Eagles vs. Raiders: Huge Challenge Ahead for Philadelphia Defense

By Bob Francis
Terrelle Pryor
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Since the beginning of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense has made some huge strides. They began the year as the most criticized part of the team. Now, they have become a viable component of the football team and surpassed the offense, as far as performance is concerned. The defensive success comes with a warning though.

Terrelle Pryor ahead.

Normally, seeing the Oakland Raiders would be a welcome opportunity for another winnable game on the schedule. But Pryor makes them dangerous.

Pryor will pose the Eagles with a challenge unlike any they’ve seen all season. It would be comparable to preparing for a healthy Robert Griffin III, but his rusty performance in Week 1 didn’t give Philadelphia any of the anticipated problems Pryor will display with his threatening mobility. Just last week he broke off a 93-yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Eagles have been good against the run all season, ranking in the top ten and allowing less than 100 yards per game. The challenges that Pryor presents will be different than just stopping the run, though. His below average arm will allow them to focus a bit more on containing him behind the line of scrimmage, but being aware of where he is all day long will be top priority.

Defensive coordinator Billy Davis will need to spend the week scheming to bring pressure early and often, stifling any chance Pryor has at making big plays with his legs and forcing him to make quick decisions with his arm. It will be a key to possible victory, putting chances in the Eagles’ hands for turnovers and taking away the best weapon that Oakland has with Pryor’s legs.

Bob Francis is a Philadelphia Eagles contributor for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @rfrancisjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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