Sunday’s wild card game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks will mark 42 days since these two teams last played in Week 12. The Eagles lost that game by a final score of 17 to 9 but a lot has changed for both sides since then. Let’s take a look!
- The Eagles have gone 4-1 since losing to Seattle. They have a +35 point differential in that span.
- Andre Dillard started against the Seahawks at right tackle in place of an injured Lane Johnson. Dillard was benched for Halapoulivaati Vaitai after the first half. The Eagles seem to have hope that Johnson can return to the starting lineup this week.
- Brandon Brooks started before leaving the game early due to anxiety. Now he’s out for the season after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 17. The Eagles will have either Vaitai or Matt Pryor playing at right guard this week, depending if Johnson is playing or not.
- Jordan Matthews played 96% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps before the team waived him just one day later. JJ Arcega-Whiteside was second among wide receivers with 71% of the snaps while Greg Ward was third with 49% and Mack Hollins was fourth with 5%. The Eagles will basically have a new look receiving corps this time around with Ward, Robert Davis, and Deontay Burnett all expected to get playing time this weekend. JJAW has seemingly been limited due to injury so he might not play a ton.
- Zach Ertz led the Eagles in receiving in Week 12 with 12 receptions for 91 yards and one garbage time touchdown. He might not be able to play this week considering he has a lacerated kidney in addition to a cracked rib. If Ertz is out, Joshua Perkins and Richard Rodgers will be the backup tight ends to Dallas Goedert. Neither Perkins nor Rodgers were on the roster in Week 12.
- Jay Ajayi had six carries for 16 yards in his first game back with the Eagles while Boston Scott didn’t have a single offensive touch. Now Ajayi is a free agent again and Bosco is the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Scott’s emergence should help the Eagles this time around. Jordan Howard was out for the first game but could have some kind of role this time around,
- Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills were starting at cornerback for the Eagles in Week 12. Mills might be able to play in this game but Darby will obviously be out. Avonte Maddox could be starting on the outside if healthy enough to play with Cre’Von LeBlanc — who was on injured reserve in Week 12 — playing the nickel corner role.
- The Seahawks have gone 2-3 since beating Philly. They have a -22 point differential in that span.
- Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny were the Seahawks’ top two running backs against the Eagles. They combined for 155 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown (a 58-yarder) in addition to four receptions for 41 receiving yards. Now they’re both out for the season on injured reserve. The Seahawks re-signed Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin but only Lynch played in Week 17. The 33-year-old Lynch had 12 carries for a mere 34 yards (2.8 average) and one rushing touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers. 2019 sixth-round pick Travis Homer might not be a running back to sleep on; the rookie rusher boasts an elite athletic profile and has 114 rushing yards on 18 carries (6.3 average) this season. Seattle finished 2019 with the third most rushing attempts per game and the Eagles have the fourth ranked DVOA run defense.
- Starting left tackle Duane Brown is likely to miss this week’s game due to a knee injury. George Fant will start in his place. That’s a downgrade from the last matchup. Derek Barnett must take advantage.
- Malik Turner, who caught a flea flicker touchdown against the Eagles, missed Week 17 with a concussion. To be determined if he’s cleared for this week’s game. Jaron Brown didn’t play against the Eagles and he’s expected to miss this week’s game. Josh Gordon had one reception for 10 yards against Philly but is now suspended. The Eagles will still have to find a way to defend Seattle’s main two receivers: Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
- The Eagles didn’t have to face Jadeveon Clowney the last time these two teams played. He’ll be playing in this time. If he plays anything like he did against the Eagles back in 2018, they’ll have a long day trying to block him.
- Former Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks led Seattle in tackles with 13 back in Week 12. He suffered an ACL injury in Week 17 so he’ll be out this time.
SECOND TIME’S A CHARM?
Thought this was kind of interesting.
Doug Pederson’s record against teams the Eagles have played twice in one season since 2016:
First game — 7-6
Second game — 9-4
Pete Carroll’s record against teams the Seahawks have played twice in one season since 2016:
First game — 11-2-1
Second game — 4-10
Carroll is specifically 0-2 in the playoffs against teams the Seahawks first played in the regular season.
As you can see, the Seahawks and Eagles have both gone through their fair share of changes since Week 12. The Eagles finding an offensive rhythm down the stretch feels like pretty big deal. It came against bad teams, yes, but it was historic production. The Eagles’ defense holding their opponents to 17 points or fewer in seven of their last nine games is also encouraging.
Make no mistake, the Seahawks are going to be a tough challenge. Carson Wentz is 0-3 against Russell Wilson. But some of the changes since Week 12 tend to favor the Eagles.