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Seahawks don’t stack up to Eagles in 2017

Seahawks don’t stack up to Eagles in 2017

It’s not a matter of whether the Eagles are better than the Seattle Seahawks in 2017 — they are. It’s only a question of how much better the Eagles are.

That’s how much the landscape of the NFL has changed in the span of roughly two months. With a 10-1 record and riding a nine-game winning streak, the Eagles are the hottest team in the league and routinely show up with superior talent at every single position on the field. The 7-4 Seahawks are a perennial Super Bowl contender, but as the injuries have begun to mount over the course of the season, they appear increasingly vulnerable.

Seattle still has an extremely competitive team, and by no means are they going to be pushovers the likes of what the Eagles have faced in recent weeks. That being said, even with the game being played at CenturyLink Field, it’s fairly obvious which team holds the true advantage.

Let's take a deeper look.

Quarterbacks
The Seahawks and the Eagles are a case study in how important a supporting cast can be to a quarterback. Russell Wilson is responsible for 81.8 percent of Seattle’s total offensive production and an astounding 96.3 percent of the team’s offensive touchdowns. Carson Wentz is responsible for 66.2 percent of the Eagles’ production, 75.7 percent of the scoring and he’s considered the frontrunner for league MVP. That hardly seems fair. Wentz has better numbers and more wins, but Wilson essentially is going it alone this season. All things being equal, the two of them are probably somewhat equal.

Even

Running backs
Seattle’s leading rusher — behind Wilson, of course — is on injured reserve and hasn’t played since Week 4. It’s Week 13, and none of Eddie Lacy, J.D. McKissic or Thomas Rawls has managed to reach 200 yards on the season. Jay Ajayi’s 194 yards since joining the Eagles are more than any active Seahawks back, and he’s been with the Eagles all of three weeks.

Overwhelming advantage: Eagles

Wide receivers and tight ends
A surprise breakout season by 2014 second-round draft pick Paul Richardson gives Seattle one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL. Richardson is second on the team with 584 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 16.7 yards per reception. The Seahawks now have the deep threat to accompany possession wideout Doug Baldwin and red-zone weapon Jimmy Graham. The Eagles’ top three targets — Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor — have almost identical production as a group, so it’s tough to make a case for one over the other.

Even

Offensive lines
This is written here every week, but must be reiterated until the unit starts getting the respect it deserves: The Eagles’ offensive line is one of the best in the league. Yes, even without Jason Peters. By contrast, Seattle’s O-line is one of the shakier groups. A mid-season trade with the Texans for Duane Brown strengthened the left side, but the right side is a mess. To make matters worse, right guard Oday Aboushi has been ruled out Sunday night with a shoulder injury.

Clear advantage: Eagles

Defensive lines and linebackers
Released by the Eagles in July, Marcus Smith is now playing significant snaps for the Seahawks, which says a lot. Headlined by Michael Bennett and Sheldon Richardson, Seattle's defense is still stout against the run and can get after the quarterback, but the front four’s best pass rusher, Cliff Avril, is on injured reserve. The Eagles boast the league’s No. 1 run defense and are tied for seventh in the league with 31 sacks. The Seahawks may have a slight edge at linebacker in Bobby Wagner, but certainly not as an overall unit.

Advantage: Eagles

Cornerbacks and safeties
Injuries have altered the once formidable Legion of Boom beyond recognition. With Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor out for the season, Earl Thomas is the group’s only surviving member. Things are so bad, the Seahawks are now relying on a significant contribution from Byron Maxwell. After a bit of a bumpy start, the Eagles secondary has steadily improved each week and has become one of the most opportunistic units in the league. Opponents’ passer rating of 74.0 ranks third in the NFL.

Advantage: Eagles

Special teams
Aside from dangerous return man Tyler Lockett, Seattle’s special teams aren’t anything to write home about. Jon Ryan is a steady punter, and the coverage units are solid. Yet the Seahawks insist on employing Blair Walsh as the kicker, so it’s all a wash. Jake Elliott just snapped a streak of four consecutive games with a missed field goal or extra point for the Eagles, although the Birds' kickoff coverage has been suspect of late. That may play to Lockett’s advantage.

