The worst part of this game is going to be listening to Phil Simms for three hours. Trust me, we don’t have to worry about a thing.
Well, let me take that back. Go ahead and do a LITTLE worrying. The Eagles have a better defense than anyone expected coming into the season. They’re in the upper echelon in sacks and takeaways. They’re 6th best in yards per game allowed, due to their being 7th in passing yards allowed per game (they’re middle of the road in rushing yards allowed). Most importantly, they’re third in fewest points allowed per game, just a couple total points behind us on the season and right there with Arizona (who, you may recall, recently held us to a whopping 6 points).
On the flipside, their offense is pretty mediocre. They run the ball okay, but Carson Wentz – after a pretty solid first four games to his young career – has been a disaster of late. In those first four games (against Cle, Chi, Pit, Det), he completed 67% of his passes, with 7 TDs to 1 INT, and a passer rating of 103.5 (while taking only 5 sacks). In the remaining five games (against WA, Min, Dal, NYG, Atl), he completed 63% of his passes, with 2 TDs to 4 INTs, and a passer rating of 75.3 (while taking a whopping 12 sacks). Obviously, you look at the difference in competition – particularly on defense – and you can see why he’s struggled so much of late.
Well, SURPRISE, the Seahawks are right up there among the best on defense! While we’re still a couple weeks away from Michael Bennett coming back (I hope), we’re still pretty rock solid with Avril & Clark up front, Wagner & Wright in the middle, and a secondary complete with Kam Chancellor to keep things in check.
Bottom line: I’m going to go with the group and say the Eagles don’t score more than 10 points in this game, with a reasonable shot at a shutout if we can avoid turnovers and short fields for their offense.
The flipside of this is, of course, how our offense will fare against their defense. The last thing I really feel like seeing is a kick-ass defensive line, but here we are. The Eagles have three players with at least 4 sacks on the year, including tackle Fletcher Cox who is just a fucking nightmare and someone I could see giving our young guards fits in this one. Particularly if they do a lot of blitzing up the middle, thus preoccupying Britt and allowing one-on-ones for Cox and their two great ends.
It feels like the O-Line is making VERY TINY improvements from week to week as they gain experience and get used to playing with one another. Well, this week is going to be a huge test. Suffice it to say, I’m happy to be at home.
On offense, it looks like Rawls is back. The one-two punch with him and Prosise should (hopefully) bring our running game back to respectability. And, of course, Russell Wilson is playing as well as he ever has, so I fully expect our passing game to exploit whatever matchups there are to exploit.
It might be a sloppy one, but I fully expect our defense to dominate, and I fully expect our offense to make just enough big plays to win it ugly. Maybe something along the lines of 20-6 or 20-10.