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Eagles vs. Titans Preview: Is Tennessee being overlooked?

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Mike Kaye and Dan Klausner preview Sunday's matchup against the Titans.

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The Eagles are looking to wipe the sour taste from a blowout loss out of their mouths, and this week's matchup against the Titans may just be what the doctor ordered. Philadelphia will host the lowly Titans (2-8) in their ideal surroundings, where they have won nine straight games. While the Titans have had a rough season, the Eagles will still need to show up.

Mike Kaye and Dan Klausner are ready to talk Week 12 and here are five topics that the not-so-dynamic duo think are important.

The Eagles are coming off of a massive blowout loss, still fans are already overlooking the Titans. Is this game an easy win or are some of us getting ahead of ourselves?

Kaye: Outside of the Jaguars matchup in Week 1, this one seems like the easiest game on the schedule. That said, the Jaguars played the Eagles well for the most part, because Philadelphia didn't show up until the third quarter. The Titans pose few problems as far as matchups are concerned, but the Eagles still need to play their game to win.

I am not sure that fans are getting ahead of themselves, because I don't see this as a "trap," but I am not really sure I'd say it's anywhere near a lock either. I am nervous about pretty much every game, but I am not so much about this one. I understand the need to look ahead to a big matchup against the Cowboys.

Klausner: I don't like using the term "easy win," but I do think the Eagles will take care of business against the Titans and win by multiple touchdowns. The game is at Lincoln Financial Field, and they need to bounce back after getting humbled in a serious way at Lambeau before the Thanksgiving matchup with Dallas for first place in the NFC East. There's no way the coaches and players are overlooking the Titans, I can tell you that, especially after what happened against Green Bay. The hubris from fans is normal, expected for a 7-3 team that plays its best football at home and is going up against a 2-8 team that emptied the tank against the Steelers on Monday. The Eagles under Chip Kelly have been taking care of business against inferior teams -- it's the good teams with which they've had trouble.

The Titans have been awful this season, but they beat the Chiefs Week 1 and have had some close losses. Are there any matchups you are particularly concerned about?

MK: The only guys I am really worried about are Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. The Eagles cornerbacks are "replacement level" talent at best and the Titans duo's speed could cause major issues for Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. A lot of folks forget how good Wright is because of where he plays, but he's a solid possession receiver with the ability to stretch the field and get plenty of yards after the catch. The Eagles would benefit significantly from the return of their pass rush that avoided them against the Packers.

DK: Mike already took Wright and Hunter, but I'm going to take them again. Being concerned about that duo is a given against Williams and Fletcher, both of whom were beaten like practice squad corners against the Packers. I'll also go with the Titans' pass rush, which ranks tied for fourth in the NFL and averages 2.9 sacks per game. The Eagles' offensive line had some pass pro breakdowns against the Packers, and the swarming Titans' front seven -- led by the criminally underrated Jurrell Casey at defensive tackle -- was able to sack Roethlisberger five times, nearly propelling Tennessee to the upset victory. That unit doesn't have one elite sack master, as Casey leads the way with just 4.0, but boasts a committee of eight players with at least 2.0 sacks. In order to slow them down, it's imperative -- again -- that the Eagles somehow find a way to get the run game going. It's what the Steelers did, and Le'Veon Bell went for over 200 yards. The Titans, like the Panthers and Packers, have a bottom-ranked run defense and are coming off an ass-whoopin' in the trenches. Maybe third time will be the charm for the Eagles?

What would it take for the Titans to win this game against an Eagles team that has won nine straight at home and four straight games following a loss?

MK: Simply playing their game will help the Eagles. I'm not sure the Titans offense can go toe-to-toe with the Eagles, as I believe they will still be missing Delanie Walker and still have Zach Mettenberger at quarterback. I am worried that some of the Eagles players will overlook this game but I think you'll see Mark Sanchez on point, basically because he needs to be. This is a home game and the Eagles have been very good in Philadelphia all season, so they just need to play within themselves. On paper, this looks like a 45-13 game, but it will only go that way if the Eagles play like they have at home and not like they have on the road.

DK: Probably for them to play really well and the Eagles to play very poorly and have everything go wrong that can go wrong -- you know, exactly what happened against the Packers. It'll have to be one of those classic rookie quarterback throws for 300-plus yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against a befuddled, discombobulated Eagles defense type of games for Mettenberger. Of course, contradicting this is the hope that the pass rush will bounce back against an infinitely easier target than Aaron Rodgers, and the Titans are giving up 2.5 sacks per game.

Who are two Eagles players on each side of the ball that will have a huge impact on Sunday?

MK: On offense, I'd say LeSean McCoy and Mark Sanchez. McCoy had a rough outing against the Panthers in Week 10 and Sanchez played poorly against the Packers. I think both could turn it around against the Titans. McCoy will go up against a Tennessee defense that has given up 143.5 rushing yards per game (31st in the NFL) and 4.4 yards per carry (tied for 25th in the league). He could really see a good day against a weak run defense. For Sanchez, he is going up against a tight pass defense, but I think McCoy, Darren Sproles and Chris Polk will open up the pass fairly easily and early.

On defense, Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox come to mind. The Titans aren't even close to being proficient with their run game, so this should be a fairly casual assignment for Cox and Thornton. These two lineman are among the most underrated run stoppers in the league and at this point, are the only players on defense I am rushing to give extensions (Mychal Kendricks would be the third guy, he has to stay healthy). The Titans average just 92.5 rushing yards per game (26th in NFL) but 4.2 yards per carry (tied for 12th in league), so they have clearly been forced to abandon the run early, which is why the Eagles need to continue that trend. The Eagles will put up points early and allow Thornton and Cox to drop the Titans averages.

DK: Agreeing with Mike again. Isn't this fun?? Seems like with all the doubt and negativity surrounding Shady right now, with him getting aggravated and insisting he's still the same player, he's due for a "Fuck Everybody" game where he goes for over 100 yards and a touchdown while snapping numerous jock straps of helpless defenders. The Titans' pass defense is a top-10 unit, so Sunday will be a chance for Sanchez -- who had some very Sanchezy moments at Lambeau but also really never had a chance from the beginning -- to bounce back as well, and I'm envisioning at least one touchdown to Jordan Matthews. Matthews continues to look tremendous and is showing us all what kind of force he'll be for years to come. Speaking of rookie wide receivers, I wonder what kind of time Josh Huff will see Sunday after his stone hands performance against the Packers and then his criticism of the special teams coaching staff afterward. Good look, rookie.

At this point the defensive line has spoiled me so much that I just expect them to be difference-makers at the line of scrimmage. I 'll go elsewhere for my impact player and say I think we're going to see Malcolm Jenkins read Mettenberger like a book, bait a throw and get his first interception since the 49ers game.

Be honest, are you already looking forward to the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving? If so, what's your prediction for this one?

MK: I am looking forward to the Cowboys game, but not so much that I am chalking this one up as a lock. I think the Cowboys game is huge for the division. I think the Eagles are a playoff team regardless, but winning the division will likely come down to the two Dallas matchups. The Eagles need to get off to a good start in that series, so I think it's fine to look ahead as a fan. That said, I think the Titans will keep it close in the first half of this game and give some people worries. After halftime, I see the Eagles going up big. I'll call it a 37-17 game with the Eagles winning.

DK: My original prediction was going to be 38-17, but that's way too close to Mike's call. I'll push down the points a bit and say 31-13, Eagles, with one of those four touchdowns coming from the defense or special teams.