Slight advantage: Eagles

Coaching
Pete Carroll doesn’t get enough credit for being quite possibly the second-best coach in football after Bill Belichick. Carroll has been to the playoffs eight of 11 seasons as an NFL head coach and has a Super Bowl win to his name. Plus, he guided USC to back-to-back National Championships and seven straight top-four finishes. Doug Pederson is having a tremendous year, but has a long way to go to even so much as compare resumes.

Advantage: Seahawks

Overall
Largely as a result of injuries, the Seahawks are not the defensive powerhouse of previous years, and certainly not in comparison to the Eagles. Offensively, Seattle can put up numbers through the air, but the lack of any real ground attack, plus a patchwork offensive line, makes for an inconsistent team all around. The Eagles are the more well-rounded team at this point in the season, and that’s not something a more experienced head coach or home-field advantage is likely to change

Advantage: Eagles

To boo or not to boo? Manny Machado playing in Philly tonight is an easy decision

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USA Today

To boo or not to boo? Manny Machado playing in Philly tonight is an easy decision

By most accounts, the Phillies made a serious effort to trade for former Baltimore Orioles megastar Manny Machado but didn’t put together a package of prospects that could best the one that ultimately landed him with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Orioles’ decision-makers took the deal that they believed was best for their organization. They didn’t take a lesser package in order to accommodate whatever Machado's preferred destination may have been. So in a sense, Machado didn’t really get a say in where he landed in a trade.

He absolutely will get final say about where he lands in free agency this winter.

Now, Philadelphia sports fans like to pride themselves on being among the most knowledgeable in all the land when it comes to their understanding of the game.

With all of that said, I’ve heard from a few fans that they’re debating whether or not to boo Machado when he visits Citizens Bank Park tonight with the Dodgers.

My response to that? Why in the world would you boo Manny Machado?!?

The idea of booing Machado just to boo him is a very bad one.

I’m talking about the kind of booing for no reason at all here where Machado comes up to his first plate appearance and hears the boos rain down from the crowd. Don’t do that. That is a very bad look. If he hits a home run against the Phils tonight? Feel free to boo all you want. If he says what an ugly city Philly is today? Boo him back to Baltimore.

Boo a guy if he deserves it. But Machado has said nothing but positive things about Philadelphia in the past. When he played against the Phillies back in July with Baltimore, he got cheered and he noticed.

"Philly. I did hear that nice ovation when I was there," Machado told reporters over the All-Star break. "That was pretty awesome.”

And Phillies fans — think about it — if you want Machado to sign here for a whopper of a contract in the offseason, you’re going to have to convince him that this is a wonderful place to live and play baseball. Booing him for no reason other than he didn’t get traded here certainly does not accomplish that and it does not make you look like a smart baseball fan.

I’d even argue giving Machado a loud positive cheer in his first plate appearance could be the smart thing to do. If you want him to chose Philly over the lore of being a New York Yankee, every positive image you can help him have of Philly can only help.

Make up a cheeky sign if you want. "Manny, I love you very much. You're the best. Just like Chase. But I hope you lose tonight. I know you understand."

And finally, Milwaukee Brewers fans booed Machado over the weekend and any self-respecting fan doesn’t ever want to do what they do.

More on the Phillies

Internet sleuths uncover Doug Pederson cameo in 2008 movie

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USA Today Images

Internet sleuths uncover Doug Pederson cameo in 2008 movie

Before Doug Pederson was an underdog, he was a longshot.

Thanks to some super sleuthing from some folks on Reddit, specifically u/nosefinger1, it has been uncovered that Doug Pederson and his Calvary Baptist Academy football team made a brief appearance in the movie “The Longshots.” 

Since we don’t condone piracy, here are some screenshots.

That has to be Doug, right? If you needed more proof, u/dr_rex uncovered some more info.

The movie, starring Ice Cube and directed by Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, came out in 2008 and was a pretty significant box office flop. Perhaps they could have given the future Super Bowl-winning head coach a bigger role.