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Reality check in Seattle—Seahawks 24, Eagles 10

I didn’t expect the Eagles to go 15-1 in the regular season—but I expected a little more brainpower than I got from their offensive game plan last night.

To paraphrase our local hero/former collegiate safety/coaching aspirant Leo Pizzini: “Bad game plan…not enough play-making calls… we handed the league a blueprint for beating the Birds…it wasn’t as timid a game plan as it looked because Doug Pederson called 3 or 4 go-routes in the first half that didn’t get open because the coverage bailed, and Wentz took a sack and just ran himself a couple of times…but I think we didn’t run the ball enough in response to the bailed coverage…We should have run the trap game, and pulled a few hard play actions. Too much RPO (run/pass option)…”

Truth be told, we were in this game most of the way but shot ourselves in the foot with some questionable challenges and non-challenges by HC Doug, and a most unfortunate goal-line fumble by Carson Wentz.

And a tip of the hat to Seattle’s linebacker Bobby Wagner, who played the game of his life and simply wrecked most of the crazy RPO stuff we tried to run.

Mama said there’d be prime time games like this. But she never knew a clinker like this one by the Eagles would give new life and expectations to just about every other team in the NFC with a winning record.

I guess the football gods finally decided this team was getting it too easy and having too much fun.

The flip side of this loss is that sinking feeling deep in the soul of every veteran Eagles fan: “Maybe we’re just not as good as we thought we were…”

Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, the last a 15-yard strike to J.D. McKissic with 7:29 left, and the Seattle Seahawks stayed in the NFC playoff hunt with a 24-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

Seattle (8-4) snapped Philadelphia’s nine-game winning streak thanks largely to another masterful performance by its quarterback. Wilson was 20 of 31 for 227 and threw touchdowns of 11 yards to Jimmy Graham, 1-yard to Tyler Lockett and the TD to McKissic after the Eagles had trimmed the lead to seven.

“I thought Russell was phenomenal tonight. I thought that was Russell showing you everything he’s all about,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “From start to finish, from the first play of the game he was on it. He created. His execution was excellent.”

Philadelphia (10-2) was the highest-scoring team in the NFL averaging 31.9 points per game. But the Eagles got just 10 points out of seven drives that at some point reached Seattle territory.

Carson Wentz was 29 of 45 for 348 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wentz had a costly fumble at the Seattle 1 on the opening drive of the second half that could have pulled the Eagles even at 10-all.

Wentz was inches shy of breaking the plane when Sheldon Richardson ripped the ball free. The loose ball bounced around the end zone and eventually over the end line for a touchback and Seattle’s ball. It was a major turning point as Seattle went 80 yards in 11 plays, capped by Wilson’s 1-yard pass to Lockett and a 17-3 Seattle lead. The touchdown was set up by a 47-yard pass to Doug Baldwin on third-and-10 beating a Philadelphia blitz.

“I make my big plays here and there,” Richardson said.

Seattle snapped a rare two-game losing streak at home mostly because of Wilson. It wasn’t his best game in numbers, but it might be one of his best performances. He came up with key throws when needed, kept plays alive with his legs and pulled out some unexpected improvisation just went the Seahawks needed it.

Wentz started a Philadelphia rally on the first play of the fourth quarter. Facing third-and-13 at the 16, Wentz was pressured from the pocket. As he was about to be dragged down by Quinton Jefferson, Wentz hit Nelson Agholor for 51 yards. Four plays later, and again facing third-and-long, Agholor beat Byron Maxwell again and Wentz found him for a 27-yard TD to pull the Eagles within 17-10.

Agholor had seven catches for 141 yards.

That’s when Wilson pulled out a little more magic on what proved to be Seattle’s decisive drive. Facing third-and-8 at the Philadelphia 42, Wilson was forced to scramble. Six yards downfield and short of the first down, Wilson lateraled the ball to Mike Davis as he was about to be hit. Davis took the lateral another 17 yards for a first down. It was a borderline play that appeared close to a forward pass but Philadelphia didn’t challenge. In retrospective video review, it indeed was an illegal forward pass.

After another remarkable Wilson throw across his body to Nick Vannett for 21 yards, Wilson hit McKissic for a 15-yard score with 7:29 left and a 14-point Seattle lead.

“We had a good game plan going against (Wilson),” Philadelphia safety Corey Graham said. “But as you see, you know how it is, better in person than it is on film.”

JIMMY GRAHAM’S ROLL:

Graham had just three catches for 26 yards but continued to be Wilson’s favorite target near the goal line. Graham has touchdowns in four straight games and nine in the past seven games.

SCORING STREAK OVER FOR EAGLES:

Philadelphia failed to score at least 20 points for the first time in 15 games, a streak dating to last season. The Eagles were the only team in the league to score at least 20 in every game this season.

