The Raiders defense was riding high coming into the game against the Eagles Sunday. They had moved up the defensive ranks and were widely considered one of the top defenses in the league. But this Sunday it was the Eagles who were flying high while the Raiders' high expectations came crashing down.
This game had the makings of a route by half time with a 28-13 Eagles lead. That route came to pass with three Eagles touchdowns in the third quarter for a 49-13 lead. Nick Foles had his way with the Raiders defense to the tune of 22 of 28 with 406 yards passing and 7 touchdowns with no turnovers. He had a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
After the game, no Raiders defender was more angry than cornerback Tracy Porter.
"It was a wake-up call, basically," said Porter. "They came out firing on all cylinders, and we couldn't match their tempo. Usually, we're the team setting the tempo, but they came out ready to play, they outexecuted us, point blank and simple. When a quarterback has seven touchdowns, we have to sit there and take that personal. We can't give a guy seven touchdowns in a game, let alone put up 49 points on us. It was flat-out embarrassing that we allowed that to happen."
"It was extremely shocking, especially when you're looking at the scoreboard and they have 49 and we only have 13 points. So, it's not one side of the ball that you can point at. It's every aspect of the ball - offense, defense, special teams. Everybody. From the top guy on the team to the last guy on the roster. We didn't do our job in preparing for this team as well as we could this week, and it showed."
The always passionate rookie Sio Moore had a similar feeling following the loss.
"You don't accept [the loss]," said Moore. "We got our asses whooped. We got humbled. We gotta come back and get to the drawing board and we gotta be better."
"It's just about us and execution. Can't worry about them. We didn't execute how we needed to, we didn't play how we needed to, and I look at my game and I didn't do what I needed to do."
Despite talk of being shocked and humbled by the loss, there is no talk of overconfidence at all even though that seems like it would be the obvious situation following the strong performance against the Steelers last week.
"We weren't overconfident," Porter continued. "But we were beginning to build on the wins that we were having. We weren't overly confident, we weren't overlooking this team but we were feeling good about ourselves coming into this game. That could have impeded the execution of what we could have done, how we could have played. But they played their style of ball. They played an up-tempo type of game, and we weren't able to match that."
"Last week is not this week," Sio Moore added. "Every week is its own and we didn't come out there and play like how we really play. That game is not who we are. They did a good job in executing and making plays when they needed to make plays and taking advantage of opportunities."
The often candid veteran Charles Woodson was more open to the possibility that the Raiders got a bit full of themselves coming into this one.
"Well, I think you can read your press clippings, and that can factor into it," said Woodson. "The last couple of weeks there have been a lot of great things said about us, and not just the defense but overall. What we did today was open ourselves up for those attacks going forward. We'll have to hear about it all week long. They'll keep replaying this game all week long, so we're going to take a beating, and we've got to stand up to it and accept it for what it us but understanding that the season does go on and we have to go to work this week and prepare ourselves to make a long road trip out East and try to bounce back."
Head coach Dennis Allen was asked about if the Raiders defense did indeed let their recent good press get to their heads.
"I don't know if that was the case or not," said Allen. "Obviously we didn't play the way we're capable of playing. I think we all gotta understand that in the National Football League you've gotta come out and be fully prepared and mentally, physically and spiritually, you know, emotionally ready to play."
This season was always going to be a process. They have experienced close wins and hard fought losses. Now they have experienced being completely embarrassed. This team has passionate players on it, we know that. We hear it in their voices after this loss and we see it in their body language. Now to see how they respond on the field.