This game was pretty competitive most of the way. But only because the defense was keeping it that way. Nick Foles was clearly not running the Eagles offense with anywhere near the proficiency Carson Wentz had and the Raiders defense was holding their own against him. And the Raiders were able to do just enough against the usually stout Eagles defense to keep it interesting throughout.
The Raiders’ secondary looked up to the task early on. Great coverage on three plays to open the game forced a three-and-out for the Eagles. And Raiders offense followed it up by driving into Philadelphia territory. But it ended with the Raiders going for it on fourth and two with Derek Carr throwing incomplete.
Taking over at their own 42-yard-line, the Eagles drove for a touchdown. They went to the ground game to do it. Most of it came via Jay Ajayi, who had 43 yards of offense on that drive, including finishing it off with a 12-yard run followed by a short dump pass for a 17-yard touchdown.
The following drive, Reggie Nelson broke on a pass out left and had what should have been a pick six go right through his hands. No worries, though because on the ensuing Raiders’ possession, Amari Cooper put a double move on Jalen Mills to get wide open for a 63-yard touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, the Raiders would again drive into Philadelphia territory, but two penalties on the offensive line would put them back in their own territory to force a punt.
In the waning seconds of the first half, the Eagles would drive into the red zone. The drive opened with a 25-yard pass to a wide open Zach Ertz. They would later convert on 4th and 3 with another completion to Ertz for four yards. The Raiders would stop them at the 15-yard-line to force a field goal attempt and kicker Jake Elliott would miss the 33-yard attempt wide right to send the two teams to the locker room tied 7-7.
Feeling lucky to be tied coming out of the half, the Raiders got the ball first and went on a drive. Marshawn Lynch broke off a 16-yard run on first down. A few plays later, Jalen Richard found open field for a 34-yard run. A drop by Michael Crabtree at the goal line would force the Raiders to settle for a field goal. And Giorgio Tavecchio did what Jake Elliott could not — he converted a short field goal to give his team the 10-7 lead.
Later in the third quarter, shit got crazy. In a matter of :39 seconds time, the ball changed hands three times. Derek Carr threw the ball too short for Seth Roberts over the middle to have the ball intercepted by Patrick Robinson. After a dropped pass by Nelson Agholor, Jay Ajayi went up the middle for 14 yards only to have Reggie Nelson ripped the ball out and TJ Carrie recovered for the Raiders. On the first play, Marshawn Lynch went up the middle and HE fumbled it to give the Eagles the ball at the Oakland 30 — 14 yards closer to than when they initially intercepted Carr.
Again the Raiders defense would hold and Elliott would ultimately get another shot at a short field goal. This time he would hit from 35 yards out to tie it up at 10-10 at the end of the third quarter.
Early in the third, the Raiders nearly gave the ball back to the Eagles off a turnover. Chris Long got around Marshall Newhouse to strip sack Carr. DeAndre Washington alertly picked it up to limit the damage, but it was still a punt.
Pressure by Khalil Mack and Denico Autry resulted in a sack and a loss of 16 on the next series to force another Eagles three-and-out and a punt from their own goal line. It would give the Raiders fantastic field position at midfield.
The Raiders were able to get 21 yards to get in range of a 48-yard field goal. And this time Tavecchio missed it. And the score remained tied up at 10-10 with just under 8 minutes remaining.
And then it got crazy again.
On first down, Nick Foles threw too high for Ertz, who tipped it and it was picked off by Reggie Nelson, who was everywhere in this one.
A holding by Lee Smith brought back a powerful Marshawn Lynch run for 11 yards. Then on the next play, Jalen Richard caught a screen pass, got some fantastic downfield blocking from Kelechi Osemele and Rodney Hudson to go for a 23-yard first down.
With the ball at the Philadelphia 23-yard-line, Richard found a hole up the middle for 8 yards and then fumbled it away to be held scoreless at keep it at 10-10 with 6:35 left.
Again, the Raiders defense held the Eagles to a three-and-out and another shot, starting at their own 41-yard-line with 4:47 remaining. From there they would lose a yard on three plays to punt it back.
With 2:35 remaining with the Eagles would start at their own 12 after a muffed punt. They too would lose yards thanks to Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin getting pressure to stuff a run for a 6-yard loss.
If this game was to end in regulation, the Raiders would have their shot at ending it. Starting at their own 47, Carr would throw for Amari Cooper and have it picked off by Ronald Darby and the Eagles would take over at their own 48-yard-line with :54 seconds to try and drive into scoring range.
From there the Eagles moved to the 31-yard-line and Elliott came out and converted a 48-yard field goal to go up 13-10 with :22 seconds remaining.
That’s all they would need, but they would get more, thanks to some really bad QB play from Carr on the final series. He threw wide of Cordarrelle Patterson short left on first down. Then he stepped into a non-existent pocket on second down, only avoiding the sack by throwing incomplete on a dump in the direction of DeAndre Washington. And on third down he literally took his eyes from downfield to look back at Chris Long chasing after him. I can’t describe it accurately, so take a look yourself.
I’m so utterly baffled by this. What is Carr thinking here? pic.twitter.com/5LEF9FA3cT— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) December 26, 2017
From here, the Raiders were in third down at their own 36 with :03 seconds remaining. Carr threw for Cooper on the short pass and a few yackety sax lateral attempts later, the Eagles picked it up and ran it back for the touchdown. It was the Raiders’ fifth turnover of the day and put a big red bow on burning bag of dogshit that was this game.
The defense stepped up for the Raiders, forcing two turnovers — both by Reggie Nelson on an interception and a forced fumble. They held the Eagles to 1 of 14 on third down. They also held Nick Foles to 19 completions on 38 attempts for a passer rating of 59.4.
Hope your holiday is going better than this and that you had plenty of adult beverages. Cheers, all.