Seahawks/Eagles Week 12 Game Thread
Back in action after a well-earned bye week, the Seahawks will try to keep pace with the 49ers in the NFC West as they seek for a fourth consecutive win against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
Will Seattle's offensive line succeed protecting Russell Wilson from Fletcher Cox and Philadelphia's talented defensive front? Can the Seahawks muster a pass rush minus star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney? How will Seattle defend Philly's tight end duo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert?
From kickoff until the final horn, I'll be tracking all the key plays, story lines, and moments in this Week 12 game day thread. Feel free to comment and ask questions as two playoff hopefuls duke it out in the City of Brotherly Love.
- It's safe to say the offenses didn't come out firing on all cylinders. The Seahawks promptly forced a three-and-out after the opening kickoff and safety Quandre Diggs nearly picked off Carson Wentz on third down. After a short punt by Philadelphia, Seattle went nowhere but backwards on its first offensive drive. Defensive end Josh Sweat got immediate penetration on third down to sack Wilson and force an ugly Michael Dickson punt.
- Benefiting from excellent starting field position past midfield, the Eagles picked up a couple of first downs, including a conversion from Wentz to receiver Greg Ward to move them into the red zone. But the Seahawks defense held firm as they've done so many times this year, lucking out when Wentz airmailed a throw to wide-open running back Miles Sanders out of the backfield on third down. Philadelphia settled for a 28-yard field goal by Jake Elliott to take an early 3-0 lead.
- It's time for some trickery! After a quick three-and-out to open the game, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer opened up his playbook, calling a flea flicker. With good protection in front of him, Wilson launched a perfect pass to Malik Turner in the back of the end zone for a 33-yard scoring strike to put the Seahawks in front 7-3. It was a miraculous throw as Wilson threw into the wind with double coverage against Turner and still found a way to hit his receiver in stride.
- Philadelphia looked poised to answer Seattle's touchdown with back-to-back first downs, but Seattle's pass rush engineered the game's first turnover. Rasheem Green slipped after coming around the edge, but he recovered to punch the ball out of Wentz's hand and Al Woods recovered it to give the Seahawks the ball back near midfield.
- Seattle couldn't capitalize on Green's fantastic strip sack, opening the possession with a false start penalty to set up 1st and 15. Wilson rolled out to his right on third down without any receivers coming open and threw the ball away. Unlike his first punt, Dickson got good back spin on this kick and reserve running back Travis Homer downed the ball at the Eagles one-yard line, pinning the opposition deep in their own territory.
- On the first play of the second quarter, Seattle looked to have another strip sack against Wentz as Poona Ford came up with the fumble recovery. But defensive holding on cornerback Shaquill Griffin negated the turnover, giving the Eagles a new set of downs. Luckily for the Seahawks, Wentz is feeling extra generous on this Sunday and just three plays later, he badly telegraphed a throw on a slant and safety Bradley McDougald reached out and came down with the interception.
- With explosive plays in both the run and pass game, the Seahawks marched 77 yards on 11 plays deep into Eagles territory. Wilson threw another dime on 3rd and 6 to David Moore down the left sideline for a 31-yard gain. After Josh Gordon caught his third pass as a Seahawk for a 10-yard gain and a first down, running back Rashaad Penny took the pitch to his left and sprinted 26 yards to the Philadelphia nine-yard line. Unfortunately, as Wentz did earlier, Wilson misfired a gimme touchdown throw to Hollister on 3rd and goal, forcing Seattle to take a 24-yard field goal by Jason Myers to extend the lead to 10-3.
- After forcing a very fast three-and-out defensively, the Seahawks endured an ugly possession. Penny picked up six yards on a nice first down run, but on the next play, the back looked confused on whether to stay in as a pass protector or to run a route. Hesitating at first, he started to run a route and safety Malcolm Jenkins flew in off the edge to sack Wilson. Assuming he didn't carry out his responsibility in pass pro, those are the kind of plays that will make it tough for Penny to stay on the field.
- As well as Seattle's defense has played generating multiple three-and-outs, the offense hasn't been able to really take advantage. Inside the two-minute warning, Wilson took a deep shot downfield to Metcalf on what looked like a surefire touchdown pass. But Metcalf misjudged the ball to an extent and with his arms extended, he wasn't able to bring it in as he tumbled to the turf in the end zone. Instead of scoring seven points, Seattle punted it right back to Philadelphia.
- Without Clowney suited up, Ziggy Ansah picked a perfect time to enjoy a breakout game for the Seahawks. The Eagles haven't had an answer for the veteran pass rusher during the first 30 minutes of play, as he's consistently been in the backfield and finished the half with 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hits. He brought down Wentz on second down on the final drive of the half to eliminate any chance of the Eagles putting points on the board before halftime.
- Out of the break, a questionable pass interference call against Tyler Lockett set the Seahawks up with a 1st and 20 situation backup up deep in their own territory. But Chris Carson picked up 20 yards on back-to-back catches to move the chains. Wilson again had Metcalf on a deep go route down the right sideline, but got a little too much mustard on the throw as the rookie receiver couldn't quite reel it in, forcing yet another Dickson punt.
- Shaquem Griffin has had one heck of an afternoon. Though he didn't record any stats in the first half, he found great success rushing against rookie Andre Dillard. After pushing the ball past midfield, Wentz lost the football as he dropped back to throw with Griffin coming screaming off the edge. Quinton Jefferson recovered the fumble and then hilarity ensued, as the defensive tackle tried to return the fumble and then tried to lateral the ball to a teammate.
- There's probably not a worse way to take advantage of a turnover then committing false start and delay of game penalties on back-to-back snaps, but that's exactly what the Seahawks did following Jefferson's recovery. Eventually, a tripping penalty against center Joey Hunt moved Seattle back even further and Wilson's third down pass attempt to Moore was deflected into the hands of safety Rodney McLeod for a pivotal interception.
- Philadelphia appears to be gaining some traction running the football with Jarran Reed sidelined by an ankle injury. 14 and nine-yard runs by Sanders and Ward moved the Eagles into Seahawks territory, but a holding penalty erased a long first down run by Sanders and set them behind the sticks. K.J. Wright blew up a screen for a three-yard loss and Wentz again misfired on third down, giving the Seahawks the ball back after a 46-yard punt by Cameron Johnston.
- Would it be fair to call this the Rashaad Penny revenge game? He's been under constant scrutiny from the fan base, but with the Seahawks finally giving him extensive carries, the former first-round pick now has 128 rushing yards on just nine carries. Showing off his explosiveness, Penny single-handedly dominated the Eagles with 79 yards on two carries, including finishing off a 58-yard touchdown run with a stiff arm to discard a defender on his way to the end zone.
- The Seahawks defense appears to really be hitting its stride. Already with two turnovers, Griffin stripped the football away from tight end Dallas Goedert as he tried to battle for extra yards. Diggs flew in to recover the fumble, giving the ball quickly back to Seattle at its own 32-yard line and abruptly ending a once-promising drive for Philadelphia.
- Fumbles have been a major, major issue for Chris Carson all season long and those ball security issues reared their ugly head again in Philadelphia. Immediately following Diggs' fumble recovery, Carson coughed up the football on consecutive carries, with Seattle recovering the first one and Philadelphia capitalizing the second time.