Philadelphia Eagles (2-4, 3-3 ATS) at Las Vegas Raiders (4-2, 3-3), 4:05 p.m.
Brolley’s Eagles Stats and Trends
The Eagles are 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games
Philadelphia is 5-2 toward unders in its last seven games.
Philadelphia’s best chance to move the ball through the air in Week 6 was for Jalen Hurts to chuck it deep and to hope for a DPI call, which doesn’t bode well for the passing attack moving forward since they were going against one of the league’s worst secondaries. Hurts completed just 12 passes and he averaged just 4.4 YPA against Tampa Bay, but he still got to 21+ FP for sixth straight game to open the season. He has 30+ rushing yards in every game and he has two rushing TDs in each of his last two games. The Raiders are giving up the seventh-fewest passing yards per game (236.7) to QBs.
DeVonta Smith finished with a miserable 2/31 receiving on four targets against the Buccaneers with Hurts struggling. Smith now has 6+ catches and 70+ receiving yards in half of his games and three or fewer catches and under 35 receiving yards in the other half of his games. The Raiders are giving up the seventh-fewest FPG (31.8) to WRs, but Courtland Sutton did go for 8/94/1 receiving against them last week with much of his production coming in garbage time.
The Eagles finally traded Zach Ertz, which gives Dallas Goedert full control of the TE targets in Philadelphia’s offense. Goedert has failed to reach 6+ targets in a single game this season — he was on the COVID list in Week 6 — and he’s reached double-digit FP just twice in his first five games playing next to Ertz. Goedert averaged 4.2 catches, 53.0 receiving yards, and 6.6 targets per game with two touchdowns in five contests with Ertz out of the lineup in 2018-20. Noah Fant posted 9/97/1 receiving against the Raiders last week with much of his production coming with the Broncos chasing points.
Miles Sanders has seen 75% or more of the snaps the last two weeks, and that includes in Week 6 when he saw a season-best 83% snap share even with the Eagles trailing to the Buccaneers for most of the game. Sanders is playing more and now he just needs more touches. He finished with 9/56 rushing and 2/10 receiving on four targets with Kenneth Gainwell mostly glued to the bench (23% snap share). Four different RBs have run for 50+ yards against the Raiders in the last two weeks, and the Raiders are giving up 4.5 YPC and the ninth-most rushing yards per game (103.2) to RBs.
Brolley’s Raiders Stats and Trends
The Raiders are 6-1 toward overs in their last seven home games.
Las Vegas is 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a home favorite.
Derek Carr got back to throwing 340+ yards and two TDs for the fourth time last week after two down games in Weeks 4-5. The Raiders had a whopping seven passes that gained 25+ yards against the Broncos, which is the most since at least 1991. It’s not surprising that Carr averaged a sick 12.6 YPA and the Raiders averaged 8.2 yards per play. The Eagles have given up multiple TD three of their last four games, but they’re giving up the fifth-fewest passing yards per game (223.8) to QBs.
Darren Waller saw a season-low five targets in his first game with Greg Olson calling plays. He’s still posted 4+ catches and 45+ yards in every game and he’s leading the position with a 23% target share, but he’s fallen below 12 FP in four of his six games. This is a potential spot to bounce back after O.J. Howard came out of nowhere to post 6/49/1 receiving. The Eagles have faced the third-most targets per game (8.8) against the position.
Henry Ruggs is leading the league with a 22.3 YPR average after posting 3/97/1 receiving against the Broncos last week. He’s posted 50+ receiving yards and 3+ catches in five straight games. The Eagles’ secondary has limited big plays most of the season, but Antonio Brown (9/93/1 receiving) and Tyreek Hill (11/186/3) have given them fits in the last three weeks.
Hunter Renfrow failed to hit 5+ catches and 45+ yards for the first time last week with the Raiders carving up the Broncos downfield. He finished with 3/36 receiving on five targets for his first game with fewer than double-digit FP. Chris Godwin caught all five of his targets for 43 yards against the Eagles last week, and they’re giving up the second-fewest catches per game (10.7) to WRs.
Josh Jacobs’ snap share (64%) didn’t change much last week, but he saw just one target for a 29-yard catch after seeing 10 targets the last two weeks. He still posted 16/53/1 rushing for 15.2 FPG, but the new regime got Kenyan Drake back in the mix with 6/73/2 scrimmage. He did play just 21% of the snaps so it could be a blip on the radar, or they could look to get him more involved moving forward after he performed well. The Eagles have been lit up for 18+ FP and 110+ scrimmage yards by individual RBs in four straight games (Lenny, Chuba, CEH, Zeke).
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 24.6 (1st)
Plays per game: 61.7 (30th)
Pass: 64.2% (11th) | Run: 35.8% (22nd)
Pace: 28.4 (18th)
Plays per game: 69.0 (12th)
Pass: 65.0% (8th) | Run: 35.0% (25th)
The Eagles lack of a run game has been… bizarre, to say the least. Sure, they’ve dealt with offensive line injuries (again) and Lane Johnson has spent some time away from the team to focus on his mental health, but I still can’t make sense of their plan. HC Nick Sirriani is simply putting too much on Jalen Hurts’ plate as he’s just 10 starts into his career. Right now, only the Buccaneers (+8.9%), Dolphins (+8.9%), Chargers (+8.7%), and Raiders (+6.7%) are passing at a higher rate above expectation than the Eagles (+6.3%). And it’s not like Miles Sanders is running poorly despite the aforementioned issues along the line as his YPC this year (4.7) is right in line with his career average (4.9). The Raiders have been far easier to run on than throw against – so we’ll see if Sirriani actually schemes against his opponents weaknesses or sticks to his predictable, pass-heavy approach.
