Note: This article will be out before the Dallas/Washington game. Since I can’t know what the outcome will be, I’m just going to write around it. (As if we all don’t know that the Redskins will win 24 – 13.)
THIS will be a street fight. Don’t fool yourselves, that’s what we’re in for. The Eagles are defending their dreams of being the home team in the playoffs. Seattle’s playoff future would be greatly aided by beating Philadelphia. This is a need to beat the best, versus the home-team dream.
Beating Seattle would move us to 11-1 and keep us a half game ahead of Minnesota in the bid for home-field advantage. That gives us something to focus on to keep us sharp. Problem is, the Seahawks are a scrappy team, with lots of big game experience. Oh, and they’re also fighting to keep their thin playoff dreams alive. Somehow I doubt that QB Carson Wentz will be pulled early in this one.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Seahawks :
1) Intimidate: Seattle’s leading rusher is QB Russell Wilson (65 – 401 – 6.2 – 3 – NA) by 193 yards. We need to hit him. I didn’t say tackle him. I said HIT him. As in, nail him before he gets into a slide. Nothing dirty. No need or desire to injure him. Just let him know that QB Austin Davis might finish 2017 for him, if he doesn’t keep his ass in the pocket.
2) Snag the line: Only three offensive lines in the NFL allow more hits on their QB than Seattle does. When they block for any of the active RB’s on their roster, the numbers are 155 carries for 463 yards (2.9ypc). To take apart Seattle’s offense, we only need to alternate between confusing and overloading their offensive line. On 2nd and 6 (or longer), we need to hit them with a few exotic blitzes. Not blitz looks, but actual blitzes. On 3rd and long, play it straight-up.
3) Light ‘em up: Seattle picked a poor time to be battling injuries in their secondary. CB Richard Sherman and SS Kam Chancellor are both on IR. So now is the time to floor it, and go right after the vaunted Legion of Boom. People will say that we only beat them because of injuries. So? And? Now is not the time to let an average secondary, trade-off on a rep that they no longer deserve.
4) Run ‘em down: The Seahawks are 9th in the NFL against the run, despite having a small defensive line that averages 283 pounds per man. The last time someone fed our Offense a d-line this small (Cowboys) we ran for 215 yards on it. It’s time to impose our will on yet another team. This is that game where we need to go crazy, and kill a mouse with a sledgehammer. We need to turn RB LeGarrette Blount loose.
If we do all these things, we’re just about guaranteed to win. Now that we’ve covered what should happen, let’s get into what likely will happen:
This game is going to be a fight. At least at first. Russell Wilson is slippery, saavy, and doesn’t have any quit in him. Seattle is a team used to being “the big dawg”. Plus they’ll be playing at home, while attempting to be defiant in the face of overwhelming injury. They will be playing for pride, not just the win.
That having been said, the facts are: Their secondary can’t stop us. Their defensive line can’t stop us. Their offensive line can’t stop anyone. Their RB’s are garbage. Their WR’s are only a threat to their QB, and their crippling reliance on TE Jimmy Graham only makes their offensive “system” as predictable as gravity.
They’re 7-4, but look at against whom, and how those wins have come:
The Seahawks have no answers for the Eagles. None whatsoever. This game will start out as a fight, but we will eventually end up with our knee on their windpipe. Their hands repeatedly sliding off our chest, as Week 13 slips into blackness for them.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 28 – Seahawks 17