Eagles Gameday: In The Midst of a Celebration

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Enough cannot possibly be said for the Phillies historic run.  For the past month, Eagles coverage has largely been on cruise control, an afterthought in the wake of championship dreams.  Now that we finally won, it's still difficult to think of anything else.

For those of you as passionate about football as I am, today we take a slight break from our celebration and focus this new found positive energy toward the Eagles.  We forgive you if you're not quite ready to care about pigskin again, but it is November, and the Birds have their eyes set on a title of their own.

It's going to be really difficult for the Seahawks to win today, which like last week is a big departure from what we thought when the schedule was first released.  At 2-5, they've been surprisingly lousy, injuries being the catalyst for their huge decline.  They started the season with wide receivers they pulled off the streets, and the bug has continued to hit them hard all over the roster.

Nowhere is this more obvious than at QB.  Matt Hasselbeck will miss his third consecutive game, leaving Seneca Wallace to run the offense.  Wallace is a tremendous athlete, the type of player you want on your team, but as a quarterback he leaves something to be desired.  I think what you will see is a guy who has the natural ability to play the position, it's just at 5'11" he lacks the size to see and use the entire field.

One thing Wallace should do well is neutralize the Eagles pass rush.  He has great speed and excellent pocket presence, and most likely will be told to find his hot receiver for quick passes.  6'5" rookie TE John Carlson leads the team in receptions and should be heavily involved in the aerial attack.  For the Hawks to have any chance though, they'll need the support of the running game.

The Eagles run defense has been like a roller coaster, going from completely dominant to doormat and most recently back to solid again.  I expect another strong performance this week.  Against the backup QB, Jim Johnson will really key on the running game, and they face a familiar foe in former Cowboy RB Julius Jones.  Jones started the season fast, but hasn't reached 100 yards since week 3 and carried the ball just 13 times the last two games.

If the Seahawks can't find a way to put points on the board, the game should be merely a formality.  Seattle's defense has been one of the worst in the league, and ranks 30th against the pass.  Pro Bowl DE Patrick Kerney will be out with a shoulder injury, leaving a nameless defensive line to put pressure on Donovan McNabb.  If McNabb has time in the pocket, it's surgery.

The lone advantage advantage I see for the Seahawks is the friendly confines of their home turf.  The Eagles had to travel across the country and walk into one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL.  Add a dash of pacific northwest wind and showers and you have some of the ideal conditions for disrupting an opponent's passing game.  A veteran quarterback should be unfazed by all this though, so it comes back to X's and O's.

The Seahawks are clearly outmatched and will need to create turnovers or make big plays on special teams to stay in the game.  MLB Lofa Tatupu is usuallu a player to watch for the Seattle defense.  Tatupu burned A.J. Feeley for three (easy) interceptions last year, but he's out as well with an injured groin leaving the defense with few of their big playmakers.

The Eagles have been inconsistent, but very good.  They tend to beat the teams they are supposed to, and right now the Seahawks fall under that category.  A big win gets us to 5-3 and one step closer to climbing out of the basement.

Eagles 30, Seahawks 13



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