- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer
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Right where they wanted ’em: The Raiders had just scored to get within 21-10 in the second quarter and their defense had the Eagles in a third-and-16 at their own 14-yard line. A defensive stop would surely shift momentum to the Raiders. Except ... Oakland rushed only three players, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had plenty of time to look downfield and DeSean Jackson found a soft spot in the zone, camped out and caught Foles’ pass for a 17-yard gain and a first down. Five plays later, the Eagles scored on the fourth of Foles’ record-tying seven touchdown passes, a 15-yard toss to Zach Ertz, and the rout was on. “That’s just unacceptable for this defense,” free safety Charles Woodson said. “That’s a chance to give yourself momentum and we came out and played fired up for the first couple of plays on that series, then, all of a sudden, they hit a third-and-16 and they keep the ball and continue to move down the field. That’s uncharacteristic of the way we’ve been playing throughout this season.”
Hayden’s baptism by fire: D.J. Hayden did his best Phillip Buchanon impersonation, and that was not a good thing. Hayden, the Raiders’ first-round draft pick, was torched, specifically by Jackson and Riley Cooper. On three specific catches, Hayden surrendered 139 yards, having come into the game with 20 catches surrendered on 34 targets for 247 yards. Hayden declined to comment at his locker. “He had a tough day,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Hayden. “He had a tough day, and D.J. wasn’t the only one that had a tough day. Obviously, when you play out there on the island and you have a tough day, those things stand out a little bit more. He’s a young player. He’s going to continue to work. He’s going to continue to get better and we still have confidence that he can go out and do the job.”
Watson debuts: Rookie Menelik Watson, who has been sidelined by calf and knee and issues, made his NFL debut in the second quarter, replacing the injured Matt McCants (foot) at right tackle. Was Watson nervous? “No, man, never nervous, never nervous,” he said. “They’re men out there, it’s not machines or aliens we’re playing against, it’s just men. I’m never nervous, whoever it is, it doesn’t matter to me.” The question, then, is if Watson takes over the starting gig at right tackle.
Of explosive plays VIII: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had 11 such plays against Philadelphia, four runs, and seven passes, while the Eagles had 13 explosive plays, three runs and 10 passes (four of which went for touchdowns). In eight games, the Raiders have 60 explosive plays (21 runs, 39 passes), with two TD runs and four passing scores. Oakland’s opponents, meanwhile, have 59 explosive plays combined, 12 runs (one TD) and 47 passes (five TDs).
21hEric D. Williams
7dEric D. Williams