Defensive End Khalil Mack
The Philadelphia Eagles stole Christmas from the Oakland Raiders Monday night, as their defense came up with a clutch interception in the final two minutes to give the offense a chance to win. Eagles rookie kicker Jake Elliott was given the opportunity to knock a 48-yard field goal through the uprights, and he did it with ease.
Following the 19-10 defeat, the Raiders’ record slips to 6-9, and while yesterday’s outcome wasn’t ideal the defense battled all night long, which kept things interesting. With the team’s Christmas showdown in the books, let’s take a moment to recap the playtime percentages from last night.
*Rookie tackle David Sharpe goes the distance – *In his first official start at left tackle, the former University of Florida Gator participated in every offensive snap. All week, Head Coach Jack Del Rio had alluded to the fact it wouldn’t be determined how many snaps the rookie would see come game time, but Sharpe was locked in from start to finish. The reason is primarily because veteran left tackle Donald Penn is out for the rest of the year with a foot injury, but I think it’s fair to say Sharpe filled in nicely. In the final game of the season Sunday, Sharpe will be worth keeping an eye on.
*Tight end Pharaoh Brown makes his NFL debut – *The former University of Oregon Duck saw his first official game action on Christmas – not a bad gift – as he played in 22 offensive snaps for the Silver and Black. While Brown didn’t register a catch all evening, he served an important role in the run blocking scheme, freeing up holes for running back Marshawn Lynch and Co.
*Wide receiver Seth Roberts paces the group – *Come the end of regulation, Seth Roberts had finished with the most snaps (52) among all the wide outs. Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Derek Carr played 64 percent and 45 percent of the game; however, Roberts went on to total three receptions for 23 yards.
Khalil Mack can’t be stopped – The reigning Defensive Player of the Year didn’t miss a single snap against the Eagles. While No. 52’s five-game sack streak came to an end, he was a force to be reckoned with per usual, drawing offensive holding calls all night and making Eagles quarterback Nick Foles uncomfortable in the pocket. Mack tallied four tackles on the evening, which led all defensive lineman.
Reggie Nelson hauls in his first interception – Prior to joining the Raiders, Nelson had a reputation of being a ball hawk, and even showed signs of that ability last year catching five interceptions. In 2017, it took 15 games for him to register an INT, but it came at an important time in the game. The veteran safety could’ve had two interceptions, but couldn’t bring down a mistimed pass from Foles. Nelson played 99 percent of the game Monday, and will start his preparation for the Los Angeles Chargers this week.
*NaVorro Bowman leads the linebackers *– The veteran linebacker was everywhere against the Eagles, filling up gaps, and preventing the opposing running backs from getting much of anything going on the ground. In the 67 snaps he played, Bowman notched seven tackles, which led all defenders. Bowman has served as an integral piece of the defense since being acquired in October.