December 01, 2017
After four straight games in which they've outscored their opponents by a combined total of 152-55, the Philadelphia Eagles are in store for arguably their most difficult test of the season on Sunday night when they travel to Seattle to face the 7-4 Seahawks.
If it's not their toughest game of the season, it's certainly their most difficult since they beat the Panthers, 28-23, back in Week 6. But, partially because of how well the 10-1 Eagles are playing and partially because the Seahawks haven't been quite as dominant at home this season, the line (Eagles -6) suggests otherwise.
The Birds went to Carolina as a three-point underdog. The six points they'll be giving to Seattle on Sunday night mark the most a visiting team has been favored in Seattle since 2011. It's also the same amount of points they gave the Cowboys when they visited them in Week 11. And the Eagles won that game 37-9 after trailing 9-7 at the half.
So will Carson Wentz and the Eagles get revenge for their 26-15 loss to the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field last season? Here's a look at what the experts (both locally and nationally) are saying:
• Jimmy Kempski, PhillyVoice: Eagles 32, Seahawks 17
This is not the same Seahawks team you remember over the last five years. The Seahawks can no longer bulldoze defenses with Marshawn Lynch, and they're missing both Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor on the back end defensively. I think this is the next in line of teams that gets exposed by a superior Eagles roster.
• ESPN staff: Six of their 10 panelists are picking the Birds.
• Tim McManus, ESPN.com: Eagles 20, Seahawks 17
The Eagles lost in Seattle 26-15 last year, and they know how tough the Seahawks can be at home -- especially late in the season. They are 19-5 in December since QB Russell Wilson and coach Pete Carroll joined forces, and 10-2 in home prime-time games. This is not the same Philly team that came up short last season, though, and because of injuries to Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, among others, it's not the same Seattle team, either. Carson Wentz is on an MVP tear, and he will be the difference late.
• Brady Henderson, ESPN.com: Seahawks 24, Eagles 23
The Seahawks are six-point underdogs at home, but ESPN's Football Power Index sees this as a much tighter matchup than Las Vegas, favoring the Eagles by just 0.6 percent. The formula on offense for a Seahawks victory is not a revolutionary one: run the ball, control the clock and keep the NFL's highest-scoring offense off the field... The Eagles are the better team, but the Seahawks are at home and have enough going for them to pull off an upset win.
• Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: Eagles 30, Seahawks 24
Ah ... the chic pick this week will be to take the Seahawks in an upset. Especially with the Eagles looking so cocky and ripe for a flat road showing. Philadelphia should be able to accomplish plenty against this depleted Seattle defense, though, even with that noisy crowd in play... Trusting Carson Wentz yet again, but not without a struggle. Russell Wilson has kept Seattle in games with superhuman play.
• FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's computers have the Eagles winning just 52 percent of the time, and think the spread should be a lot closer – they have the Seahawks getting just a half point from the Birds.
• OddsShark: This computer also has the Birds winning, but sees it being a bit more comfortable than FiveThirtyEight. Their simulations are predicting about an eight-point win for Philly on Sunday night.
• Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: Seahawks 24, Eagles 23
Russell Wilson would like to remind everyone that he was winning a Super Bowl while Carson Wentz was playing I-AA football.
• Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 28, Seahawks 21
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is playing sensational football, but Seattle’s injuries across the roster are too much for them to beat an Eagles team that looks like the favorite to win the NFC.
• Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: Eagles 24, Seahawks 21
On paper, the Philadelphia Eagles should win this game hands-down. They're the better team, and their defense should steamroll the Seattle Seahawks offensive line. However, games aren't played on paper, and you never know what's going to happen with the human wild card Russell Wilson on the field.
This is a huge game for the Seahawks, who are trying to keep pace in the playoff race. This game is also in Seattle, so I don't expect the Eagles to just roll.
• SBNation staff: It's an even split over at SB Nation, with four of their writers taking the Birds and four taking the Seahawks.
