The Eagles take their longest road trip of the season in Week 9, traveling to Oakland to take on the Raiders. It’s the first of back-to-back away games for the Eagles, who will be coming off consecutive home contests against division opponents.
The Raiders enter the season with question marks galore. Oakland could potentially nine new starters on defense including first-round pick cornerback D.J. Hayden and the return of Charles Woodson. The Raiders will definitely have a new quarterback. Last season, the Raiders’ problems started on defense. Oakland ranked 20th in the league against the pass last season, giving up an average of 235.9 yards per game. Meanwhile, they gave up 118.6 yards per game on the ground, good for 18th in the league.
Offensively, things are a bit brighter. Veteran quarterback Carson Palmer is gone, and the Raiders will enter Training Camp with an open competition between the newly acquired Matt Flynn, 2013 fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson and Terrelle Pryor. Last season, Palmer helped the Raiders become the league’s eighth-ranked passing attack, throwing for more than 255 yards per game. However, the Raiders’ stable of running backs sustained numerous injuries which prevented the ground game from doing much to help out. Oakland finished with 1,420 yards on the ground last season, good for 28th in the league.
While the Eagles should have an opportunity to take advantage of a rebuilding opponent, history has shown that it’s best not to sleep on those teams. The Eagles will need to be at their best to put away an underrated offense and a team that is looking to rebound after a lackluster showing in 2012.