Tue, 19 Jan 2021

Game Preview | Seahawks vs. Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles
30 Nov 2020, 18:12 GMT+10

Chris McPherson

Some interesting streaks have come to an end this season. The Eagles' eight-game win streak over the Giants concluded on November 15. Last Sunday, the Browns stopped a five-game losing streak to the Eagles, one that spanned 26 years.

So, in the spirit of everything that is 2020, it's only fitting that the Eagles beat the Seattle Seahawks (7-3, tied for first place in the NFC West) on Monday Night Football (Kickoff Show presented by Axalta at 7:30 PM).

Head Coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz are 0-4, including playoffs, against quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. The Eagles haven't defeated the Seahawks since 2008. They haven't won in Philadelphia since 1989.

The Eagles seem to raise their game in prime time with a perfect 3-0 under the bright lights this season.

Here's to 4-0. More ahead in our Game Preview, presented by Unibet.

The epitome of toughness

Jason Kelce is set to start in his 100th consecutive game on Monday night. Read more about what the All-Pro center brings to the team in this week's issue.

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Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro's 3 keys to an Eagles victory

1. Stay on the field offensively. The Eagles are struggling on offense, as we all know. And a prime reason for that - along with giveaways - is the failure recently to sustain drives. The Eagles are 2-for-21 on third down in the last two games, both losses. They've done poorly on first and second down, which has led to too many third-and-long situations, and they just haven't been able to convert and play in front of the sticks. That's a formula that won't work against a Seattle pass rush that will go after quarterback Carson Wentz, who has been sacked and hit more than any quarterback in the league. The Eagles need to be patient and get to third-and-short situations and then move the chains.

2. Seattle ranks 27th in the NFL in sacks allowed, as quarterback Russell Wilson has been decked 33 times. Of course, he also has 30 touchdown passes, so he's able to get up and change the course of a possession because he's so great. The Eagles must get after Wilson and limit his runs and use the defensive front four to win at the line of scrimmage and create havoc. The Eagles are undoubtedly familiar with Wilson, who is 5-0 against the Eagles in his career (including playoffs) with eight touchdown passes and only one interception. How can the Eagles limit the damage he does with his legs and still put pressure on a pocket that he magically escapes from time and time again?

3. Scoring early has been a problem for the Eagles, who have managed just three points in the first half of their two recent losses combined. But in this one, it's a whole lot better to play with a lead and force Wilson to play catch up. Key No. 3, then, is to get the offense going early, build confidence for a struggling Wentz, and dictate to a good Seattle team. It's so hard to keep coming from behind, as the Eagles have learned in 2020. Jumping out early in this prime-time game would go a long way toward pushing the Eagles to a victory.

By The Numbers

3 - All three Eagles wins have come in prime time.

9 - The Eagles allowed only nine points to the Seahawks in each of their two meetings last season, including the playoffs.

5.02 - The Eagles rank third in the NFL in yards per carry with a 5.02-yard average.

34 - The Eagles' total of 34 sacks is second in the league only to the Pittsburgh Steelers (38).

434.9 - Seattle's defense allows the most total yards per game in the NFL.

19.8 - The Eagles have allowed just 19.8 points per game since Week 7, the sixth-lowest average in the league, according to NFL Media Research.

75 - Running back Miles Sanders has at least 75 scrimmage yards in every game he's played this season, tied for the longest active streak in 2020 along with Minnesota's Dalvin Cook, according to NFL Media Research.

10 - Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf leads the league with 10 deep receptions this season, according to NFL Media Research.

Behind Enemy Lines

Lydia Cruz from Seahawks.com joined the Eagles Insider Podcast to discuss quarterback Russell Wilson and why Seattle's defense is turning the corner.

Dave Spadaro: Three times this year Russell Wilson has had three or more turnover in a game and all three games Seattle has lost. Is there some magic secret sauce to getting Russell Wilson to cough it up three or four times on Monday night?

Cruz: "I think those did coincide with Seattle losing their top two running backs, both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde hitting the injury report at the same time was a huge blow for them. I think Russell Wilson occasionally has a tendency to take things upon himself. We know he can scramble on his own, but you don't ideally want him to be the team's leading rusher.

"Russell has definitely had a few moments where he held on to the ball too long this year. And Pete Carroll's mentioned that and had some conversations with Russell Wilson over a couple of those fumbles or just a few of those interceptions that he's thrown being poor decisions that he needs to work on, but those two have absolute belief in one another.

Spadaro: How does the offensive line look through 10 games?

Cruz: "I think they've progressed so much with the addition of (Offensive Line Coach) Mike Solari in the past couple of years and getting Duane Brown as the left tackle. He has been absolutely lock down and when you mention team leaders, the names that come up besides Russell Wilson, that come up besides Bobby Wagner, it's Duane Brown immediately, so he's been huge for this offense and anchoring things down on the left side.

"They've have had a different starting center for the last three games, which I do think has not helped them in terms of getting a run game going. The good news for them is that Ethan Pocic, he's their starting center, looks like he'll be back this week.

"The bad news though is that Brandon Shell who has been the starting right tackle did pop up on the injury report (Shell was ruled out on Saturday). Things might be a little concerning in terms of shuffling some things in the trenches, but I think having the starting center in place is going to be huge for the offensive line."

Spadaro: How good is that defense going on Monday night going against a struggling Eagles offense, new offensive line for the 10th game?

Cruz: "Improving. At the beginning of the year, they were having some struggles and if you look at the numbers in terms of Pete Carroll's defense, historically bad, but I also think they didn't have - like many defenses this year with everything going on with COVID - the time to jell together to get that continuity.

"Then you have the acquisition of players along the way, whether that's Damon 'Snacks' Harrison, whether that is Carlos Dunlap, or whether that's Jamal Adams, and those guys getting added into this defense also now just getting healthy. I think you've seen their production, especially in the pass-rush side of things, really ramp up in the past couple of weeks, their sack numbers have gone dramatically up. I think that is the good news for them. If they can continue to progress on the pass rush front as well as get people healthy - they've been missing their starting corner Shaquill Griffin for a couple of weeks but he is looking good to return - so they can get healthy down the stretch, that will be huge for them."

Final Injury Report

SEAHAWKS

OUT

• RB Travis Homer (wrist/thumb/knee)

• T Brandon Shell (ankle)

QUESTIONABLE

• C/G Kyle Fuller (ankle)

• CB D.J. Reed (foot)

• G Jordan Simmons (calf)

EAGLES

OUT

• S Rudy Ford (hamstring)

• T Lane Johnson (ankle)

• G Sua Opeta (back/placed on IR)

QUESTIONABLE

• T/G Jason Peters (toe)

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