The Seahawks square off against the Eagles on Monday night and are still riding high from a pivotal victory on Thursday Night Football against their division rival Arizona Cardinals. The Eagles, however, are in a tailspin.
Philly has lost two straight, including a brutal, season-altering loss to the New York Giants, which could go a long way in deciding the craziness of the NFC East division. Just a few weeks ago, the Eagles looked to be in the driver's seat in the division, with what appeared to be the only healthy, proven quarterback and seasoned head coach in the division. Now, that has come crashing down with two big losses, with the other being to the Browns.
Monday night could very well be it for the Eagles, if they were to lose. Maybe not mathematically, since the division leading Washington Football Team is just 4-7, currently half a game better than the Eagles. But as far as momentum and morale, if the Eagles lose to the Seahawks, that would be three straight losses after being in first place in the NFC East just a few short weeks ago.
A wounded animal is a dangerous one. An animal that is backed into a corner can cause serious damage, in desperation, fighting for its life. Insert whatever metaphor you want here, the Eagles are desperate and desperate is dangerous and the Seahawks need to beware.
If Seattle thinks it's going to just strut into Philly and beat the Birds with minimal effort or game-planning, they are sorely mistaken. Yes, on paper, the Eagles are subpar and the Seahawks deserve to be favored by 5.5 points, as they currently are in Vegas. However, with their very playoff lives and division hopes on the line, the Eagles will be looking to take a pound of flesh from their opponent and save their season.
This Eagles team is not without talent. Carson Wentz was an MVP frontrunner just three seasons ago. Doug Pederson is just two Super Bowls removed from coaching circles around the all-time great Bill Belichick in Super Bowl LII. He's a great coach.
Just last year, the Eagles navigated their way through employing several practice squad players in huge roles to a division title and playoff berth.
Let's not forget about the immense talent they have along the defensive line in Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. Cox is currently the fifth-ranked defensive tackle in pass rush win rate and is a five-time Pro Bowler, and Graham is the No. 1 defensive end for run stop rate so far this season. Both of these talents can cause headaches for Seattle and muck up any half-baked game plan. The Seahawks will have to bring juice and effort along their offensive line to keep these ferocious linemen at bay.
Miles Sanders needs to be respected as a legitimate weapon out of the backfield for Wentz and the offense. He has over 700 yards from scrimmage and is a factor in the passing game as well as running the rock. Had he not missed three games this year, he is likely among league leaders in yards.
Jalen Reagor is a big talent at receiver but has missed half the season with injuries. The former first round pick has the potential to give Seattle's 32nd-ranked pass defense some issues.
This word of caution goes beyond what you see on paper and what the stats bear out. It's about a team sensing their season is slipping away and they have a chance on the game's biggest weekly stage of Monday Night Football to reestablish themselves as the NFC East's best team.
Plus, there is the revenge factor. Many fans in Bird Land still are fuming over Jadeveon Clowney's alleged cheap shot on Wentz in the NFC Wild Card game last year. Many feel that had Wentz been able to play the entire game, the Eagles might have won. Instead, DK Metcalf sealed the deal with a big catch late and threw up a "peace" sign as the Seahawks won the game, further angering the Eagles' faithful. Philadelphia wants revenge.
Pete Carroll and his staff have had 10 days to get ready for this game. He has proven that Seattle makes good use of time off. The Seahawks will need to enter Philadelphia with the same mindset they had against the tougher opponents they have beaten such as the Cardinals. They cannot afford to take the Eagles lightly. "Any given Sunday," or in this case, Monday, is one of the sayings in the NFL and for good reason.