What to Watch Eagles vs Seahawks
What a difference a year makes.
The Eagles went to Seattle a year ago, and left the pacific northwest with a 26-15 loss, tonight they are in Seattle as 6.5 point favorites, sitting at 10-1.
They face a Seahawks team fitting for a spot in the NFC playoff field, with a Falcons loss today, Seattle can find themselves in the field with a win tonight against the Eagles.
Seahawks banged up secondary vs Carson Wentz.
Last season, Wentz completed 23 of 45 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions - but that was against the 'Legion of Boom'. This time around the Seahawks secondary looks completely different with Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor both missing the rest of the season due to injury.
Former Eagles free agent bust Byron Maxwell has returned to the Seattle secondary and has played well and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expects Earl Thomas to play, giving them
Eagles Running Game vs Seahawks Linebackers
The Eagles have the third most rushing yards in the NFL this season (1,622) and have three running backs helping to carry-the-load. This week they will face a strong front-seven and one of the best linebackers in the league in Bobby Wagner and his partner K.J. Wright is very good.
The Seattle defense is top 10 in the league against the run, giving up just 98.4 yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry.
Eagles Pass Rush vs Seattle offensive Line.
Minus a running threat this year, the Seahawks have become a pass-first offense. However, one major issue for them has been their offensive line. They will have their fifth different starting combination along the offensive line tonight.
Tonight they will face one of the best pass rushes in the NFL with the Eagles, who like to keep their guys fresh and come after the quarterback with their four-man rush.
While Russell Wilson has only been sacked 26 times, mainly because he is able to avoid sacks by moving around the pocket, the Eagles should be able to get him moving around.
The Eagles rank seventh in the league with 31 total sacks, so this is a match-up they can exploit and possibly force Wilson into a mistake tonight.
Michael Bennett vs Halapoulivaati Vaitai
With Cliff Avril out for the year, Michael Bennett is the Seahawks best pass rusher and he'll need to have a big game tonight against Eagles left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Vaitai has been solid, but not great, replacing Jason Peters, but tonight might be his toughest test to date, playing in a very hostile environment, against a very good player in Bennett.
Seahawks lack of Run Game
The Eagles are the best run-stopping team in the NFL, giving up 65.1 yards per game and 3.5 per carry. The Seahawks have been a MASH unit at running back, with Wilson pretty much leading the way, he leads the team with 401 yards rushing.
While their run blocking has improved since the Duane Brown trade, the Eagles should be able to take away this part of the game and focus in on Wilson in the passing game, making them very one-dimensional.
The Pick: Eagles 34, Seahawks 17