Seahawks seek third win at Philadelphia in 53 weeks
The Monday night NFL game will feature a pair of teams that entered the weekend in second place in their divisions.
That fact is far more impressive for the visiting Seattle Seahawks than it is for the host Philadelphia Eagles.
The Seahawks (7-3) own the same record as the Rams in the NFC West, but Los Angeles is on top of the league’s best division in terms of winning percentage thanks to a head-to-head win.
The Eagles (3-6-1) are a half-game behind the first-place Washington Football Team in the NFC East, the league’s worst division.
“There have been a lot of things that have surrounded this football team this year with the pandemic and COVID and injuries and different things,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “We still have a lot to play for. We still have an opportunity in our division …
“Listen, I guess it’s a hard task, right? It’s an uphill battle. But we just have to do our part. I’ve got to coach better, we have to practice better, and ultimately, we have to play better in order to really get this thing back on track.”
That starts with fifth-year quarterback Carson Wentz, who is having the worst season of his career. Wentz has an NFL-leading 18 turnovers (14 interceptions, four fumbles) and has been sacked a league-leading 40 times. His passer rating of 73.3 is third-worst among starting QBs, ahead of only Denver’s Drew Lock (67.5) and the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold (65.9).
There have even been calls for the Eagles to bench Wentz in favor of second-round draft pick Jalen Hurts. That talk intensified after Wentz had an interception returned for a touchdown in a 22-17 loss at Cleveland last week.
“In this city, it’s all about the QB and the head coach, and everybody else can almost go by the wayside, I guess,” Pederson said. “So it’s almost like a two-man band, but there is enough work to be done by all positions.”
Wentz could get some help Monday, as tight end Zach Ertz is expected to return after missing four games due to an ankle injury.
This will be the Seahawks’ third trip to Philadelphia in the past 53 weeks. They posted a pair of 17-9 victories there last season, one of those occurring in the opening round of the playoffs.
Seattle snapped a two-game losing streak with a 28-21 victory against visiting Arizona on Nov. 19.
Carlos Hyde returned after missing three games with a hamstring injury to rush for a season-high 79 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks expect starting running back Chris Carson back Monday after he was sidelined for the past month with a mid-foot sprain.
“I think balance is always great, but I think that we’ve got to do whatever it takes to win,” Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said. “To have our running backs healthy, we want to have everybody out there. We want to have all our best players out there and get the ball facilitated whether it’s running it, throwing it, all that stuff we want to be able to do.”
Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring) and center Ethan Pocic (concussion) have also returned to practice this week after missing multiple games with injuries.
–Field Level Media