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Raiders Upset Visiting Eagles

freecompress NFL 019The Oakland Raiders scored the only touchdown of the game in the first quarter and then prevailed in the kicking duel that followed en route to a–9 upset of the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. Much maligned quarterback Jamarcus Russell played his best game of the season despite two interceptions, throwing for 224 yards and a touchdown. It was only the Raiders’ second win of the season, and only the Eagles’ second loss. Oakland now stands at 2-4 while Philadelphia slid to 3-2.

NFL betting enthusiasts who backed the Raiders as a whopping +14 home underdog were never in any trouble as Oakland took the lead late in the first quarter and never relinquished it. Oakland evened their mark against the NFL pointspread at 3-3, while the Eagles dropped to 3-2 against the number.

After the contest, Raiders’ coach Tom Cable said for the first time all season his team focused their intensity in the right direction:

“We went out and threw a fight on somebody and said, ‘Enough. Let’s play. That’s all you can say. There’s no magic words or anything like that.”

Last week’s 44-7 loss to the New York Giants may have served a wakeup call to the Raiders. In particular, they were offended by comments made by Giants’ linebacker Antonio Pierce that the game ‘felt like playing a scrimmage’. Raiders’ wide receiver Louis Murphy didn’t dispute the comments but instead took them to heart:

“That gave me extra fuel. You have to look yourself in the mirror and man up. His comments were true. We played flat. We didn’t play with any emotion. This game was totally different. We took those comments to heart.”

The Raiders’ defense received the bulk of the credit for the victory as they pressured Donovan McNabb all day, sacking him six times. The Eagles became the first team in three years to not score an offensive touchdown against the Raiders. Richard Seymour and Trevor Scott each had a pair of sacks, and Scott had the following observation:

“I’m sure they watched the Giants game and thought we were sorry. But all week coach Cable talked about persevering and forget the past and move forward so we can get to where we want to go.”

After the game, McNabb had little to say:

“I’m embarrassed by the way we came out here and played. We’re a much better football team.”

The Raiders will try to put together an actual winning streak as they host the New York Jets next Sunday. Oakland is a +7 home underdog with the total set at 35. They’ll play their hated rivals the San Diego Chargers on the road the following Sunday before a bye week. Philadelphia will play the Redskins at Washington next Monday night. The Eagles are a -6′ road favorite with the total set at 38′.

Ross Everett is a widely published freelance sports writer and highly respected authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.