Even though the Raiders are coming off a 44-7 loss to the New York Giants and sit at 1-4, they still have some very talented players on the roster. The most talented player on the Raiders is probably cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, one of the league's very best cover cornerbacks.
Asomugha, 6-2, 210 pounds, is so dominant at blanketing receivers that he rarely even gets tested. Last year, opposing teams only threw his way 27 times over the course of the season, less than twice a game.
"He's a heck of a cover man," Eagles' offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said of Asomugha. "He's big, fast, quick, mobile, agile. He's a fantastic player. (I) played against him in the Pro Bowl this past season, so (I) got to look at him there as well as on film of course, this year. He's really a fine, fine player. Like I said, he's big and then he has the skills and he's very, very good. He has a good feel of the game as well."
But that doesn't mean that the perennial Pro Bowler isn't always ready.
"I go into every snap, regardless of who the quarterback is, thinking that the ball is going to come," Asomugha said.
Asomugha will be opposing a fellow California alumnus this Sunday in wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
"I know DeSean very well," Asomugha said. "We're both from the Los Angeles area, so we keep in contact here and there.
"I'm happy for him; I'm very impressed with the way he plays. He's a playmaker. He's the type of guy that you're happy he's representing your school because a lot of time you want some braging rights. So he's one of the gems that have come out of Berkeley."
But that doesn't necessarily mean the two will be matched up on each other since Asomugha typically doesn't switch sides of the field.
"(Asomugha) has not been switching sides the last couple of years and they are very confident with their other corner (Chris Johnson)," said Eagles' head coach Andy Reid. "He's been strictly on the defensive right side, offensive left side. Somewhere DeSean's going to be over there, working against him, I think that will be a good matchup between the two. It will be great competition for both of them."
Asomugha is honest in his discussion of the Raiders' track record in recent years. Since Asomugha arrived in Oakland in 2003, the Raiders haven't won more than five games in a single season.
"The difficult part (of playing for a team) that has perennially struggled, whether you're an elite corner or not, that's going to be a frustrating thing to deal with," he said. "Especially when you put in all the time and all the effort, and you see the other guys working hard to get outcomes. And then we get to the game and it's not close losses, you're losing by two touchdowns plus. That's a huge disappointment at the end of the day."
If Jackson and the Eagles have their way, Asomugha will be in for his fifth disappointment of the year.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:41 p.m., October 15