PREVIEW: Eagles at Hawks Sunday Night Showdown


Between the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks, who will square off in the nationally-televised game on Sunday evening, the narratives seemed pretty entrenched before the season started.
Given the betting odds for Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks game everyone wants a piece of the action. The ff-winners.com artificial intelligence computer projects Seattle to win 25-22.

One of these two teams was the presumed favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, thanks to a ferocious defense that could single-handedly wrest control of the game from whoever they played, and an MVP-caliber quarterback who could make up for the fact that the team really didn’t have any other stars on offense.

The other team was likely going to be right in the playoff mix themselves, but probably on the outside looking in around this time of year. There were a lot of interesting and talented pieces on defense to work with, and they had a promising do-it-all quarterback of their own, but they didn’t quite seem like they could compete with the very best that the conference had to offer.

Of course, back in September, everyone thought the Seahawks fit that first team description, and the Eagles fit that second team description. And yet, entering the first week of December of 2017, it’s actually the complete opposite.

In a conference that legitimately has as many as 10 teams who could realistically challenge for a playoff spot, the Philadelphia Eagles have been head-and-shoulders above the other nine teams – if not any other team in the NFL. The last time they lost a game, it was still technically summertime (September 17th). They’ve outscored teams by a league-leading 160 points, which is 37 more points than the team with the second-highest point differential. We’re barely clearing our Thanksgiving meals off the table, and yet the Eagles could very likely clinch a playoff spot already.

Meanwhile, if the playoffs started today, the Seahawks would snap a five-year playoff streak, as they’re currently behind the Atlanta Falcons in the playoff standings (both teams have a 7-4 record, but Atlanta has the head-to-head victory tiebreaker). The previously impenetrable Seattle defense has been decimated by injuries along the defensive line, but especially among the pillars of its vaunted “Legion of Boom” secondary; cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor have both been placed on season-ending injured reserve.

But what really makes this game worth watching is the duel between the two quarterbacks playing in this game. We’re very likely looking at two of the three finalists for the 2017-2018 Most Valuable Player award.

Through 12 weeks this season, Carson Wentz of the Eagles leads the NFL in touchdown passes (28), and could become only the third quarterback in NFL history to lead the NFL in touchdown passes in his second year of the league; the other two guys who did so are in the Hall of Fame: Dan Marino and Kurt Warner.

Wilson gets overlooked because he’s seemingly not even the top quarterback in his own conference. But, he has the third most touchdown passes this year (23), is second in total touchdowns (passing + rushing) only behind Wentz, and averages 35 more passing yards per game than Wentz (275 to 240). You could easily make the argument that the Seahawks would be in much bigger trouble if they lost Wilson to a long-term injury, versus if the Eagles lost Wentz to a similar injury.

Regardless, Seattle is going to give Philadelphia everything they have on Sunday evening. The Eagles find themselves in a really tough spot, having to play the Seahawks in Seattle, knowing in the back of their mind that they’ll face the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams one week later. If the Eagles were going to lose again at some point in the regular season, early December looks like the time frame for that to happen.

VIDEO: Philadelphia Eagles Good to Go in 2017

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx0REz6UM2k

The Flight of the 2016 NFL Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles seemed like a mess after the Chip Kelly experiment crashed and burned, and new head coach Doug Pederson inherited a team that had lost offensive weapons DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray because of Kelly’s incompetence.

The Eagles traded up in the 2016 NFL Draft to draft QB Carson Wentz from North Dakota State with the number two overall pick. Many questioned the move, especially for a new head coach to invest his future in a QB who was from an FCS school. Wentz has played exceptionally well through 3 games, leading them to a 3-0 record. His most impressive performance was last week’s 34 to 3 thumping of the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he thre for 301 yards and 2 TDs. The thing critics of Wentz did not take into account even though he played FCS college ball, is thatthe Bison ran a pro-style offense which has allowed for a much easier transition to the NFL with Doug Pederson’s west coast offense.

The Eagles have also emphasized running the ball to help the rookie QB, and they use a four headed monster led by RB Ryan Mathews. Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood are change of pace, “scat” backs that allow Wentz to hit easy checkdowns that can go for big yards. WR Jordan Matthews has become his favorite target, with 15 catches for 204 yards and 2 TDs. Nelson Agholor has also stepped up with 11 catches for 120 yards. Someone to keep an eye on as the season progresses is WR Dorial Green -Beckham, who is 6″ 5′ and could become a monster in the redzone. The defense is in the top 8 in total, pass and rush defense. The run defense has been especially impressive as they are 2nd in the league, led by the best interior DL Fletcher Cox. Cox was just recently NFC defensive player of the month.

The offense has proven to not be too complex for Wentz, as he has shown a knack to take what the defense gives him and not force it into coverage. He will eventually make some rookie mistakes, but if he shows resolve to bounce back and continue to improve and get his playmakers the ball, he could prove to be the answer at QB the Eagles have needed since Donovan McNabb. If the defense continues to play well, the Eagles should earn a playoff spot because the NFC East is so inconsistent and up in the air. Every team has serious issues, the Eagles are  the most consistent team in the division as of right now. They are ranked #12 overall in our NFL computer power rankings.