Seahawks 24, Eagles 10: Studs, duds, turning point and more

Seahawks 24, Eagles 10: Studs, duds, turning point and more


SEATTLE — The Eagles talked all week about how important this road trip was going to be.

They talked about how these next few games could very well define their season.

Then they had a clunker.  

The Eagles went down early to the Seahawks at a raucous CenturyLink Field on Sunday night and never recovered. They committed too many penalties, had a major turnover, struggled to stop Russell Wilson and didn't get a consistent game from Carson Wentz or head coach Doug Pederson.

They lost 24-10 (see Roob's observations)

The Eagles dropped to 10-2 and lost their first game since Sept. 17 in Kansas City. They failed to set a new franchise record of 10 straight wins.

They also failed to clinch the division this weekend.

With the win, the Seahawks improved to 8-4 and avoided losing three games in a row at home. It would have been the first time that happened since 2008.

Thanks to a Vikings win earlier on Sunday, the Eagles are no longer the top team in the NFC. They have the same record as the Vikings, who would win in tiebreakers for the one-seed if the playoffs began today. 

The Eagles had a pretty awful first half, but trailed by just one touchdown heading into the locker room and got the ball back to start the second half. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Wentz fumbled the ball at the goal line on the first drive of the second half and the Eagles failed to get points.

During the week, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz warned of how dangerous Russell Wilson can be. He was right. Wilson was tremendous for all of Sunday's game. His ability to use his legs to extend plays really hurt the Eagles.

Turning point
Wentz's fumble out of the back of the end zone in the third quarter was a disaster. The Eagles could have tied the game at 10-10. Instead, the Seahawks got the ball back and scored for a 14-point swing. 

Key stat
After the Bears game a week ago, Pederson warned that penalties and turnovers could come back to hurt the Eagles against better competition. That's what happened on Sunday.

The Eagles were on the receiving end of several questionable calls, but they still committed too many penalties. They had seven for 64 yards.

Offensive stud
Nelson Agholor was the Eagles' best receiver on Sunday. He had the first 100-yard game of his career.

Offensive dud
Wentz just didn't have his best game on Sunday. Even aside from that disastrous fumble out of the end zone, he didn't show his normal MVP-like form against the Seahawks. He made a couple fantastic throws, but it came too late (see report card).

Left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who has been solid recently, had a really bad game against Seattle. 

Defensive stud
Brandon Graham continues to play great football. He's a game-wrecker. In the first half, he sacked Wilson from his knees. He picked up another half sack in the second half. 

Defensive dud
A few players deserve blame. The Eagles' defense didn't pull its weight. Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Mychal Kendricks were beaten through the air. 

Key plays
• Kendricks was faked out of his shoes by J.D. McKissic in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass. After the Eagles made it a one-score game, the defense gave up a 73-yard touchdown drive to push the lead to 24-10.

• On a key third down in the fourth quarter, Wilson lateraled the ball after a six-yard carry to pick up the first down. Replays showed it might have been a forward pass, but the Eagles didn't challenge the ruling.

• On 3rd-and-13 in the fourth quarter, Wentz somehow threw an incredible 51-yard pass to Agholor completely off balance to extend the drive. A couple plays later, Wentz threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Agholor to make the score 17-10.

• The Eagles went for it on 4th-and-3 in the third quarter and failed to get a first down. Wentz tossed the ball out in the flat to Kenjon Barner, who lost his footing, and the pass hit the ground.

• On a 3rd-and-10, Wilson got a pass off before the blitz got to him and delivered a throw to Baldwin, who shook off McLeod on the play. The 47-yard gain put the Seahawks on the Eagles' 1-yard line. A few plays later, Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for a 1-yard touchdown pass to put Seattle up 17-3.

• On the first drive of the second half, Wentz scrambled for four yards and neared the goal line when he fumbled the ball out of the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The Eagles could have tied the game at 10-10, so this play was crushing.

• The Eagles had a 16-play, 75-yard drive in the second quarter, but came away with just three points. Jake Elliott hit a 26-yard field goal to make the score 10-3. The longest play on the drive was a 12-yard scramble from Wentz.  

• Ronald Darby was called for a ticky-tacky 19-yard defensive pass interference down the sideline. A few plays later, Wilson hit Jimmy Graham for an 11-yard touchdown pass to put the Seahawks up 10-0.

• The Eagles' defense didn't get off to a great start, giving up two third-down conversions, but held the Seahawks to a field goal on their opening drive.

Injury report
Joe Walker (neck) was inactive on Sunday after suffering a stinger against the Bears.

Zach Ertz left the game in the second half with a concussion.

Up next
The Eagles are leaving Seattle, but they're not going home just yet. Instead, they're flying to Southern California, where they'll spend the week practicing at Angel Stadium before playing the Rams in LA next Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

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More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, but according to one report, Long is concerned enough about his playing time with the Eagles that he's mulling his options regarding his future.

What is certain is that at some point before March 15, Long signed a new contract with the Eagles that increases his 2018 base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

However, NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Monday that Long may decide he doesn't want to accept the new contract — which he already signed.

According to Silver, Long is concerned about how many snaps he would get as a third-down rusher following the addition of Pro Bowl pass rusher Michael Bennett.

The Eagles officially acquired Bennett on March 14, although the deal was reported a week earlier. Long's new contract was filed with the NFLPA on March 15, but there is a good chance he agreed to it and signed it before the Bennett acquisition.

Whether or not Long knew Bennett was coming to the Eagles when he signed the restructured deal is unknown. But at some point Long knew about their interest in Bennett and even gave Bennett a "glowing recommendation" when the Eagles asked, according to an interview Long gave to SBNation.  

Long wouldn't appear to have many options. He could retire, in which case he would have to return the $500,000 bonus he received from the Eagles last week.

He could request a trade, which would be bizarre for someone who signed a contract extension just a few days earlier.

Or he could simply play under the terms of the contract restructure and pay increase, which was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia with a source familiar with the renegotiation.

As for the contract itself, including that $500,000 roster bonus — which was also in the previous version of the contract — Long would receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.

What happens next?

Long has demonstrated that the money is secondary to him. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to charity.

At some point very soon, the Eagles will need him to decide whether he's even going to have a 2018 base salary.

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

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Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.