The Eagles (5-5) are coming off a loss to the Patriots and will host the Seahawks (8-2) at the Linc at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The last time the Eagles beat the Seahawks was on the road in November of 2008.
Here are five matchups to watch on Sunday:
Andre Dillard vs. Jadeveon Clowney
Because of Lane Johnson’s injury, Dillard is preparing for his first-career start at right tackle and he’ll likely see a ton of Clowney, who can absolutely wreck a game. We saw it a few weeks ago on national television. He has that type of just ruin-everything ability.
For Dillard, he settled in nicely to his role as a left tackle when Jason Peters was out earlier in the season, but that’s the spot he’s played a long time and he hadn’t done a ton of cross-training in the NFL before this week. It’ll be a big test for him on Sunday.
Russell Wilson vs. Eagles’ defense
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the favorite to win the NFL’s MVP award this season, but Wilson is probably second. The future Hall of Famer is having his best NFL season yet.
He’s thrown for 2,737 yards with 23 touchdowns and two interceptions. And he also has 50 carries for 256 yards. Wilson is 30 now and he doesn’t run as much as he used to, but the threat is still there.
Wilson is the best example of a do-everything quarterback in the NFL.
“Well, there's scrambling quarterbacks, there's running quarterbacks, there's drop-back quarterbacks, there's quarterbacks that are good from the pocket, there's quarterbacks that are good outside of the pocket, there's quarterbacks that can throw on schedule, there's quarterbacks that can create on their own,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said.
“And he's all of the above. So I think that you layer all those things together, and it makes it a tough challenge. You have to defend perimeter plays like boots and play actions. You have to defend RPOs and zone reads. You have to defend off-schedule plays.
“But he can also be as good as anybody in the league when it comes to just dropping back and throwing it. He's very talented that way, and he can scramble not just for 1st downs, but he can scramble for big plays down the field. Just an excellent competitor, and it's a great challenge this week for us.”
It will be a big challenge and it’s really a challenge for the entire defense because of Wilson’s unique ability.
In his career, Wilson is 3-0 against the Eagles with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown. In those three wins, the Seahawks have outscored the Eagles 74-39.
D.K. Metcalf vs. Jalen Mills
The comparisons between Metcalf and J.J.Arcega-Whiteside are unavoidable this week because the Eagles could have had Metcalf, who is well into a really impressive rookie season. The rookie receiver has 35 catches for 595 yards and five touchdowns this season. That’s an average of 17.0 yards per catch, a number Schwartz immediately brought up when asked about Metcalf on Tuesday. We bring this up because the Eagles’ secondary has solidified with Mills and Ronald Darby back, but the Eagles have given up plenty of big plays before. And this is a good trio of receivers: Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Josh Gordon, who was a mid-season addition. It’ll be a good test for a secondary that has looked much better for the last two games. A solid performance in this game would let us know this secondary is for real.
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert vs. Seahawks D
Without competent receivers, the Eagles’ offense has become very dependent on Ertz and Goedert and the 12 personnel package. Even when the Patriots put almost all their attention on Ertz last week, he still had nine catches for 94 yards. And in his last two games, Ertz has 18 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. Even when opposing teams try to stop him, he’s a threat. And Goedert has proven to be a weapon too. He has four touchdowns this season in 10 games and has been a steady contributor.
The good news for the Eagles is that the Seahawks have struggled against tight ends this season. They’ve given up 51 catches, 615 yards and four touchdowns to tight ends. The Seahawks have given up 61.5 yards per game to opposing tight ends, ranking them fifth-worst in the NFL. And that’s with missing George Kittle in Week 10 because he was inactive.
Seahawks’ OL vs. Eagles’ pass rushers
Despite his elusiveness, Wilson has been sacked 27 times this season. Just six quarterbacks have been taken down more. The reason for this is that the Seahawks’ offensive line hasn’t been very good, partially because injuries have really hurt them. The only guy on the line to start every game this season is right tackle Germain Ifedi. The Seahawks are going to try to run with Chris Carson, but the Eagles’ still have a really good run defense. The plan this week, like it always is for the Eagles, is to stop the run. If they can pin their ears back against this offensive line, they have a chance to be really disruptive.
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