Eagles tight end Brent Celek scores on one of seven TD passes thrown by Nick Foles vs. the Raiders. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Recently, the Raiders have been horrible in the second half, and vowed this past week to change their ways.
So, Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, they did.
They had two horrible halves.
With a chance to get back to .500 against a struggling Eagles team that came in at 3-5 and was missing its starting quarterback, Michael Vick, the Raiders face-planted with a 49-20 loss to drop to 3-5 themselves.
The Eagles jumped out to a 28-13 lead at the half, then tacked on three more TDs in the second half to stick a sock in some of the talk that had surfaced this past week that the Raiders might be able to make a run to grab a wild-card playoff spot.
Backup Eagles quarterback Nick Foles played like Peyton Manning, throwing an NFL-record-tying seven touchdown passes, and the Oakland defense – which had come into the game ranked 10th in the NFL – was torched, giving up 542 yards, including 414 through the air. Before giving way to rookie Matt Barkley in the fourth quarter, Foles completed 22 of 28 throws for 406 yards, the seven TDs and no interceptions.
The Eagles seemed to be able to score at will, and rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden, the Raiders’ No. 1 draft pick, seemed especially vulnerable, at one point giving up back-to-back TD passes to wideout Riley Cooper. But Hayden wasn't alone. It was a bad day for the entire defense, which had been the team's strength.
Tweeted one fan in the third-quarter: “Raiders lack NFL talent, and playing a team with speed exposes this. No coaching scheme can take the smell off this dog.” Tweeted another about the same time: “The most pathetic display of defense in the last 11 years of sucky defenses. Beyond disappointed.”
On offense, meanwhile, the Raiders were erratic. They collected 560 yards off offense, but it came in spurts. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw two interceptions, the running game was mostly bottled up and, instead of getting back into the game in the third quarter, the Raiders went flat. While the Eagles scored TDs on three of their first four possessions after halftime, the Raiders went punt, punt, punt, interception and found themselves down 49-13.
Pryor finished the game 22-of-41 for 288 yards with zero TDs and two picks, and ran 10 times for 94 yards. Also, he was being examined for a knee injury late in the game after being replaced by rookie Matt McGloin.
The Raiders running game also was flat. No. 1 running back Darren McFadden was sidelined by a hamstring injury again and carried just five times for 12 yards.
With all the optimism from last week’s victory over Pittsburgh now a distant memory, the Raiders face a tough task this week. They’ll need to regroup, travel across country and play the New York Giants this coming Sunday. The Giants, who will be coming off their bye week, are 2-6 this season, but have won two in a row – including a 15-7 win over these same Eagles on Oct. 27.