Week 12 Matchup: Eagles vs Seahawks
I’m all for putting an asterisk on this season and completely forgetting this year ever happened. For some reason, I had a bad feeling going into last week's game against the Browns. As an Eagles fan, it feels that whenever it’s a game against a team they should have no problem winning against, they end up getting annihilated, but when it’s a tough team they end up pulling off a shocking victory. I’m really hoping that’s the case this week because the Eagles are headed into a tough stretch in their schedule and it starts off against a Monday night game against the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, they may have a tough time beating these guys since the Eagles have not defeated the Seahawks since 2008, and Seattle is somehow undefeated at Lincoln Financial Field. Streaks are meant to be broken, right? Just look at the Giants snapping a losing streak and the WFT snapping another. Both involved defeating the Eagles, but that should give us some hope right? Anyway...here is a preview of this Monday night matchup.
After defeating the Cardinals last week, the Seahawks are headed into Philadelphia with some strong motivation. They currently occupy first place thanks to the Los Angeles Rams to losing their game on Sunday, so they will need to win in order to maintain their status as kings of the NFC West. Trying to slow down D.K. Metcalf seems like a task for the entire Eagles defense, but the bulk of that will probably fall onto Darius Slay. When the Eagles faced him last regular season, he hadn’t necessarily blown up (three receptions for 34 yards), but he burnt them pretty badly in their playoff matchup (seven receptions, 160 yards, one touchdown). This season Metcalf has 48 catches for 862 yards with nine touchdowns, and it appears like he isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
With Metcalf blowing up like he is, teams tend to forget about their other WR Tyler Lockett, who is on pace to have a career season. Through 10 games, the six-year pro has 67 catches for 748 yards with eight touchdowns. If Slay is tasked with covering Metcalf, you can probably see Avonte Maddox and Nickell Robey-Coleman (both have struggled) covering Lockett.
Russell Wilson celebrated his 32nd birthday this weekend, but he is still beating father time and is a threat through the air and in the run game. He is on pace to having his second-best season in his career. Through 10 games this season he has 367 rushing yards and a touchdown; in his career against the Eagles, he has averaged 31.6 rushing yards per game.
The weirdest thing about the Seahawks is that they have such a strong offense that people have not even noticed that their defense has been a disaster. Seattle is 28th in points allowed and 32nd in yards allowed. They have given up an average of 343.7 yards per game, but in recent weeks they’ve been better in this area. (gave up 300+ passing yards just once in the last four games).
It’s been tough to back Carson Wentz all season. Excuse after excuse just does not seem to cut it, he’s simply just having a bad (and frustrating) season. It’s been even more frustrating to watch him perform this year after seeing him play so well in previous years. The most aggravating thing about this season is that we have seen what he can do in small spurts, but then there are moments like last week where he refuses to throw the ball away and gets sacked or turns the ball over. But maybe...just maybe he’ll be able to bounce back on Monday night and take advantage of a week pass defense in Seattle. Carson Wentz threw for 235 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the loss, one of those interceptions being a 50-yard pick-six.
Wentz was sacked five times last week, adding to an NFL-high 40 sacks heading into Monday night’s matchup. At some point last week, it just seemed like the offensive line gave up on themselves and the team, and one of those members was Jason Peters. He had given up three sacks, three QB hits, and seven pressures in 47 snaps before exiting the game early due to an injury. He is now being moved back to right guard, giving Jordan Mailata the remaining six games to prove he's the left tackle of the future they desperately need. Defensively, the Eagles have been playing pretty well in stopping the run game, but then they get burnt in every other part on the field. Even if they started playing with more discipline on the field, it could possibly give Wilson a chance to run the ball down himself. It’ll be interesting to see how this game is played out.
Both teams are weaker in some places than others, but the difference between the Seahawks and Eagles is that the Eagles' weak points have been exploited more than Seattle’s. Although they have been giving up a lot of points and yards in their games, Seattle has managed to keep it close in all of their games this year, unlike the Birds. There are six games left in the year...will the Eagles turn it around? Or are they headed to an ugly end to an ugly season? Find out Monday at 8:15PM...