The Seahawks go into a prime time Thursday night game with the Eagles as a banged up and much maligned team. The Seahawks are better than their 4-7 record, but might not be able to show it because of all of their injuries.
Sydney Rice is out, and has been placed on injured reserve. Backup LB and Special teams ace David Voroba is also on IR. Had he not been hurt, Voroba might have been starting, since LB David Hawthorne is hurt and might not play. Star rookie CB Richard Sherman is also questionable, as is DT Alan Branch. Overall, this is a team that is missing way to many pieces.
The Eagles are also banged up. Starting QB Michael Vick is out, as is their top receiver Jeremy Maclin.
Reason For Optimism
The Eagles have had problems at LB all season, and thus are vulnerable against the run. They’re currently #22 in the league, giving up 4.3 yards per carry. Combine that with the suddenly vibrant Seahawks running game with Marshawn Lynch, and you have a matchup that the Seahawks can exploit.
As long as the Seahawks don’t fall behind early, they should be able to control the clock and keep the the Eagles’ offense on the sideline.
Cause For Concern
The Seahawks have a stout run defense, but it’s strength is in the interior of the defense. Opposing teams have had difficulty running between the tackles on the Seahawks, but that isn’t how the the Eagles attack a defense. The Eagles excel at attacking the edges and stretching teams sideline to sideline with their team speed. LeSean McCoy’s speed could be too much for the Seahawks defense to handle in this game.
I always hate picking against the Seahawks, but when I do they tend to win, and when I pick the Seahawks they tend to lose. So, I’m getting over my problem with picking against the Seahawks. Perhaps I should also get over my internal need to pick the Seahawks to win.
Ultimately, I’m worried about the team speed of the Eagles. I think the Seahawks will struggle to contain McCoy and receiver Desean Jackson. At the same time, QB Vince Young is an interception waiting to happen, and I think that Earl Thomas is going to have a chance at a couple of interception.
On turnovers alone, I’m picking the Seahawks to win 23-21.