Seahawks vs. Eagles: Getting to know the Philadelphia Eagles


The Seattle Seahawks face what will surely be their toughest test as the fourth quarter of the 2014 season begins.

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This weekend, they travel to Philadelphia to take on a 9-3 Eagles team that continues to win despite the loss of their starting QB. This matchup will feature the NFL’s 4th-ranked Eagles offense against the Seahawks No. 1 ranked defense.

Philadelphia is 6-0 at home this year, with their three losses coming via Green Bay and two NFC West teams, Arizona and San Francisco.

The coaches know each other well.

Both come from the college ranks and the PAC-12, Chip Kelly from Oregon and Pete Carroll from USC. Carroll and Kelly faced each other three times on the field in college and Kelly has the edge 2-1. This will the first game between the two coaches in the NFL.

Philadelphia features the same hurry-up offense their coach used in college. By design, it tires out defenses and because of the tempo, can leave an unprepared team with problems setting positions and getting guys in the right places to provide correct coverage. Connor Barwin leads the team with 12.5 sacks, while Mychal Kendricks and Malcolm Jenkins have 54 and 53 combined tackles, respectively.

Offensively, the Eagles have the No. 3 running back in the league, LeSean McCoy, who has 1,018 yards and four touchdowns as well as the 7th-ranked receiver Jeremy Maclin, with 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns. Mark Sanchez has now started four games in place of the injured Nick Foles and they are 3-1 in that time, winning by an average score of 40-18.

Seahawks fans will also see a couple of familiar faces in uniform for the opponent.

Chris Maragos played on Seattle’s special teams for three years. Often sited as an emotional leader on the Seahawks, Maragos left Seattle this past offseason as a free agent and signed with the Eagles.

Chris Polk played four years at the University of Washington, becoming one of the most prolific running backs in Husky history. He was of the team that stunned Nebraska 19-7 in the 2010 Holiday Bowl, rushing for 177 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2012 and he is currently third on the depth chart at running back.

Finally, the Eagles lead the series between these two teams, 7-6.

Of note however, is that since 2001 the teams are tied at 3-3, with two of those Seahawks win coming in Philadephia including a 42-0 shellacking in a Monday night game during their 2005 Super Bowl run. The last time these two teams met was 2011 at CenturyLink Field with Seattle coming out on top 31-14.

This game will probably be the best for the entire weekend.

Russell Wilson has never faced the Eagles, but his Wisconsin team did play Kelly’s Oregon team.  The Eagles are really good, but they have not faced a defense this year that is as good, and as complete as Seattle’s.

I know I want the Seahawks to win, and I hope they do and get out of there without injury, because the rest of the NFC West awaits, after this Sunday.