NFL Monday Night Football: Seahawks/Eagles Preview

by Alec McMordie

The Monday night game on ESPN is between the top two teams in the thick of the NFC playoff race.

This meeting between Seattle and Philadelphia is the third time these two teams have played at the Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field in just over a calendar year. These two teams played in the regular season last year on November 24th, with the Seahawks winning by a 17-9 score. These two teams then played again on this field in the NFC wildcard playoff round on January 5th, which Seattle also won by an identical 17-0 score.

The Seahawks ended a two-game losing streak with their 28-21 victory over Arizona 11 days ago, which raised their record to a 7-3 mark. Russell Wilson completed 23 of 28 passes for 197 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He is completing 70.7% of his passes for 2986 yards with 30 touchdown passes and ten interceptions for the season.

Seattle is still last in the NFL by allowing 434.9 yards-per-game, but head coach Pete Carroll has reasons for optimism that his defense is turning things around. The Seahawks held Kyler Murray and the Cardinals' high-powered offense to just 314 total yards. Getting safety Jamal Adams healthy and back on the field has helped. The addition of defensive linemen Carlos Dunlap from Cincinnati has also reaped immediate dividends as he has registered 3.5 sacks in his three games in a Seattle uniform. He has helped the Seahawks sack the quarterback 13 times in the last three games. Seattle has seen their opponent’s average yardage drop to 374.3 yards-per-game over those previous three games as well.

The Seahawks go into this game in first place in the NFC West with a 1/2 game lead over the Los Angeles Rams, who fell to a 7-4 mark with their loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Philadelphia can take over first place in the NFC East with a victory tonight after both Washington and the New York Giants raised their record to 4-7 with wins this week.

The Eagles lost their second game in a row with their 22-17 loss at Cleveland last Sunday as a 2.5-point underdog. Carson Wentz completed 21 of 35 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns but two interceptions in the loss. The embattled quarterback is completing a career-low of 58.4% of his passes, and his 73.3 passer rating is also a career-low.

Injuries have not helped his cause. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, as well as tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, along with running back Miles Sanders, have missed games. Twelve different players have logged-in time on their offensive line, and they will be using their tenth different starting lineup tonight. Philadelphia has allowed 40 sacks, which is the most in the league.

The Eagles will be without Lane Johnson for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Backup center Sua Opeta went on Injured Reserve with his back injury. He joins Ertz and Jackson, who are both still on IR and keeping the offensive weapons limited for Wentz. Safety Rudy Ford is also out with a hamstring. Offensive lineman Jason Peters is questionable with his toe injury.

Seattle will be without right tackle Braden Shell with an ankle sprain. Wide receiver David Moore is questionable with a hip injury. The Seahawks are getting healthier with center Ethan Pocic coming off their Injured Reserve and cornerback Shaquill Griffin upgraded to probable after going through the concussion protocol. Running back Chris Carson has also been upgraded to probable with his foot injury. Seattle got Chris Hyde back last week, who rushed for 79 yards with a touchdown against the Cardinals.

BetAnySports lists the Seahawks as a 6.5-point road favorite with the total set at 48.5. Kickoff is at 8:15 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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