Hawks Playbook Podcast Episode 40 – Seahawks beat the unbeatable Eagles

Open: The Seattle Seahawks started fast and never trailed on their way to a 24-10 win over Philly. The Eagles came into the game 10-1 and heavily favored, but it was the Seahawks who were the better team.

Featured Segment One:  Seattle Seahawks Crimp the Eagles Wings

  • The Eagles entered the week as the NFL’s highest scoring offense, but the Seahawks were able to shut them down despite missing all those defensive stars who are on injured reserve. Seattle has now played the #1 and #2 scoring offenses in the NFL (Philly and LAR) and held both of them to 10 points. 
  • The Eagles averaged 37.2 points over their past five games, scoring at least 31 in each. They had scored 28 or more in 7 straight. The Seahawks held them to 10 tonight without Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Cliff Avril, Dion Jordan or Naz Jones.
  • The Seahawks gave up just 2 sacks tonight, and 1 came late when Wilson went down intentionally instead of throwing the ball away to make sure the clock rolled. That’s 2 sacks in the last 67 drop backs (2.9%).
  • Mike Davis ran 16 times for 64 yards (4.0 yards per carry) to provide the Seahawks with a little offensive balance. This against the NFL’s top rush defense
  • Jimmy Graham added yet another TD, and currently leads the NFL in receiving TDs.
  • Bobby Wagner continues to make his case for DPoY. He added 13 tackles (9 solo) including 2 TFL.
  • Frank Clark added 2 more sacks, and terrorized Carson Wentz throughout the game. 
  • Quill Griffon returned and played well. Byron Maxwell started opposite him and alternated between solid play and painful mental lapses. 
  • Seahawks currently hold a Wild Card playoff spot, and are 1 game back of the Rams in the division. 

Russell Wilson is now part of a 3-man race for NFL MVP. The presumed leader in the MVP race coming into this week was Wentz, but it was Wilson who stole the show on Sunday night. His numbers might not be as high as other players, but there is no player so key to his team’s success as Wilson.

  • Wilson accounts for 81% of Seattle’s offensive yards, by far the most in the NFL.
  • Doug Baldwin on Russell Wilson: “He was in the zone. I told him whatever that felt like, he’s got to hold on to it because we need him to be in that mode for the rest of the season because if he does that we’ll be unstoppable.”
  • Doug Baldwin on Bobby Wagner: “Bobby Wagner should be the defensive MVP. If he’s not the defensive MVP then I don’t know what more he could do honestly. He’s played out of his mind this season.”
  • Wilson has put up MVP-caliber numbers despite statistically being below average in the first quarter; he entered Sunday night’s game with three touchdowns, three interceptions and a 71.7 passer rating that ranked 30th in the NFL in the opening frame.
  • Wilson leads the team in rushing attempts, rushing yards, yards per carry and rushing touchdowns even though the Seahawks have all-but removed designed QB runs from the playbook. 
  • Wilson has 11 4th quarter TDs this season. That ties Eli Manning (2011) for the most in a season since 1991. There are still 4 more games for him to add to that total. 
  • All of this has happened while playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in NFL history (though they have been better the last 2 weeks)

Featured Segment Two:   Next up: Jacksonville on the road

  • Jacksonville enters this game 8-4, and is tied for the division lead with Tennessee. They have won 5 of their last 6 games. This includes a 30-10 rout of Indy last week. The 1 loss in that stretch was 27-24 to Arizona in Week 12. 
  • This game was originally scheduled for the 10 am time slot, but it was rescheduled to the afternoon slot. That’s a good thing for Seattle. 
  • The Jags have the NFL’s best pass defense, giving up only 5.6 yards per pass attempt. They also lead the league in sacks
  • Their rush defense is susceptible though. They rank 28th in the NFL, giving up 4.5 yards per carry. 
  • Blake Bortles is still their QB, so they average only 6.7 yards per pass attempt. He has cut back on the interceptions this year and currently has 8.
  • Jacksonville’s offense is led by their running game, especially rookie RB Leonard Fournette. Fournette has 822 yards and 7 TDs already this season despite missing 3 games (2 for injury and 1 for violating curfew the night before a game)