NFL Week 16 Preview: Raiders at Eagles
The Oakland Raiders visit the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 20
Coverage by: Mike Guerrelli
Matchup: Oakland Raiders offense vs. Philadelphia Eagles defense
- G Gabe Jackson vs. DI Fletcher Cox – After receiving a huge contract extension in the offseason, Jackson has underachieved this year. He’s the 30th-ranked guard this season with a 70.8 overall grade, which would be the lowest grade of his four-year career. Jackson has only allowed one sack this season, but hasn’t been as strong in the running game, with a 45.0 run-block grade that ranks 47th of 78 qualifying guards. He faces a tough matchup this week in Cox, who is the fourth-ranked interior defender with a 91.1 overall grade. Cox’s 91.3 pass-rush grade is second-best among interior defenders, and he ranks fourth with 48 total pressures. He hasn’t been as stout against the run, with a 4.6 percent run-stop percentage that ranks 107th of 124 qualifying interior defenders.
- RB Marshawn Lynch vs. LB Nigel Bradham – Even after a year in retirement, Lynch remains one of the most difficult backs in the NFL to tackle. He ranks seventh in elusive rating, which factors his 2.97 yards after contact per attempt and 40 missed tackles forced. Lynch ranks ninth at running back this season with an 84.4 overall grade. Bradham has played more snaps on defense than any other Eagles linebacker this season with 854 through Week 15. His 79.4 overall grade ranks 23rd at linebacker. Bradham has excelled in coverage, and is second among linebackers allowing just 0.61 yards per cover snap.
- WR Michael Crabtree vs. CB Ronald Darby – Crabtree leads the Raiders with 95 targets this season, including a whopping 16 last week. He ranks 33rd among wide receivers with 1.71 yards per route run, and is fifth with eight touchdowns. Crabtree’s six dropped passes are ninth-most at receiver this year after leading the NFL with 13 drops in 2016. Darby is the 41st-ranked cornerback with an 80.3 overall grade. In coverage, he’s allowed 1.59 yards per route run, which ranks 111th of 120 qualifying cornerbacks. Darby has given up a few big plays on slant routes, allowing five catches for 103 yards and one touchdown, and a passer rating of 153.3.
Coverage by: Mike Alessandrini
Matchup: Philadelphia Eagles offense vs. Oakland Raiders defense
- QB Nick Foles vs. Raiders pass-rush – In his first start replacing the injured Carson Wentz, Nick Foles fared well against a competitive Giants team. Foles earned a 75.5 overall grade in the division matchup while throwing four touchdowns. The signal caller had a 126.2 passer rating when kept clean in Week 15. The key to throwing the quarterback off his game is pressure. Over his last five starts (including one in Kansas City and three for the Rams), Foles has a low 39.8 passer rating when facing pressure. He has completed just 38 percent of his passes while throwing two interceptions on 65 attempts under pressure in these games. This week, Oakland will need a team effort beyond Khalil Mack in the pass-rush department. Bruce Irvin has accumulated 33 total pressures in 2017, but his 8.3 pass-rush productivity ranks 47th among edge defenders. Denico Autry is the team’s most productive interior pass-rusher, collecting five sacks and 18 total pressures in 299 pass-rush snaps.
- WR Nelson Agholor vs. CB T.J. Carrie – The Agholor-Carrie matchup will be an important one to watch this week on Monday Night Football. Agholor leads all wideouts with 706 receiving yards from the slot and has surpassed career highs across the board (including an 80.6 overall grade) during his breakout 2017 season. He also leads his position with eight touchdowns when lined up in the slot, and his 1.92 yards per route run from inside rank fifth. It is also worth noting that Agholor leads all Eagles receivers in targets since Foles took over at quarterback. In a year where Oakland has struggled in the defensive secondary at times, Carrie has been a steady presence. His 83.3 overall grade is the top mark among Raiders cornerbacks, and is a career high. In slot coverage, Carrie has been somewhat less consistent overall, allowing three touchdowns and a 112.3 passer rating on slot targets.
- T Lane Johnson vs. Edge Khalil Mack – Johnson has been rock-solid all year for Philadelphia, anchoring the right side of their offensive line. His 85.2 overall grade ranks third among active players at his position and he has not allowed a sack over his last six games. The former first-round pick’s 97.2 pass-blocking efficiency is the fourth-highest among offensive tackles. Johnson has faced off against a number of elite pass-rushers this year, and Week 16 will be no different. Khalil Mack is in the midst of another dominant season, earning a 92.0 overall grade. Mack has accumulated 11 sacks and 71 total pressures on the year- third most among edge defenders- while his 13.0 pass-rush productivity ranks fifth.