Seahawks at Eagles: A Wildcard Recap, Short Preview for Packers
Happy Winning Week, 12s! Everyone should be elated that the Seahawks were able to continue their road warrior hot streak, extending their season for another playoff game in Green Bay. Before we touch on that, we will take a look at the good and the bad of this last game against Philadelphia.
Defense. I tweeted this out from the @CascadiaSN account but I’ll say it again: Say what you want about the defense, but they showed up and did their job. They were able to tally seven sacks—Carson Wentz was taken down for a sack while Josh McCown was taken down the additional six times. The 40-year old McCown replaced Wentz in the first quarter when Wentz took a controversial helmet to the head by Jadeveon Clowney. The Seahawks defense also limited Eagles to nine points while keeping them out of the end zone. The Seahawks stymied the Eagles on third down, only allowing them to convert 3 for 11 (27%). The Eagles were also stopped on fourth down twice, turning the ball back over to Seattle.
Passing. Offensively, Russell Wilson threw for over 300 yards (325) for the fourth time this season. He was the rushing leader putting up 45 yards with his legs. Russ was able to complete 18 of 35 passing attempts, targeting D.K. Metcalf nine times and Tyler Lockett eight times. Metcalf racked up 160 yards and a touchdown while Lockett had 62 yards. Marshawn Lynch was able to channel his vintage Beastmode, muscling and churning for a 5-yard rushing score with 1:11 left in the first half. With that touchdown, he is the sixth player in history to score 10+ postseason touchdowns for a single team.
Third down conversions. The Seahawks were 8-15 (53%) on third down. While that might not seem very great, they were able to do this without establishing a rushing game at all.
Penalties. The Seahawks were penalized 11 times for 114 yards. Bradley McDougald was flagged for holding twice (10 Yards). Germain Ifedi jumped too soon (5 yards). Jacob Hollister pushed off a defender for OPI (10 yards) and moved too early twice (10 yards). DJ Fluker got a hand full of a defender’s jersey (10 yards). Delay of Game (5 yards). Jadeveon Clowney jumped the gun (5 yards). Tre Flowers had a rough game and was flagged for DPI twice (59 yards). The Eagles were flagged seven times for only 45 yards.
Rushing. Seattle’s running backs rushed for 19 yards. I honestly cannot remember when Seahawks running backs, regardless of injuries, rushed for under 20 yards. They did implement pitches and screens, but really could not get anything going from the backfield otherwise. Seattle rushed the ball 26 times for 64 yards. Five rush plays resulted in a loss of yardage resulting in 11 total yards lost.
Injuries. Ziggy Ansah left the game after re-aggravating his stinger injury. Mychal Kendricks and Mike Iupati were out of the game Sunday with injuries. Jadeveon Clowney is also not 100% with a core muscle injury (hernia) that will likely require off-season surgery. I do not expect Ansah to be active against Green Bay, but I expect the full power of the defense to play through injuries this upcoming week as they play the Packers.
The Seahawks will get in a week of practice before heading northeast to Green Bay. Sunday’s weather looks chilly with a high of 29°. The Packers had a bye week to rest, watch, and study the Seahawks game, which is part of why SBD’s NFL odds page opened with Green Bay as four-point favorites this weekend.
Looking at the NFL’s team statistics page, the Packers are NOT even in the offensive or defensive top-5 for total yards, passing, or rushing. Here are some quick rankings:
YPG: Seahawks 8th (374.4), Packers 18th (345.5).
Passing YPG: Seahawks 14th (236.9), Packers 17th (233.3)
Rushing YPG: Seahawks 4th (137.5), Packers 15th (112.2)
YPG Allow: Seahawks 26th (381.6), Packers 18th (352.6)
Passing YPG Allow: Seahawks 27th (263.9), Packers 14th (232.9)
Rushing YPG Allow: Seahawks 22nd (117.7), Packers 23rd (120.1)
Sacks Total: Seahawks 29th (28), Green Bay 15th (41)
I’m not going to analyze or look too much into these numbers and rankings. I mean, the Seahawks are definitely no longer a top-10 rushing team, but have shifted their focus to passing. The defense is still banged up, but Quandre Diggs is back, while not 100%. Aaron Rodgers will air it out as he always does. I’m looking at Jimmy Graham as being a serious threat to the Seattle defense. It’s cliché, but true: The Seahawks struggle against TE screens and slot passes. On the other side, the Packers are generous with total yards and passing. I’m thinking Russell Wilson will use Metcalf and Lockett early and often. They might toss in a few screen passes to the running backs once the passing game is established.
This matchup is highly anticipated and I (nervously) look forward to this game! Seattle has been very good on the road this season. I hope this success continues.