Here’s how the Seahawks can ground the Eagles Sunday night
The Seahawks have to minimize the big play from Wentz
Back? Great. I’ll just add that while the Eagles may have the better run defense, the Seahawks still come out on top in pass defense. Philadelphia is 17th in yards allowed through the air, while Seattle ranks ninth. Carson Wentz is having a spectacular season, of course. He’s also only played two teams that rank in the top ten in pass defense, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Carolina Panthers.
Against those teams, he still played well, although he certainly didn’t feast on their defenses as he did against Denver or Chicago. For example, against the Panthers Wentz only completed 16 passes on 30 attempts. He made the plays when they counted though, as he threw for three touchdowns. Seattle needs to minimize those big plays.
Seahawks Legion of Boom can still get it done
Earl Thomas and his Legion of Boom 2 crew have to stay on top of the Philadelphia receivers. They’re capable of doing just that, just as the Seahawks front seven is capable of limiting the Eagles running game. Alshon Jeffery catches less than half his targets but he’s 6’4″. Torrey Smith still has some jets in his cleats, so the expected return of Shaquill Griffin will be very welcome indeed. Zach Ertz is Wentz’s favorite target, but Seattle does a pretty good job on opposing tight ends. They’ve allowed just 51 catches on 88 targets, a 58 percent completion percentage. Seattle’s defenders may have taken a few hits in the past few weeks, but they’re more than capable of keeping any team within reach.
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So: control the ground game and minimize big plays by the opposing quarterback. Sounds simple, right? If it was, the Eagles wouldn’t be 10 -1 though. Of course, they haven’t faced the Seattle quarterback. The Seahawks defense will do enough in this one for the win.