Sunday Six Pack: Eagles vs Raiders

Kelly RaidersAfter a fast start, Chip Kelly's offense has stalled for the Eagles who face a tough task in Oakland against the Raiders Sunday. Photo Courtesy:

At 3-5, the Philadelphia Eagles face a legitimate litmus test of "The Chip Kelly Way" against the Oakland Raiders Sunday at 4:05.

Kelly's high octane offense that came out guns blazing against the Washington Redskins in the season opener has failed to score an offensive touchdown in each of the past two games. Meanwhile his unorthodox philosophy of flying to the west coast the day before a game (rather than what has become the norm across the league of circumventing time zones two days before a game) and practicing on Tuesday are being put to the test. 

Against a talented Raiders defense and multi-faceted quarterback in Terrelle Pryor, the Eagles certainly will have their work cut out for them heading into the Black Hole on Halloween weekend. 

1. Establish The Run Early

Much like the Eagles offense as a whole, LeSean McCoy started the season like gangbusters. 

Through the first half of the season McCoy leads the league in rushing with 733 yards and three touchdowns. However through the last six weeks McCoy has totaled 20 or more carries in just three of those contests. McCoy has totaled just 103 yards rushing the past two weeks.

The Eagles offense executes at a much more consistent and efficient level when McCoy is the focal point. Kelly would be wise to set that tone from the first offensive possession.

2. Nick Foles Must Bounce Back From Terrible Performance Against Cowboys 

Four weeks ago Nick Foles posted a four total touchdown performance while compiling a 133.3 passer rating against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only rookie quarterback in league history to pass for 240 yards or more per game while completing 60 percent of his passes in his first season followed that masterful game with one of the most dreadful performances you'll ever see, passing for just 80 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. 

Foles ultimately suffered a concussion in the final moments of the Cowboys game.

As poor as Foles played two weeks ago he didn't throw an interception and hasn't yet this season. The Raiders defense has already picked up five interceptions this season.

How Foles bounces back Sunday against the Raiders will go a long way towards determining just how successful the Eagles offense will be. 

3. Eagles Defense Must Contain Terrelle Pryor

Bill Davis' defense has vastly improved in recent weeks and face a bon-a-fide duel threat quarterback in Terrelle Pryor today. 

Pryor has thrown for 1,149 yards and five touchdowns while also throwing seven interceptions. However, Pryor's real threat is with his legs as the second-year Ohio State product has accounted for 391 yards and one touchdown on the ground. 

The Eagles defense must swarm to the ball today if they hope to prevent another 93-yard touchdown sprint type of game changing play such as what Pryor pulled off against the Steelers in week eight. 

4. Defense Must Bottle Up Darren McFadden

As if dealing with a running quarterback of Pryor's stature isn't challenge enough, the Raiders' backfield also boasts Darren McFadden.

While Pryor certainly contributes to Oakland's dominance on the ground, the offense still averages 138 yards rushing per game which will be a litmus test for the defense. McFadden already has four touchdowns off of 340 yards rushing and is averaging 3.7 yards per game. 

The Eagles are allowing 99.5 yards rushing per game and if they can continue that trend, making Pryor beat them with his arm, it will go a long way towards emerging with a victory.

5. Win The Little Battles

Chip Kelly had the Eagles fly out to Oakland, where the Raiders are 3-1 at home, on Saturday rather then the customary Friday trip to allow the players to become acclimated to the time change. The Head coach is keeping the team on eastern time for the trip. 

It's unorthodox philosophies such as this that have raised eye brows and possibly contributed to the team's recent struggles.

A victory today would go a long way towards endorsing Kelly's line of thinking not only in the media but among his players as well. 

6. Chip Kelly's 'Feel for The game'

One week Kelly elects to kick a 60-yard field goal rather then go for it on fourth down. The next, the first-year head coach decides to go for it rather then have Alex Henery attempted a 50-yard field goal. 

There does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to Kelly's decision making either late in games or in fourth down situations.

A compelling argument can be made that Kelly's decision making figured heavily in the Eagles falling to the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants early in the season. Today, Kelly must make the most of critical situations. 

Prediction: Raiders 20, Eagles 16

Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.

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