Another week, another stats preview ... but with a twist! From now on, I’m working with the wonderful Shane Haff who podcasts for BGN and has some great designs that will make this article easier to follow. As always, I’ll give you my analysis based on film study and the stats. All stats are from Sports Info Solution, FTN Fantasy, and ESPN. Here is an explainer by PFF for many of the stats used in this article.
Gap scheme is back baby! A few weeks ago the Eagles ranked 27th in usage of gap runs, but they are now up to 18th and I expect that number to keep climbing. There has been a lot of talk about motion this week, and I understand why. I do think it’s worth pointing out that the Eagles are usually very effective when they use motion, so I guess you could argue that they are using it ineffectively. I always think Hurts is excellent at throwing on the move, so it’s pretty incredible to see the Eagles sit bottom of designed rollouts every single week.
This defense is so bad. So bad. Just look at all of those rankings. They can’t do anything well. That’s not even an exaggeration, they do not rank in the top 10 in any single metric on this chart. However, what is clear every single week, is that his defense is terrible when they stack the box and play a one-high shell. This defense should be a light box, two-high defense, and if that means playing more 5-man fronts then I am all for it. And please, please, stop blitzing. Just send 4 on every play and use simulated pressures. Just stop sending 5.
I didn’t expect this considering the Seahawks starting 3 wide receivers, but they are really good from 12 personnel. They also like to run a lot of 13 personnel and run it with 2 very good physical backs. The Eagles won’t play any base, so I expect them to ask both safeties (especially Sydney Brown) to play a big role in their run-defense fits. I am a little worried about how good the Seahawks are at play action and how frequently they run it because I can see them using play action a lot to target these Eagles’ linebackers.
This defense looks bad. They play a lot of two-high shells, and I expect the Eagles to be able to run on this team. But when they do go single-high, they are the worst team in the NFL, so I expect the Eagles to take some deep shots on the outside as their outside cornerbacks haven’t played well this year. Teams have had some success of late blitzing the Eagles, but this is not something the Seahawks do very well or very often. Which is another positive sign for this Eagles’ offense.
I can’t help it, but I see the name ‘Seahawks’ and expect them to have a good defense. Then I look at the stats and every year they are pretty poor. This should be a game where the Eagles’ offense can return to winning ways, and put up some points. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a shootout, as I think this Seahawks’ offense will put up some points too.
The Seahawks’ offense has a lot of talent but hasn’t put it all together. However, when you rank 9th and 8th in dropback EPA and SR, then you have a pretty good passing attack. I think DK Metcalf is a bad matchup for Darius Slay, and I’m a little worried about him going off this week. Once again, the numbers here show a very bad Seahawks’ defense that the Eagles’ offense should be able to score on.
The Eagles should have a major advantage in the trenches. This should be a week where the Eagles’ defensive line can get back to getting pressure. I do not want to see the Eagles blitz a lot in this game. Geno Smith is willing to sit back in the pocket and let routes develop down the field, so I would just send 4 and expect them to consistently win their matchups. This could be a good game to see some more Nolan Smith, to keep Sweat and Reddick a little fresher toward the end of the season.
I don’t think I can go on another rant about the Eagles’ defense on 3rd down. I just get angry. If you want to know why they rank as the worst defense in the league on 3rd down, just read my all22 review on the defense. Luckily for the Eagles, the Seahawks are terrible on 3rd/4th down on both offense on defense. This may be a week where the Eagles’ defense can get a few stops on 3rd down for once!
The Eagles’ defense isn’t far away from being the worst defense in the league on 3rd/4th downs and in the red zone. That sounds like a pretty abysmal combination to me. Luckily, this Seahawks team struggles on offense in the red zone and isn’t a great deal better than the Eagles’ defense in the red zone. I think the Seahawks are a decent team and have some good weapons, but some of the underlying numbers of this team are pretty bad. The Eagles should feel pretty confident if they play well.
I thought I’d add another little graphic to the article, seeing as I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Hurts the past few weeks. I think it’s still worth remembering that Hurts is a really good quarterback, and he hasn’t played anywhere near as badly as a lot of people have said of late. Geno Smith was a top-10 quarterback last year, but he’s regressed to an average starter this year, although he is more than capable of turning it on, especially against this awful Eagles’ defense.
On paper, this looks like a good matchup for the Eagles. But I think this will be a tough test. This is a must-win game for the Seahawks, who are playing at home on Monday night. That stadium is going to be rocking. The Eagles just need to play their game and not make any stupid mistakes, and I do believe the offense will carry them to a win in this one. I hope so, anyway...