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8 winners and 5 losers in the Eagles win over the Raiders

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The best offense is a good defense

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A win is certainly better than a loss, but the Eagles 19-10 victory over the Raiders wasn’t that much better than not winning. Stick some coal in the offense’s stocking.

WINNERS

The Eagles, barely

It was ugly, but the Eagles clinched the #1 seed in the NFC. The road to the Super Bowl goes through Philly, however short or long it is.

Zach Ertz

9 catches for 81 yards was one of his better games of the season, and there was ample opportunity for more if Nick Foles had any accuracy.

The defense

The Raiders stink, but after getting raked by the Giants last week to give up just 10 points and get five turnovers, including on the final play to ice it, is a great bounce back. It wasn’t always pretty, with the secondary having some rough moments, but they got back to their dominant ways at home, where they’ve given up 10 points or less 5 times. They’ll face a better offense in January, but confidence should be at least partially restored.

Jason Kelce

Kelce has been excellent all year and deserved a Pro Bowl nod, but with Wentz out it seems he’s stepped up his game to another level with multiple key blocks on big runs against the Giants and Raiders.

Jake Elliott

With the #1 seed on the line, Elliott cooly nailed a 48 yarder on a cold, windy night. That’s his second game winner of the season, and in both he missed an earlier kick. Cool under pressure.

Carson Wentz’s MVP argument

Wentz isn’t going to win it, and missing three games he shouldn’t, but this game put to rest any of the “system QB” arguments that Wentz’s great season was a result of being in some perfect offense for QBs. Yes, people were actually claiming that. And they still might, but with everyone watching this game and Nick Foles play poorly, everyone knows that argument is bunk.

The wind

The wind claimed victories over both kickers, pushing high percentage kicks wide and impacting kickoffs. Jake Elliott’s strong leg should be an asset in January. With Greg Zuerlein out, no playoff team has an advantage there.

Philly sports

2-0 on Christmas. Happy Holidays.

LOSERS

Nick Foles

Last week we saw 2013 Foles, this week we saw 2014 Foles, will we see 2015 Foles next week? He underthrew receivers, overthrew receivers, missed easy runs for first down, and had poor pocket awareness. The Raiders defense was dreadful. Foles was even worse. The Raiders are bottom five in passer rating (102.6), yards per attempt (7.7) and completion percentage (69.0) and Foles played like a bottom 5 QB with a 59.4 rating on 4.3 yards per attempt and completing 50% of his passes.

Lane Johnson

Johnson had a great game against Khalil Mack, but his three penalties negated gains of 25, 11 and 22 yards. Giving up three sacks instead might have been better.

The Raiders and omens

Oakland are a cautionary tale for the Eagles: last season was a near-mirror image of the Eagles this year, as Derek Carr led the team to one of the best records in the league then fell to injury and it all fell apart. In the offseason virtually everything the Raiders touched turned to ash: their decision to fire their offensive coordinator has backfired, they’ve fired their defensive coordinator, and free agency has been a bust.

Duracell and ESPN

The in-game promotion reminding people of the 1968 Santa Claus halftime was a great advertisement for Energizer. ESPN’s recycled special after the game was equally insulting.

Some Jake Elliot fantasy football owners

Doug Pederson deciding to take a knee screwed some people over.

Ouch.