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This Week In Defense: Eagles were simply no match for Seahawks

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Author’s note: This is very much outside my normal format of this piece. I found myself extremely frustrated trying to break down what was an extremely boring watch from a defensive standpoint. Instead, I made note of a few things and hope you find that enlightening.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks Narrative of the game:

Before we begin, let me reiterate: As I was taking apart this game I was absolutely bored

I don’t know any time in which the Seahawks have gone from facing the best team one week to a team that proved to be such a weak opponent by the next. The defensive side of the Eagles was seen as the threat with its defensive line of Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin, but I don’t think anyone had Seattle losing this game.

This is the only time I have ever had a hard time breaking down a game from a passion standpoint. I’ve missed games because of time constraints or illness, but this is different. Writing this out on Tuesday morning, it is such a stark contrast to last week’s contest.

While last week you had two great teams with established foundations going toe-to-toe, this week you had one great team and one team looking for an identity. Outside the first drive there was nothing interesting that caught my eye. Even the loss in L.A. versus the Rams in Week 2 had more to offer. A lot more.

Here are a few observations I made while combing through the game and taking notes:

  1. The game plan for the Philadelphia was running the ball. On the first TD drive for the Eagles they ran seven times and threw three times. Their other two drives before that ended quickly.
  2. Once the Eagles lost both Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, the running game and particularly the passing attack from the backfield disappeared along with a lot of football IQ with Mathews and Sproles out.
  3. Routes for receivers were simple and were easily exposed once the threat of the running game vanished.
  4. Despite injuries in the secondary (Both DeShawn Shead and Earl Thomas were out by mid-third quarter) the combination of a bad receiving corps lacking speed and a very inexperienced QB left Seattle’s defense with little to confront.
  5. Carson Wentz missed some throws, threw late and stared down his targets. This is common with young QBs. He throws everything hard right now, if he can learn some finesse, he should become a great QB, not just good.
  6. The Seahawks still found it difficult to defend runs with pulling guards and centers. When I talked about edges getting knocked down on runs this is what I mean. Jason Peters worked Frank Clark a few times in that opening couple of drives. Seattle countered with jumbo fronts featuring Ahtyba Rubin, Jarran Reed and Tony McDaniel; Philadelphia countered by trying to throw against it.

Here are two examples of what I’m talking about:

Overall, I think Kris Richard and Pete Carroll may have dodged a bit of a bullet. The Eagles did have just enough firepower in the backfield to put pressure on the defense. I fundamentally believe this is an entirely different game if those guys are in. I think Pete and Kris are trying to survive a lot of growing pains from Reed, Clark and whoever is the sign-off-the street guy is to replace Michael Bennett.

The Eagles also presented a non-weaponized receiving corps for the first time in several weeks. Julio Jones and Rob Gronkowski are universes above anything Philly has right now. Some people look at Zach Ertz as being scary but, speed and athleticism wise, this team was punch-less and it showed. Next week Seattle will play Mike Evans, a true NFL X-factor.

Game Ball:

Bobby Wagner. He was really wrecking folks out there. Another big game of tackles puts him at 109 for the season, most in the NFL.

Needs work:

The run defense is a concern still. It’s inconsistency is probably cured a little bit by a returning Bennett but I wouldn’t expect Michael to slip back into 50-60 snaps out of the gate. The Seahawks have just got to survive two to three weeks until Earl and Shead and some other guys can return.

The Seahawks Do It All

See Hawks Run See Hawks Fly See Hawks Play

Nai-post ni Field Gulls: For Seattle Seahawks News and Analysis noong Miyerkules, Nobyembre 23, 2016