- Russell Wilson threw a season-low 28 passes in Week 11 as the Seahawks ran 31 times and operated at Week 11’s slowest situation-neutral pace
Seattle is back on primetime, this time heading to Philadelphia to take on a struggling Eagles team. One thing the Eagles have in their favor is they are starting to get healthier at the skill positions, but that might not matter. Their offensive line is decimated, Carson Wentz has seemingly regressed, and they’ve shown precious few signs of having the ability to turn things around.
One of the ways the Eagles have adjusted to their new reality is to slow things down, and none of their games since mid-October have gone over 45 total points. The Seahawks all season have been the type of team to force opponents to play faster and score more points to compete — their pass defense has been atrocious, and for most of the season they’ve been the league’s most aggressive team in terms of early down pass rate. Unfortunately for people who like fun, that changed in Week 11, when Seattle recommitted to the run in a Thursday night win over Arizona.
It’s not clear whether the Seahawks' shift was the result of a short week or an identity change, but with Russell Wilson’s recent struggles with turnovers, Week 11 wasn’t completely unexpected. We know Pete Carroll and the Seahawks’ coaching staff has enjoyed a certain play style for years, and in Week 11 they slowed down the pace, committed to the ground game, and got the win. Now that Chris Carson is expected back Monday night, it’s hard to imagine them immediately reverting back to the up-tempo offensive style that was so successful early this season.
One reason Seattle might be more likely to try to pound out a road win is they've gotten better rushing the passer since trading for Carlos Dunlap. In three games with Seattle, Dunlap has three sacks and six quarterback hits, and the Seahawks have 13 sacks overall. They had generated just 12 total across their first seven games before Dunlap made his debut. In a matchup against a poor offensive line, the Seahawks certainly have a chance to protect their pass coverage deficiencies by getting to the quarterback.
Seattle overs have been profitable for us this season, but I’m going away from it here. If the Seahawks lead like the line suggests, I’m expecting them to run enough to slow the game down. That could keep the Eagles in the game in a close, lower-scoring matchup, making the spread a tough sell. If Seattle does find itself trailing, they might be willing to throw at a high rate, but the Eagles will also likely be trying to slow the game down in that scenario. Both defenses are beatable through the air, but I’m afraid both offenses will make this a slightly less interesting game than it has any right to be. I’m on the under.
NFL Expert Picks
Under 48.5 @ -110
NFL Free Picks
Week 12 is finally upon us. On Sunday Night Football we see football's oldest rivalry as the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers meet and on Monday we see the Seahawks at the Eagles. The biggest game of the week for neutrals is probably the Chiefs at Buccaneers, which will pit Tom Brady against Patrick Mahomes.
Our talented stable of handicappers, led by Ben Gretch, Davis Mattek, Alex Kirshner, Richard Johnson, Ben Rolfe and more brings complete written and video NFL analysis to our users week after week. Make sure you check the site daily for picks from them all.