Raiders-Eagles: A big test at home for Silver & Black

Kirk Kern
Oct 17, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia claps in the first half against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders passed their first test with a win last week under interim coach Rich Bisaccia after head coach Jon Gruden resigned. This week’s test is duplicating that performance at home on Sunday with a Raiders-Eagles matchup.

The Raiders jumped out early and often in a 34-24 win against the Broncos as the team shook off all the distractions related to Gruden’s inappropriate emails written that surfaced before and after the team’s loss to the Bears two weeks ago.

But the Eagles have struggled this season at 2-4. Bisaccia believes it should be business as usual for the Raiders.

“We’re going to get on the grass, and I hope it feels the same way,” he said. “I have the same responsibilities I had last week. We still have Gus [Bradley], we still have Oly [Greg Olson], we have our coaches intact and I’ve played against the Eagles for a long time. 

“I know the identity they have, very aware of it and certainly the players that they have. They are well coached. They are playing extremely physical. It’s a big-time opponent. We are excited about getting an opportunity to play again.”

Hurts will play a major role in Raiders-Eagles matchup

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bisaccia said Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts brings different challenges than the ones the team faced last week in Denver’s Teddy Bridgewater. He said Hurts is an “ascending” quarterback and is just as easily to hurt you with this legs as with his arm.

“He’s tremendous with the ball in his hand, both run and pass,” he said. “He’s played really well on the long ball, and he certainly can stretch the field on the outside on the perimeter.”

Raiders-Eagles could come down to interior line play

Bisaccia also said the Eagles have a formidable defense, especially on the line. Interior defensive lineman Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox have been dominant this season and will go up against a Raider line that includes a rookie Alex Leatherwood, who struggled at tackle before moving to guard, and first-year starter Andre James.

Oct 10, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (97) sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

“They’ve been pushing the pocket,” Bisaccia said. “They’ve been making it miserable for quarterbacks a little bit and then I thought they’ve come out aggressive in the second half and put themselves in position to win before the game was over. So, it’s going to be big challenge for us.”

Raiders-Eagles injury report

On the injury front, reserve tight end Nick Bowers has been declared out for the game with a neck injury. Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson hasn’t been at practice this week for family reasons. Bisaccia said he expects him back on Saturday and a decision will be made sometime before the game about whether he will play or not.

Other than those two, the other 15 players on the injury report were full participants on Friday.

The Eagles had eight players on their injury report, but only two were listed as questionable: Safety Anthony Harris (hands) and interior offensive lineman Jack Anderson (hamstring).

Bisaccia feels the team has come together a bit since the email controversy. The night before the Broncos game, the team held a players-only meeting that seemed to help bring the team together.

“I’d like them to play like they really care about each other,” Bisaccia said. “I’d like them to know what to do and know how to do it, and I’d like them to play with relentless effort and I’d like them to play together. And I think that’s what they are working on day in and day out.”

Game time is 1:05 p.m. (PDT)