FIRST QUARTER STREAK FOR PHILLY DEFENSE FINALLY ENDS:
Seattle became the first team to score an offensive touchdown in the first quarter this year against the Eagles on Graham’s 11-yard TD catch. The Eagles had allowed just 18 points in the first quarter coming into the game, but allowed points on two of Seattle’s first three possessions.

INJURIES: Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz left in the third quarter to be evaluated for a head injury and did not return. Ertz was injured trying to make a difficult catch across the middle that was broken up by Bradley McDougald.

Sigh…we stay camped out on the West Coast then take on the surging L.A. Rams.  I need our defense to stay focused and our head coach to get his offensive game plan together.  It wouldn’t hurt if Doug and his staff could bone up on what constitutes an illegal forward pass as opposed to a lateral, either. He would have won that challenge against Russell Wilson if he and his staff either recognized it or thrown the challenge flag in time.  It would have been a potential game-changer.

Final:

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 0 3 0 7 10
SEA 10 0 7 7 24

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER PHI SEA
FG
9:47
Blair Walsh 46 Yd Field Goal
12 plays, 53 yards, 5:13
0 3
TD
0:10
Jimmy Graham 11 Yd pass from Russell Wilson (Blair Walsh Kick)
5 plays, 85 yards, 2:48
0 10
SECOND QUARTER PHI SEA
FG
7:51
Jake Elliott 26 Yd Field Goal
16 plays, 75 yards, 7:19
3 10
THIRD QUARTER PHI SEA
TD
5:42
Tyler Lockett 1 Yd pass from Russell Wilson (Blair Walsh Kick)
11 plays, 80 yards, 3:57
3 17
FOURTH QUARTER PHI SEA
TD
12:08
Nelson Agholor 27 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott Kick)
7 plays, 81 yards, 3:48
10 17
TD
7:29
J.D. McKissic 15 Yd pass from Russell Wilson (Blair Walsh Kick)
10 plays, 73 yards, 4:39
10 24
Matchup
1st Downs 25 20
Passing 1st downs 15 12
Rushing 1st downs 8 4
1st downs from penalties 2 4
3rd down efficiency 8-16 6-12
4th down efficiency 2-4 0-0
Total Plays 74 58
Total Yards 425 310
Total Drives 10 10
Yards per Play 5.7 5.3
Passing 327 209
Comp-Att 29-45 20-31
Yards per pass 6.8 6.3
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Sacks-Yards Lost 3-21 2-18
Rushing 98 101
Rushing Attempts 26 25
Yards per rush 3.8 4.0
Red Zone (Made-Att) 0-2 3-3
Penalties 7-64 5-46
Turnovers 2 0
Fumbles lost 1 0
Interceptions thrown 1 0

Possession              31:54        28:06

Philadelphia Passing
C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT SACKS QBR RTG
Carson Wentz 29/45 348 7.7 1 1 3-21 53.8 86.2
TEAM 29/45 327 7.7 1 1 3-21 86.2
Philadelphia Rushing
CAR YDS AVG TD LONG
Jay Ajayi 9 35 3.9 0 11
Carson Wentz 6 30 5.0 0 12
LeGarrette Blount 8 26 3.3 0 11
Corey Clement 3 7 2.3 0 8
TEAM 26 98 3.8 0 12
Philadelphia Receiving
REC YDS AVG TD LONG TGTS
Nelson Agholor 7 141 20.1 1 51 12
Alshon Jeffery 4 61 15.3 0 23 6
Trey Burton 4 42 10.5 0 14 7
Corey Clement 3 30 10.0 0 23 3
Torrey Smith 5 29 5.8 0 11 7
Zach Ertz 2 24 12.0 0 14 4
Jay Ajayi 3 11 3.7 0 11 4
Mack Hollins 1 10 10.0 0 10 1
Kenjon Barner 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
TEAM 29 348 12.0 1 51 45
Philadelphia Defense
TACKLES MISC
TOT SOLO SACKS TFL PD QB HTS TD
Mychal Kendricks 9 5 0 1 0 0 0
Jalen Mills 7 5 0 0 0 0 0
Nigel Bradham 6 3 0 0 0 0 0
Rodney McLeod 5 5 0 0 0 0 0
Brandon Graham 5 4 1.5 2 0 2 0
Malcolm Jenkins 4 3 0 0 0 0 0
Najee Goode 4 1 0 1 0 0 0
Corey Graham 3 2 0 0 0 0 0
Ronald Darby 3 2 0 0 3 0 0
Trey Burton 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Long 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
Fletcher Cox 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
Tim Jernigan 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Destiny Vaeao 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Corey Clement 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Patrick Robinson 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Vinny Curry 1 0 0 0 0 2 0
Derek Barnett 1 0 0.5 0 0 2 0
TEAM 59 33 2 4 4 8 0
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