• Zach Berman, The Philadelphia Inquirer: Seahawks 24, Eagles 23
This is going to be a close game, and it’s impressive that the Eagles are road favorites. But the Eagles haven’t played in many close games this season and Wilson is best in the fourth quarter. I’m going with the desperate team in December. If I’m wrong, I’ll be ready to hear from you about it.
• Jeff McLane, The Philadelphia Inquirer: Eagles 24, Seahawks 19
The Seahawks will be without half of their Legion of Boom defensive backfield. They’ve lost two straight at CenturyLink Field, where they have been near invincible over the last eight seasons. And their run game has been relegated to Russell Wilson and whomever else they can super glue into the lineup. These aren’t the Seahawks who went to back-to-back Super Bowls in 2013-14.
• Les Bowen, The Philadelphia Daily News: Eagles 21, Seahawks 17
Seems like every week I caution that the coming game might not be as easy as some folks think. This time, I really mean it. Tough challenge for the Eagles’ run game, and for the guys protecting Carson Wentz. But really, there is one Seahawk capable of winning this for Seattle: Russell Wilson. I don’t think Jim Schwartz, Malcolm Jenkins, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and the guys are going to let that happen.
• Paul Domowitch, The Philadelphia Daily News: Eagles 30, Seahawks 17
If it’s close or the Eagles are behind going into the final 15 minutes, be afraid, Eagles fans. Be very afraid.
But with half of the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom missing, I don’t think it will be.
• Bleeding Green Nation staff: All seven of their writers are picking the Eagles (as usual).
• NJ.com staff: Just three of their seven experts are picking the Eagles. [NOTE: These picks were against the spread]
• PhillyInfluencer staff: Seven of their eight writers are picking the Eagles, including PhillyVoice contributor Nick Piccone, who sees a 24-17 win for the Birds.
The Seahawks are very good and have had good depth these past few seasons. Despite their injuries, they’re still 7-4. And they’ve lost their last two home games to the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons. Losing three in a row at home? Like Uram said above, that’s pretty tough. However, this Eagles team, with much less talent, went up to Seattle last season and played a pretty good game overall.
• The Eagles Wire staff: All five of their writers have the Eagles winning big, including Turron Davenport, who sees a 24-21 final score:
The Eagles’ rushing attack will be the key on offense. They’ll need to take the home crowd out of the game early. Defensively, they’ll need to keep Russell Wilson from making big plays to Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin.
• David Steele, Sporting News: Eagles 24, Seahawks 23
The Seahawks are getting ridiculous in the ways they even stay in the games they lose, with all the players they’ve lost this season. With that, though, they have lost two straight in their once-overwhelming home-field advantage of CenturyLink Field. Philadelphia is markedly better than Washington and Atlanta, the two victors. Nevertheless, winning in such hostile territory would strengthen the Eagles' claim as NFC Super Bowl favorites.
• Vinny Iyer, Sporting News: Eagles 38, Seahawks 34
Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson both are fun to watch. Their elusiveness and scrambling abilities are just as impressive as how they spread and push the ball downfield. Philadelphia has been unfazed in prime time, and the Eagles get a big break here, as their explosive offense won't need to deal with several key members of the Seahawks' defense. Wilson will do his best to rally Seattle, but Philadelphia has the better running game to finish a shootout.
• Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Eagles 31, Seahawks 20
The Seahawks didn’t blow away San Francisco last week, and now they’re facing the best and most physical team in the league. Russell Wilson will test the defense, but visitors prevail.
• Benjamin Hofmann, New York Times: Eagles win and cover. [NOTE: This pick was against the spread.]
Nothing quiets the raucous crowds at CenturyLink Field quite like the team’s secondary being burned for deep touchdowns, and Carson Wentz will have his full array of receiving options available to pick apart a unit that is without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Shaquill Griffin is expected to return after a concussion, but he and Jeremy Lane will have a hard time containing Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, which should open up the middle of the field for Zach Ertz.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports