The Seahawks should definitely beat the Eagles tonight, but that doesn’t mean this is an easy win. There are three big reasons this one isn’t automatic.
The Seahawks are coming off a nice win over a division rival, and have had back-to-back reasonably good defensive performances. In the Eagles, they’re facing a 3-6-1 team that is every bit as bad as the record shows. And yet, this Monday night tilt could be much tougher than it seems on paper. I see a few reasons why this could be more trouble than it appears at first.
First, Russell Wilson hasn’t been the quarterback we saw in the first few weeks of the season. Last week, he finally stopped the horrific slew of mistakes he’d gone through. 10 turnovers in three of four games are bad for any quarterback; for the guy known as DangeRuss, it was almost unbelievable. He looked solid last week versus Arizona. He only threw for two scores, but he was in control. If you focused just on Wilson, you might have thought you were watching a game from 2013 or 2014. That’s not a bad thing at all.
The problem there is the Eagles have a better pass defense than the Cardinals. Philly has only allowed 13 passing touchdowns on the season, third-best in the league. They’re also sixth in fewest passing yards allowed. Granted, some of that is a product of playing in the NFC Least, but that’s the Cowboys home too, and they’re dead last in touchdown passes allowed. So Wilson may have a tougher time than some expect. If he plays like he did in weeks one through four, the defense doesn’t matter; we’ll see.
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The second issue I see with this game is the Seahawks defense. Sure, they’ve played better, as I said. This defense isn’t performing within miles of the amazing Legion of Boom. Now, I’ve argued that the defense wasn’t as bad as it appears for most of the season. They give up far too many yards but have kept the points down. Don’t forget Buffalo scored 17 of their 44 points on drives that totaled 45 yards. Those all resulted from Wilson miscues.
But still, the Hawks defense hasn’t held an opponent to less than 21 points all year. Does that look like a championship defense to you? Granted, if Russ is right, the Seahawks should be able to hang 35 on any team. But he hasn’t been right. Or at least, not Mr. Unlimited. No, the defense has to play better moving forward, much better. The defense might be good enough to beat the Eagles tonight, but the Philadelphia offense is simply bad.
Which brings me to reason three that this game is worrisome. The phrase “any given Sunday” applies to Monday night games as well. In case you missed it, the not-very-good Falcons demolished the pretty-darn-good Raiders yesterday, 43-6. Anything can happen in this league, and all too often does.
Now that being said, no, I don’t think the Seahawks will lose tonight, or that it will even be that close. There will be some great players to watch, and the Hawks have most of them, if not all. I expect Wilson to have a good game, if not great, and the Hawks ground game to gash Philly, especially with Chris Carson back on the field. I predict a 36 -25 Seahawks win, because Pete loves weird scores. No, it won’t be easy, but I’d certainly be happy if it was, for once.