Inside the matchup: Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles
January 2, 2020
Okay admit it, you’re still not quite sure what happened against San Francisco last week. The first half had you wondering how bad the final score would look. Then Marshawn Lynch dove into the end zone and you started to believe in the team again. In the final seconds it looked like Seattle was going to pull off an upset at home and win the division title. Instead, Seattle fans now have to navigate the NFL playoffs as a #5 seed. Yes, a #5 seed has won the Super Bowl before. It happened back in 2007 when the #5 seeded New York Giants beat an undefeated New England Patriots team. The good news for the Seahawks…they are playing the Philadelphia Eagles next week. Of all the teams getting a home game in the first round, the Eagles are the most vulnerable. The Seahawks should have the advantage at all of the offensive skill positions because the Eagles injury problems run even deeper than Seattle’s.
Carson Wentz put together a fine season at quarterback for Philadelphia. He ended the season with a 64 percent completion rate and threw for more than 4,000 yards. Carson had 27 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions on the year and for only the second time in his four-year career he was able to stay healthy for all sixteen games of the season. Russell Wilson’s numbers were even better. A 66 percent completion rate and over 4,100 yards passing to go with 31 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Advantage Seattle.
Philadelphia running backs #24 Jordan Howard, and #26 Miles Sanders, are the Eagles’ top running backs. Sanders was injured against the Giants last week and Howard didn’t play. Neither are expected to be available next week. #35 Boston Scott is likely their best option at running back and he was on the team’s practice squad as recently as October. Advantage Seattle.
In the regular season preview of these teams I mentioned Philadelphia’s tight end #86 Zach Ertz. When healthy, Ertz is a game changing player. Ertz is also currently injured and not likely to play in next week's game. Instead, #88 Dallas Goedert will be playing TE and be the top receiving option for Wentz as wide receivers Alston Jeffery and Nelson Agholor are both out as well. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are elite receivers in the NFL and both are currently healthy. Advantage Seattle.
Philadelphia does have a slight edge in the kicking game. #4 Jake Elliot has missed only four field goal attempts this season and all of them were from 40 yards or more. He has missed two extra points in thirty-seven tries. Seattle’s Jason Myers has missed five field goal attempts this season from 40 yards or more. He has also made 40 of 44 extra points on the season.
Three keys to the game for Seattle:
Give Russell Wilson time to throw.
Over 100 combined rushing yards for Seattle.
No more injuries.