5 Key Eagles' Matchups Vs. Raiders

There's a perfectly good chance the Eagles won't have much to play for on Monday night against the Raiders. 

If the Vikings lose to the Packers on Saturday night, the Eagles clinch homefield advantage, which would make the last two games pretty meaningless. 

But they've spent all week getting their starters ready to face the Raiders and Nick Foles definitely needs the work. Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld could also use some reps. His next NFL snap will be his first. 

Forget all that for a second. Doug Pederson and the Eagles have prepared all week to beat the Raiders. Here are the matchups they'll need to win to make that happen: 

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Lane Johnson vs. Khalil Mack 
Mack is just the latest on the murderers' row of pass-rushers this season. Johnson has already seen Von Miller, Demarcus Lawrence and Chandler Jones and held them in check. It's a big part of the reason Johnson is heading to his first Pro Bowl. 

While offensive coordinator Frank Reich said Mack has been moving around a little more this season, Mack's most comfortable lining up against right tackles. Mack, along with those other guys we mentioned, is a reason why Johnson didn't move to left tackle after Jason Peters went down. 

This season, Miller has 10 1/2 sacks. It's his third consecutive double-digit sack season. Since the start of 2015, only Jones has more sacks. Another big test Monday night for Johnson.  

Jared Cook vs. Malcolm Jenkins 
If Patrick Robinson (concussion) is able to play Monday night, it'll make a big difference, because then Jenkins can focus on Cook. 

Cook never became a super top-tier tight end like some expected, but he's still dangerous. This year, he has 50 catches for 638 yards and two touchdowns. He has some huge games and then some nothing games. The Eagles have to try to make this a nothing game. 

The Birds are around the top of the middle when it comes to defending tight ends. Thirteen teams have given up fewer yards to tight ends. 

Kelechi Osemele vs. Tim Jernigan 
This one will be fun because Osemele and Jernigan were teammates in Baltimore in 2014 and 2015. Osemele, the Pro Bowl left guard, will definitely be matched up 1-on-1 against Jernigan, which is probably an advantage for the Raiders. But at least Jernigan knows he won't have to deal with any double teams. 

Things might be different for the guy next to him. Fletcher Cox will line up against Gabe Jackson, who isn't anywhere near Osemele. Expect to see the Raiders try to help Jackson throughout the afternoon. 

David Sharpe vs. Vinny Curry 
The Raiders lost two-time Pro Bowler Donald Penn for the rest of the season, so there's a good chance they'll start a rookie in his place at left tackle. Sharpe, a fourth-round pick from Florida, has played in just three games this season. 

Curry hasn't had a flashy season. He has just three sacks. But he's been really solid. So he and Derek Barnett - who also lines up on the left tackle - should be able to get some pass-rush pressure on Derek Carr in this game. 

Marshawn Lynch vs. Eagles' run D
Lynch isn't the same guy who terrorized defenses while he was in Seattle, but he can still do some damage. Lynch is averaging 74.4 yards per game and 4.83 yards per attempt over his last five games. 

But the Eagles are the best rushing defense in the NFL. They have given up just 71.5 yards per game. The next closest team is Minnesota, which has given up 85.3 yards per game. 

Through 14 games, the Eagles have given up 1,001 rushing yards. That's the best in the league since 2014 (Lions, 893) and the best for the franchise since the 1991 team (977). 

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