Division winners can do funny things in the NFL playoffs. For example, this year the Eagles get to host a postseason game against the Seahawks despite finishing two full games behind them in the regular season standings. Unfortunately for Seattle, their 11-5 mark wasn’t good enough to knock off the 49ers in the NFC West.
As a result, Russell Wilson and company get to make the cross-country trek to play at Philadelphia on Sunday night. Oddsmakers have still installed the Seahawks as 1.5-point favorites in the game despite their travel requirements. Seattle would, of course, be bigger favorites at home, but it’s a testament to their talent advantage that they still are predicted to win despite heading to the City of Brotherly Love.
Our exclusive Statschecker Site has all of the information you need to read before locking in your bets on this game. This piece will give you five tasty nuggets from the site, but to digest the main course, you’ll need to click the link and read everything for yourself.
1. The Seahawks have owned the Eagles lately
These two teams don’t play often, but lately that’s really worked out in Philadelphia’s favor. The Seahawks have won their last give games against the Eagles and they’ve managed to cover the spread in each of the encounters.
Given the fact that Philadelphia is arguably the weakest team to qualify for this year’s postseason it seems highly possible that Seattle can extend those respective streaks to six games in a row. The Eagles face an uphill climb in this one.
2. Can Marshawn be a factor?
If we cut emotion and sentiment out of the equation, it’s highly unlikely that Lynch is going to grind out a ton of yards in this game. What Marshawn can do, is go full “beast mode” when his team enters the red zone.
Remember, he scored a touchdown in his team’s finale against the 49ers. There’s also the reality that he’s scored at least one touchdown in seven of his last nine playoff games. The Eagles can’t forget about him when Seattle gets close to the goal line.
3. The Eagles struggle against the spread
It’s fair to call Philadelphia one of the biggest disappointments in the league this season. They came into the year with legitimate Super Bowl dreams and barely managed to win the worst division in football.
That’s why it’s no surprise to learn that the Eagles are only 7-9 against the spread this season. That record ranks them as 22nd in the NFL. There’s a significant chance they’ll drop to 7-10 for the season after Sunday night’s affair.
4. Seattle loves the road
Pete Carroll’s team hasn’t just survived away from home this season, they’ve positively thrived. Their 7-1 record away from the friendly confines of Seattle shows just how dominant they’ve been on the road.
That’s bad news for a Philadelphia team that’s struggled to muster any sort of meaningful home field advantage. Yes, the Eagles should have an electric crowd on their side, but those fans only powered them to a 5-3 home mark during the regular season. Don’t expect the atmosphere to buoy Carson Wentz’s team to a massive win.
5. The scoreboard could be lit up
Don’t get caught up in the idea that the Eagles and Seahawks still boast the sort of formidable defenses that defined both franchises in the recent path. The simple truth is that neither group ha been very good in 2019.
Consider the reality that Philadelphia is giving up 22.1 points per contest and the Seahawks are even worse at 24.9 points per game. The chances of this game developing into a shootout are quite high.
Trust the Seahawks to put the Eagles out of their misery
The Eagles are lucky to have even qualified for the postseason. In most years, their players would already be on vacation after their decidedly mediocre 9-7 campaign.
Philadelphia just doesn’t have any magic this season. Seattle, in sharp contrast, is blessed with a quarterback playing like an MVP. That makes the Seahawks the easy choice in this game. Lay the points and roll with Wilson to a relatively easy postseason victory.