Seahawks at Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles come to the pacific northwest to take on a Seattle Seahawks team that appears to be on the brink of returning to Superbowl form. The Eagles are looking to keep in a fierce NFC East race, while the Seahawks are fighting to earn a first round playoff bye, and deliver coach Pete Carroll his 100th regular season win.
The Eagles (5-4) started the season 3-0, behind a strong defense, and red hot rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. Both Wentz and the Eagles have since cooled off, losing four of the next five before a big win last week over the NFC South leading Atlanta Falcons. The Philadelphia offense ranks 10th in points scored per game. They boast an effective running games anchored by perennial king of the scat backs Darren Sproles. The specialize in intermediate passes, many of which go to Sproles, rarely challenging deep. They average a mere 6.82 yards per pass attempt, 25th in the league.
The Eagles offense will have a tough time with the Seahawk defense. Seattle ranks second in total scoring, and is coming off of a huge win in New England. The Seahawks rank third in sacks, lead by Cliff Avril with seven, and sophomore sensation Frank Clark with 7.5. Add a stout run defense, and the ever dangerous Legion of Boom, and you have a tough situation for the Eagles.
Defensively, Philadelphia is very stout. They rank right behind Seattle in points allowed per game, and are top six in total yards and sacks. While they lack star power, they are a solid unit throughout. In contrast, the Seahawks offense isn’t lacking for playmakers. Quarterback Russell Wilson leads a group that has seemingly awoken from an early season slumber. After a close loss to the New Orleans Saints the team has allowed Wilson, now mostly recovered from myriad early season injuries, to open up the offense and take shots down field. The result has been back-to-back 31 points games, and a deep passing attack that in two weeks went from ranking 31st in the league to 10th.
The Seahawks offense also has a running back group that presents some real challenges. Thomas Rawls, who lead the league in yard per attempt last year, returns from injury and is expected to have a heavy workload. In addition, rookie CJ Prosise has emerged as a true dual threat who can run like a running back, and get down the field to make catches like a wide receiver. Don’t forget about Doug Baldwin and potential comeback player of the year Jimmy Graham, both of which have the capability to take over a game. While the Eagles have a good defense, I anticipate this offense will score plenty of points.
The Seahawks at home are a tough match-up for anyone. Seattle is on a roll, seemingly peaking at the right time. The Eagles are a good team, but they are walking into a buzz saw here.