left last weekend’s game with a pulled hamstring after passing for 158 yards. Third-string rookie quarterback Matt Barkley finished the game for Philadelphia.
Let’s face it, the Eagles are a bad football team that has been playing musical chairs at the quarterback position. Oakland should feed off from a strong defensive effort and raucously loud crowd against Pittsburgh, and continue that intensity against Philadelphia.
.500 mark for Oakland? Could be in the cards.