Game: Oakland Raiders (6-8) at Eagles (12-2)
When: Monday, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field
TV: 6ABC/ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters).
Radio: 94WIP (Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin).
Happy for the 6 Eagles elected to the Pro Bowl. Also deserving were Jason Kelce (who had a career year), Tim Jernigan, Brandon Graham, and Donnie Jones. Jones’ gross and average numbers may not be gaudy but no punter comes up bigger in critical situations.
— Merrill Reese (@mreeseeagles) December 20, 2017
Spanish radio: La Mega, 105.7 FM (Rickie Ricardo, Gus Salazar, Maria Berral).
Line: Eagles -9. Over-under: 47.5.
Eagles vs. spread: 10-4.
Raiders vs. spread: 4-8-2.
Spread stuff: The Eagles have covered their last five at home. Oakland is 1-4-1 against the spread on the road and are in the midst of an ugly 2-8-2 run against the spread since Week 2.
Weather forecast: Dry and cold with 10-15 mph winds. Low temperature of 27 degrees.
History lesson: The Eagles are 6-6 all-time against the Raiders, including Oakland’s win in Super Bowl 15 following the 1980 season. Their last meeting was in 2013 when the Eagles thumped the Raiders in Oakland, 49-20, behind seven touchdown passes by Nick Foles. Oakland’s last visit to Philadelphia also was memorable as David Akers kicked the game-winning field goal despite a torn hamstring in 2005.
Referee: Ronald Torbert is in his fourth season as a referee after spending four seasons as a side judge. His only Eagles game as the lead ref was in 2015 when the Birds manhandled the Saints, 39-17. The only Oakland game he refereed was last season’s wild-card loss when the under-manned Raiders really had no chance and lost at Houston, 27-14. Last week, Torbut’s crew was in New Orleans as the Saints dumped the Jets, 31-19. His down judge, formerly called the head linesman, is Sarah Thomas, who will be working her first Eagles game.
Christmas presence: This will be just the second time in Eagles franchise history they are playing on Dec. 25. In 2006, Jeff Garcia led them to a win at Dallas which clinched an unlikely playoff spot. (The Eagles turned a 5-6 start into a 10-6 division crown.) Philadelphia is 3-1 on Dec. 26, however, including that win over the Packers for the 1960 NFL title. Oakland’s only other game on Christmas was in 2004 when they lost at Kansas City on a last-minute field goal to fall to 5-10.
Eagles playoff scenarios: The Eagles will clinch homefield advantage with a win or a loss by the Vikings, who host the Packers on Saturday night (8:30 p.m., NBC). Green Bay has been eliminated and will be without Aaron Rodgers, which certainly doesn’t help the Eagles.
Raiders playoff scenarios: The Raiders are still mathematically alive, but there’s a better chance of Al Davis walking through the door than them making the postseason.
Welcome home: Raiders defensive end Jihad Ward went to Bok Vocational Tech high school in South Philadelphia. A second-round pick in 2016, Ward had been deactivated for most of the season before starting last week against the Cowboys.
What’s next: The Eagles will close the regular season on Dec. 31 in a home game against Dallas (8-6). The Cowboys host Seattle on Sunday (4:25 p.m. Fox).
What we’ll be watching: The defense. In the last two weeks, the Eagles have allowed 35 points to the Rams (which included a special-teams touchdown) and 29 to the Giants, causing plenty of consternation among fans and cornerback Ronald Darby to send out a juvenile tweet. To his credit, Darby apologized.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 21, 2017
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