LOB or LOL: Can the Eagles dethrone the reining Super Bowl Champs?

Pat

After coming off a huge Thanksgiving Day win over Dallas, the 9-3 Eagles look to continue where they left off last Thursday. The Seattle Seahawks are coming into Lincoln Financial allowing only three points in each of their last two games.

There is no question that Seattle’s defensive unit ranks first in the NFL. However, the Eagles offense has been clicking in the last few outings as well. With the exception of the Green Bay game, Mark Sanchez has been playing very well in the absence of Nick Foles. He threw for over 200 yards in the first half alone against Dallas. However, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas may be his biggest test yet. Actually, they are the biggest test for Chip Kelly’s offense. Sherman, as much as a loud-mouth he is, deserves to trash talk. He is good, and there is no denying that fact. However, it’s time for him to prove if he really is “the best corner in the game.” He never faced an offense like Philadelphia’s. The Eagles are averaging three plays a minute in the past few weeks. Remember, the Eagles leave opposing defense huffing and puffing by game end. The Eagles made J.J Watt need oxygen, and that’s saying a lot because he’s a great athlete. I don’t know LOB, it may be a test for our offense… but it’ll be a learning experience for your defense too.

LeSean McCoy has rushed 130 yards or more in the last two games. He only needs 48 more yards to be the Eagles all-time leading rusher. Wouldn’t that be nice to see? McCoy will be forever remembered with names like Wilbert Montgomery, Steve Van Buren, and Brian Westbrook. The only thing stopping Shady from breaking this record is the Seattle defense. They are averaging 3.5 yards against the rush, so it’s a guarantee that they will be trying to shut McCoy down. However, McCoy is on a roll right now. I wouldn’t worry about him not showing up to play.

The Eagles defense has to step up big as well. They need to get to Seattle’s QB, Russell Wilson. He is quick. He can throw. He makes great decisions, and rarely makes mistakes. How will Philadelphia perform against the read-option? It’s hard to tell, but Wilson could be in for a long day as long as Connor Barwin continues to do what he did in November.

Also, Marshawn Lynch can’t be forgotten. Talk about a beast! Why do you think he gets the nickname “Beast Mode” from? He is one of the NFL’s best. He is a dangerous threat to any opposing defense. The thing about Lynch is that he is so consistent. Overall, he rarely faces any adversity. However, the Eagles defensive front has stopped Arian Foster, Alfred Morris, DeMarco Murray, and Andre Ellington from having big games. The only big-name rusher that got the best of the Eagles was Eddy Lacey of Green Bay, but who didn’t get the best of Eagles that day.

Offensively, I believe Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will have nice games against Philadelphia. The Eagles have been good against run, but with the read-options, screen and quick passes Seattle runs, I don’t think the Eagles will be able to completely stop these two weapons.

On the Eagles side, I expect a big day from Zach Ertz, and LeSean McCoy. Yes, Ertz’s name hasn’t been heard in awhile, but I believe this is the game he gets a good amount of looks from Sanchez. Seattle also plays a Cover-3 defense, so Ertz could be in for a nice day if he’s left open down the field.

Defensively, the Eagles (Sanchez) must watch out for Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.

Defensively, Seattle (Wilson) must watch out for Connor Barwin.

Keys for the Eagles? Score in the RedZone, because that’s been a problem all year. Also, don’t turn the ball over. That, too, has been a huge issue with this team.

My Prediction:

Eagles 27 – Seahawks 26

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