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Seahawks vs. Eagles: Why Philadelphia will lose

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks head on the road this weekend to face off against a hot Eagles team in Philly. The Seahawks need a win to keep strengthening their playoff hopes and the Eagles need to hold off Dallas for the lead in the NFC East. It's a big time showdown.

We here at Field Gulls have chatted with Bleeding Green Nation this week to try to preview the game a little bit. On Wednesday, Kenny talked about which Eagles player he would take for the Seahawks and Brandon Gowton of BGN did the same. Brandon and I also exchanged five questions on Thursday: here's the Field Gulls version and here's the BGN version.

Today, we've got a feature that the guys at BGN like to hit up each week -- why each team might lose. As Brandon puts it, this format forces us to consider our own team's weaknesses, rather than just think of why each team is awesome. Gowton addresses the Eagles' offense, defense, and special teams. I do the same at Bleeding Green Nation.

Here's Brandon:

Offense

Philadelphia's offense versus Seattle's defense is the center of focus heading into this matchup. The Seahawks defense appears to be in top form; they've only allowed a total of six points in their last two games combined.

The Seahawks clearly have the talent to matchup with Philadelphia's skill players. The likes of Earl ThomasRichard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor won't make it easy for Mark Sanchez to move the ball through the air. Sanchez has shown a bad habit of sailing some of his passes over the middle of the field. Other teams always haven't been able to capitalize on those mistakes but Seattle seems more then capable of doing just that.

Running the ball won't be much easier for the Eagles. LeSean McCoy faces a tough test against a Seattle defense allowing only 3.5 yards per carry. If Philadelphia can't establish their game, more pressure will be placed on Sanchez to move the ball through the air. The Eagles would much rather have the ball in McCoy's hands. 

The biggest concern for Philadelphia heading into this matchup has to be their red zone offense. Only 43.5% of the Eagles' red zone trips have resulted in a touchdown, which ranks fourth to last in the NFL. Red zone trips in this game might be very limited, so wasted opportunities could prove very costly. 

Defense

The Seattle offense versus the Eagles defense is the matchup that isn't receiving as much attention. Philadelphia tends to stop the run well but so did the 49ers before Seattle ran for 156 yards on them last week. Marshawn Lynch's physical running style, which is a mild way to describe it, will give Philadelphia the toughest test they've faced on the ground this season.

The most intimidating matchup for Philadelphia's defense will be containing Russell Wilson in the pocket. Wilson ranks 15th among all NFL rushers with a total of 679 yards. His ability to escape an Eagles pass rush that has generated a lot of pressure while playing at home could thwart Philadelphia's best defensive asset. 

Special Teams

Rookie kicker Cody Parkey has been dealing with a groin injury. He's expected to play this week. His field goals looked fine against Dallas last week on short rest, but some of his kickoffs were well short of the end zone. Parkey's been good this year so this concern could be a complete non-factor, but it's something at least worth mentioning.