The Philadelphia Eagles are on the road again to face the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on Monday Night Football. In order to preview this Week 15 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Field Gulls. The jovial John Gilbert kindly took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to questions about the Eagles, check out FG.]
1) The Seahawks are 1-5 in their last six games. What’s been going wrong for them?
The simple answer is that almost everything has been going wrong, but in reality they’ve simply hit the difficult portion of their schedule. As soon as the schedule was released in May, fans and pundits alike noted that the four game stretch that included a pair of matchups against the 49ers, along with games against the Cowboys and Eagles would be the rough stretch. I don’t know if too many expected the Seahawks to get blasted against the Ravens or to drop the game against the Rams, but alas, here we are.
Specifically, the Seattle defense has struggled to stop opponents either on the ground or through the air, while the offense has largely gone stagnant behind offensive line play that has failed to open holes in the run game or to protect the quarterback. Combine those while playing a stretch of the schedule that is comprised mostly of teams that are playoff caliber, or at least in the playoff hunt, and it’s been a recipe for disaster week after week.
2) How would you grade Geno Smith relative to expectation this year and should he be the Seahawks’ starter again next season?
Smith has seen a reduction in production relative to 2022, and a lot of that traces back to offensive struggles in definitive passing situations for the team. Between injuries to the offensive line and inexperience for the group as a whole, combined with Smith still learning and growing as a quarterback, it’s been a recipe for disaster in passing situations. Third downs have posed significant obstacles to the Hawks this season, and it’s hard for a team to win when the offense struggles so mightily on passing downs.
Whether or not Geno is the quarterback next season likely hinges on whether or not Carroll is retained. It might seem far fetched to many, given the success he’s had in his time with the Seahawks, but it’s been two years since Mike Garafolo’s report that acting owner Jody Allen did not see the struggles of the team as a one year issue. Whether or not Allen will be willing to make a change could hinge on how things turn out over the final four games of the season, but personally I will not be surprised if there is a coaching change after the season, and if that happens, it’s my guess that Seattle will cut ties with Smith in the days following the Super Bowl since his $12.7M 2024 base salary vests into being fully guaranteed the Friday after the Super Bowl, since letting that vest also effectively guarantees his $9.6M roster bonus that is due in the middle of March.
3) What’s one matchup that you think favors the Seahawks in this game?
My first instinct is to joke that the only area where the Seahawks have a definite advantage is that the Hawks definitely have a better punter.
With that said, I do like the matchup of the Seattle receivers against the secondary of the Eagles. As scary as it may sound, DK Metcalf is still developing as a receiver, and Philadelphia fans likely still remember his 7 catch, 160 yard performance in the 2019 Wild Card game, along with his 10 reception, 177 yard performance in the 2020 matchup. Add Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and I like the potential for the Seahawks offense to potentially put a lot of points on the board, assuming they can provide some protection for Smith, which leads right into the next question.
4) What’s one matchup that you think favors the Eagles in this game?
The Eagles defense has generated the second most pressure of any defense in the NFL, while the Seahawks offensive line has allowed pressure at one of the highest rates in the league in 2023. That could be a recipe for disaster for the Hawks, as throughout the entire season the trend has been that when
Geno Smith is protected the offense puts points on the board, and when they’ve failed to protect him, the offense has struggled to score.
So, while I like the potential for the Seahawks to move the ball through the air against the Eagles, if they aren’t able to protect Geno (or Drew Lock), it could make for a long night for Seattle fans.
5) Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as 3-point road favorites, what’s your score prediction? And how do you see the rest of this Seahawks season going?
This matchup is a tough one to pick as both teams enter the game on a losing streak they’ll be looking to end. However, at the end of the day I am going to posit that the Seahawks pull the upset and come out on top simply because when teams from the Pacific Time Zone play teams from the Eastern Time Zone they outperform expectations and win more often than they should.
With that said, after the Seahawks pull off the upset I expect that they’ll likely drop one of their final three games to end the season 9-8 for the second consecutive season and finish on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason.
BONUS CONTENT: John Gilbert also joined John Stolnis to talk Eagles-Seahawks for BGN Radio’s Eye On The Enemy podcast.