The Seahawks try to move to 7-2-1 on the season as they host the 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles today at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
For all of the hoopla surrounding the Eagles great start, and in particular how good rookie QB Carson Wentz looked, Philadephia is looking to right the ship in Seattle today. Losers of 4 of their last 6, they sit in last place in the NFC East. They need to make a statement.
Meanwhile, Seattle is trying to stay close enough to Dallas to still take a shot at the top overall seed in the NFC. A win today puts them in great position to finish out the 2016 season strong. The Eagles are the only team on their remaining schedule that enters this weekend with a winning record.
Here are 3 Things To Watch in today’s game:
SEAHAWKS OFFENSE AGAINST PHILLY’S D:
Don’t look now, but the Eagles have been playing some of the best defense in the league. They’re 6th overall in yards allowed per game, and their 17.8 points per game allowed is third, just a tick behind the Seahawks. In particular, it’s their pass defense that’s leading the way, ranked 7th in the NFL for passing yards allowed per game. Russell Wilson is coming off his best performance of the year, and looks to be as healthy as he’s been all season. He will have his work cut out for him today.
HOW READY IS THOMAS RAWLS?
The Seahawks 2015 rookie RB sensation is expected to play today after missing the last 7 games due to a broken bone in his leg. Head coach Pete Carroll said Rawls “looked great” in practice this week and is ready to go. The question is, how much of the load will he be able to shoulder?
Rookie C.J. Prosise had a breakout performance against the Patriots, but it was his first extended action of the year after he himself battled injuries most of the year.
When Rawls is 100% healthy and back in rhythm, the Seahawks immediately become a better running team. They currently rank 30th in the league in rushing yards a game, and are clearly looking to Rawls as a sparkplug after waiving leading rusher Christine Michael this week in anticipation of his return.
The Eagles are giving up 100 yards a game on the ground, which puts them 11th in the league. The Seahawks will be looking to find the right combination of Prosise and Rawls today.
IS CARSON WENTZ UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
The rookie first round draft pick out of North Dakota State has been impressive at times, but has struggled more as the season progresses. His 9/5 TD/INT ratio is respectable, but he currently sits at 27th for QB rating. He’s taken 19 sacks, and this could play right into Seattle’s hands.
The Seahawks defense will be the best he’s faced so far this year, and the setting one of the most intimidating. He was drawing comparisons with some of the all-time great rookies while throwing 7 TD’s to just one interception through week #5. Since then, however, he’s thrown just 2 scores while being picked off four times.
The Seahawks pass rush, backed by one of the league’s premier secondaries, could make it a very long day for the rookie signal-caller.