This Sunday’s primetime matchup features the 10-1 Eagles flying into town to face the 7-4 Seahawks. The Eagles will come in to Sunday night as the consensus “Best Team” in football. Riding a nine game winning streak, Philly opens as a 4 point favorite versus the Hawks. Something that is rarely the case when playing at the Clink.
With the Eagles playing so well, and the Seahawks seeming to be in ruin, not many are giving Seattle a chance. The reality however, is the Seahawks have a very good chance of giving the Eagles their second loss of the year, and simultaneously boosting themselves back into the championship conversation.
The Seattle running game has declined to a state where if even 5 or 6 plays on the day go for decent yardage, then we had a decent game. That reality isn’t going to change any time soon, with the Eagles boasting the #1 run defense in the NFL. Philadelphia is also right at the top offensively, coming in with the league’s #2 rushing offense. The likes of Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, and Wendell Smallwood, who as a group rush 4.4 yds per carry, give Philly a “3-headed monster” running back committe.
Fortunately for Seattle, their run defense is pretty damn good! They come in currently ranked 9th in the league, but would likely be higher if it weren’t for two uncharacteristic games in weeks 2 and 3, when Carlos Hyde and Demarco Murray broke for big runs padding otherwise pedestrian performances. Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson were made insignificant in their outings against the Seattle D. There is little reason to assume the case won’t be the same for Eagles RBs.
With the ball in the air, Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense actually have the statistical advantage! Wilson has quite literally been the Seahawks’ entire offense this season. Seattle has 23 TDs through the air compared to just 4 on the ground. 3 of the 4 rushing scores were by Russell himself. Despite having virtually no ground game, Wilson is currently tied for 3rd in the league in yards. He is completing 64% of his throws, and has a rating of 95.2. The Seattle offense has shown the propensity to score with the better offensive teams in the league. Games against the Titans, Texans, Falcons, and a blowout versus the Colts, prove the Hawks have firepower.
Both teams score 30+ points in this game. Seahawks will play chase until an opportunistic defense forces a turnover early in the 4th qtr. Wilson will drive the Seattle offense down for the go-ahead score midway through the 4th, and the defense will stave off a late rally by Carson Wentz.
Final score: 35-31 Seahawks