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Why Eagles Raiders and Jets Patriots are Such Flavorful Matchups

On Thursday I wrote about the storied history behind the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns series. The Broncos had handed out bad beats to the Browns on more than one occasion and lined up against a backup QB in Case Keenum, who had quarterbacked their own team last time Cleveland beat Denver. So, what happened? Denver couldn’t stop the run, Keenum outplayed Bridgewater and the Browns escaped with a 17-14 win to bring the overall series to 24 SU wins for Denver and 7 for Cleveland.

Well, there are two more matchups on Sunday that have a lot of history. Most know about the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, a rivalry which goes back to 1960 when the Boston Patriots first beat the New York Titans 28-24.

They’re in the same division and have played each other 125 times with the Pats winning 70 games, the Jets winning 54 with one kiss your sister thrown in for good measure. But believe it or not the New York Jets once led this storied rivalry. In fact, after winning 10-3 on September 23, 2001, the Jets led the series 45–36–1.

But that game, seemingly a run of the mill regular season win, would have HUGE ramifications not only on the Patriots Jets rivalry, but on the history of the NFL. Because that’s the day when Drew Bledsoe was crushed by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis and some guy named Tom Brady came into the game, went 5-10 for 46 yards and failed to lead the Patriots to a win. Since then, he’s 30-8 against the Jets, has won 7 Super Bowls, blah, blah, blah. Way to go Mo Lewis. I’m sure Jets fans still love you.

Later Sunday afternoon is the series I really want to talk about, the Philadelphia Eagles vs the Las Vegas Raiders. While this will be the first time the Eagles will play the Las Vegas version of the Raiders, the rivalry does have a rich tradition. The Eagles own a 7-6 edge all time in the series and interestingly enough they’re 3-0 against the Los Angeles Raiders and 4-6 against the Oakland version.

These teams first played each other in Oakland on October 17, 1971, with the Eagles taking a 10-0 lead on a 31-yard FG by Kicker Happy Feller. Though I’m not so sure what he was so freaking happy about. In his career he only made 16 of 43 FG attempts. Anyway, the Raiders led by QB Daryle Lamonica would go on to crush Philly 34-10.

Neither team would make the playoffs that year, but by 1980 Oakland and Philadelphia were two of the best teams in the NFL. They would play each other twice that year. The first matchup was in week 12 with the Eagles claiming a 10-7 win to go to 11-1 on the season and dropping the Raiders to 8-4. The Eagles failed to cover the -6 and the total went under the posted line of 43.

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The second time these teams lined up against each other was on January 25, 1981, at the Louisiana Superdome for Super Bowl XV. I was 11 years old at the time, but I remember that Sunday like it was yesterday. I was a huge Eagles fan and all I wanted to do was play football with my friends and then watch the game.

My mom had other plans. She wanted to go to the movies and because back then you didn’t leave your kids at home alone and the kids didn’t talk back, that meant I had to go to the movies. Well, there went the first part of my plan. No more football with my friends.

But we’d still be home in time for the game and at least if it was a good movie. Strike two, no such luck. It was a horror movie called Blood Beach about some kind of monster under the sand that sucked people down into the sand killing them in the process. The tagline was a play on Jaws, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water – you can’t get to it.”

Let’s forget for a moment how stupid this premise sounds and think about why an 11-year-old is being taken to an R-Rated horror movie rather than allowed to stay home and play football with his friends. Considering mom took me to see Jaws when I was 6 and then wanted to go to the beach, I guess I can’t be surprised by this thought process.

Back to the game. Just like in the regular season, the Eagles were favored in the Super Bowl, but the line was only -3 and the total had also dropped to 37-.

As an Eagles fan at the time, I had all kinds of gear, and my plan was to wear multiple shirts and every time the Birds scored a touchdown, I would take off one of the shirts. The Eagles were the superior team, the Raiders were just a Wild Card team and no Wild Card team had ever won the Super Bowl. This was going to be awesome. Until it wasn’t.

The Eagles didn’t score their first touchdown until the 4th quarter, when another Jaws, Eagles QB Ron Jaworksi finally woke the fuck up and threw a TD pass to Keith Krepfle. It would be their only touchdown of the game.

I was sweating my ass off the whole game, my team got smoked 27-10, I had to go see a shitty movie and I didn’t get to play football with my friends. You think I’m grumpy now. That day was a lifetime low.

After Super Bowl XV the rest of the Eagles Raiders games are sort of a mixed bag. But for me, two stand out.

There’s the November 2013 game where Nick Foles hung SEVEN touchdown passes on the Raiders. Guess who I had on my fantasy football bench. Yup, another low.

Then there’s the game that took place on Christmas night in 2017, the last time the Eagles and the Raiders played. Nick Foles was once again the Eagles QB, but this time he only had one TD pass.

With 22-seconds left in the fourth quarter Jake Elliott hit a 48-yard FG to put the Eagles ahead 13-10. I had the Eagles as -9- point favorites. Game over. But then the Raiders tried the old multiple lateral play and fumbled the ball. Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett picked up the fumble and rumbled 23 yards for the touchdown.

This is unbelievable! We just need the extra point and we’re going to get a miraculous cover. Not so fast. Eagles dumbass coach Doug Pederson decided that rather than kick it he’ll have Nick Foles take a knee. WTF! Final score Eagles 19 Raiders 10 and Grumpy’s a loser again.

Well today’s the chance to change my luck and win that money back. Or lose more in another torturous manner.

In an effort to get off the schneid I’m going with a two-fer today. I’ll back the Eagles at +3 and also go with over 48- points.

I’m buying in that the Eagles are going to run the ball more than 9 times and the Raiders can’t stop the run which should open things up for Hurts through the air. I’m also not buying that the Raiders are past the whole Jon Gruden situation, and I think that may affect them in this spot.

We’ll see what happens when the teams line up at 4:05 pm.  In the meantime, I’m going to go re-watch Blood Beach.

If you’d like to check out the game, total and props lines head over to The Props Network NFL Page.

Enjoy week 7 and I hope you are fortunate.