The Eagles’ recent history vs. the Seattle Seahawks, one would think, would not bode well for their odds going into Sunday’s NFC Wild Card matchup in Philadelphia. Especially since one of the losses was as recent as six weeks ago. The Eagles last beat Seattle on November 2, 2008, on a day in the Pacific Northwest in which Seneca Wallace was under center for the Seahawks. Let’s take a look at the history since then:
December 1, 2011 – Seahawks 31, Eagles 14 - The “Dream Team” Eagles, who were in a full-on free fall at this point in the season, headed west for a Thursday Night matchup that ended in disaster. Vince Young, in his third and final game replacing an injured Michael Vick, threw 4 interceptions and the Eagles dropped to 4-8. They would go on to win their last 4 games of the season to finish 8-8, but that proved to be fool’s gold going into 2012.
December 7, 2014 – Seahawks 24, Eagles 14 - Mark Sanchez, Chip Kelly, and the 9-3 Eagles came out flat at home 10 days after a dominant Thanksgiving win in Dallas. Their first loss to Russell Wilson, this game was the first of three straight losses that doomed the Eagles playoff hopes and was truly the beginning of the end of the Chip Kelly era.
November 20, 2016 – Seahawk 26, Eagles 15 - The Eagles actually entered this game 5-4, but again Seattle sent the Eagles into freefall mode with a win that was really more of a blowout than the score indicates. This was the game Nelson Agholor hit rock bottom – negating a long Zach Ertz TD by lining up incorrectly, and dropping two easy passes in which he actually had Richard Sherman beat. He was benched the following week and the Eagles would go on to lose 5 straight.
December 3, 2017 – Seahawks 24, Eagles 10 – This game was the 10-1 Eagles’ lone hiccup with all their starters in on their run to Super Bowl LII. Carson Wentz, outside of two phenomenal pass plays, largely struggled in what would be his final full game of the season. Before having his MVP campaign cut short the following week in Los Angeles, Wentz and the Eagles bounced back strong after this loss and we all know how the 2017 story eventually ended.
November 24, 2019 – This game was arguable the worst of Carson Wentz’s career. The Eagles offense as a whole committed 5 turnovers, Wentz responsible for 4 of them. With Seattle also struggling, they actually hung in the game for a while and scored a garbage-time touchdown to only lose by 8, but for almost the entire game the offense mustered 3 points. This was an all-around ugly game for both sides and easily the Eagles’ worst overall performance of this season.
It’s crazy how much can change in six weeks. Since that game in November, the Eagles have gone 4-1 and the Seahawks 2-3. Seattle has cut Josh Gordon and lost Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny to injury. Marshawn Lynch is back in the backfield. Two of the primary Eagles’ wide receivers that day were Mack Hollins and Jordan Matthews. Since then, the Eagles’ offense has been revitalized with additions such as Greg Ward and Boston Scott, and Miles Sanders has emerged into a young superstar.
The home crowd in Philly, already deflated from a miserable loss to the New England Patriots the week prior, was as somber as it has been in the Pederson era. Sunday at 4:40 will look to be totally different. The Eagles have new life, the city has new life, Carson Wentz is red hot, and Sunday will probably feel more like the Eagles’ huge win over the Dallas Cowboys’ a few weeks ago. Seattle is coming off a deflating loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night that cost them a first round bye.
So much has changed in six weeks.
Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ young, undrafted, practice squad players just won’t quit no matter how many people don’t believe in them. Doug Pederson has done an absolutely masterful coaching job the last month, and I don’t see him losing to the Seahawks twice this season.
If the Eagles continue their play from the last four weeks and ride the energy of the home crowd as they did on December 22, the Eagles will come out victorious, Carson Wentz can tally a playoff win to his resume, and this improbable run will continue into San Francisco for the Divisional Playoffs.
By Chris Fioti