In his first game calling plays last week, Raiders OC Greg Olson didn’t mess with what has been working. Vegas has been far more pass-heavy this year compared to their previous seasons under Gruden and we saw a continuation of that last week as they passed on 69% of their plays when the game was within a score vs. the Broncos, which was the fifth-highest rate for Week 6. The Eagles play zone coverage at the highest rate in the league (85%) and that is forcing everything underneath in the passing game, but it’s also made them vulnerable against the run because they're playing two deep-safety looks a ton. As three-point favorites, this is a great setup for Josh Jacobs to get right.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Nobody should try to claim that Jalen Hurts offers anything on the ground superior to Lamar Jackson. But, like Lamar, Hurts is particularly effective with his legs when facing his coverage specialty — which the Raiders play predominantly. And you essentially begin every game with a 10-point floor with Hurts rostered. That floor is the product of the fact that, in his first 10 NFL starts, Hurts has scored eight rushing TDs, and has averaged 10 pure rushing FPG.
Would it be easier to recommend Josh Jacobs and his ~70% share of the backfield? Absolutely. But the jury is out on how long Jacobs manages to maintain that high number. Particularly after Kenyan Drake flipped six Week 6 touches into 73 total yards, two TDs., and 21.3 FPs. If that performance against the top-three defense of Denver isn’t enough for interim HC Rich Bisaccia and OC Greg Olson to provide a healthy bump in Drake’s workload, we may as well stick a fork in Kenyan now. If it’s going to happen, this will be the week. And the opposing defense on deck offers the perfect test subject.
The Eagles are allowing the sixth-most FPG to opposing RBs overall (28.6), third-most over the last four games (31.3), and seventh-most over the last two (33.7). That includes handing out 4.83 red zone touches to RBs this season (10th-most) and 3.5 goal-to-go touches over the last four (the most).
Dolan’s Vantage Points
I’ve been impressed with the Raiders’ offense for much of this year, and the aggressive play of Derek Carr has mostly paid off. However, I think this could be a very poor stylistic matchup for the Raider offense, especially as it relates to WR Henry Ruggs. Check out this fantastic Twitter thread from CBS’ Jacob Gibbs for more:
Henry Ruggs career man/zone splits:— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) October 21, 2021
vs. man coverage:
19% -- target per route run rate
3.07 -- yards per route run 🤯
vs. zone coverage:
12% -- target per route run rate
1.08 -- yards per route run 🤮
There’s more if you click through as well, but the Raiders have been significantly better against Man than Zone. And you can rest assured Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon will know that.
Obviously, this isn’t a recommendation to sit Darren Waller, Ruggs, et. al., but just keep in mind the Eagles have been far more likely to allow long drives to short passes and the run game than big plays.
Wes outlined above why he Loves The Kenyan Drake, but it’s also a great spot for Josh Jacobs to continue his dominance of opportunities in this backfield — he is 7th in Scott Barrett’s bell-cow stat, backfield XFP%, at 73%.
I would think and hope Philadelphia did some self-scouting over the bye. They are simply putting way too much on Jalen Hurts’ plate with their lack of a designed run game and constant use of shotgun. Here’s what our Greg Cosell wrote this week:
“Right now the Eagles offense is built solely on Hurts, If he does not play at a high level in any given game their offense gets shut down; They are putting the burden every week on Hurts, That’s a tough ask for a young inexperienced QB”
It’s important to remember that Hurts has made 10 starts, under two coaching staffs. He is, essentially, a rookie, and the Eagles’ offensive “balance” is doing him an extreme disservice. Graham Barfield also lent some context in the Week 7 Stat-Pack:
“Bashing Jalen Hurts has been the fun new thing to do, so let’s give his performance some context…
Hurts hasn’t been perfectly accurate, sure. But he’s also not been inaccurate either. Hurts has been on-target on 72.9% of his non-pressured throws beyond the line of scrimmage – which is right behind Matthew Stafford (73.1%) who ranks 24th.
Hurts has completed 47.5% of his throws of 15 or more yards in air, and that is right smack dab in the middle of league-average (14th-of-28 QBs).
Hurts hasn’t been bad against pressure, either! When he has been pressured, Hurts’ passer rating is 79.3 – which ranks ninth-best. He’s been on-target on 63.8% of his throws when pressured (17th).
So, has Jalen Hurts been great? Absolutely not. But has he even been below-average as a passer? Not really. Maybe, just maybe, we should give the guy who has made 10 career starts and is dealing with a new coaching staff more time.”
I think the self scouting should involve handing the ball off to Miles Sanders early and often. The Raiders are giving up over 100 rush yards per game to the RB position alone, and it would be malpractice if Philly didn’t give Sanders double-digit carries, which he’s had just once in the last four games. They are damaging Hurts with their gameplan. I have a funny feeling Sanders gets going this week, which is why I have him as an RB2.
Wes likes DeVonta Smith’s matchup this week, but I’m a tiny bit skeptical if the Raiders choose to put CB Casey Hayward — PFF’s top graded CB — in a shadow matchup (which they don’t do all the time). That makes Smith a WR3.
Eagle GM Howie Roseman openly challenged TE Dallas Goedert to earn a contract extension following the trade of Zach Ertz to Arizona.
#Eagles Roseman says the opportunity to see Dallas Goedert in a larger role is important for the organization to see while they are making contract decisions at the end of the year. They want the best opportunities to evaluate him in a full-time role. #FlyEaglesFly— Gabriella DiGiovanni (@elladidge) October 15, 2021
Goedert, off the COVID list, has a killer opportunity here with the Raiders seeing 9 targets per game to the TE position. He’s a slam-dunk TE1 with Ertz out of the picture.
Good news for Philly is that RT Lane Johnson — who has missed the last three games with anxiety issues — will play this week against Maxx Crosby and a difficult Raider pass rush.