Leaking oil and running on fumes… the 2019 Eagles season has ended.
No need to romanticize the “valiant effort” in the wake of the early loss of QB Carson Wentz—this was still a winnable game. A couple of potentially decisive drives fizzled out after disdaining the FG option. I thought McCown just might pull off a stunning comeback. We couldn’t seem to find that game-breaker play we so desperately needed.
The Associated Press game recap is sufficient to record here what history will remember of this game. I shall not interject my personal takes into the record, as I am still processing the complexity of the defeat.
“To come back here, back East, it’s a long ways, we were able to do it, pull through,” Wilson said. “We’ve been road warriors and it’s exciting. We’ve got a great defense, too.”
Making his first career playoff start, Wentz lasted two series before exiting with a head injury following a helmet-to-helmet hit from Clowney. “I didn’t intend to hurt him. I hope he’s OK,” Clowney said.
Referee Shawn Smith told a pool reporter: “He was a runner and he did not give himself up. We saw incidental helmet contact, and in our judgment, we didn’t rule it a foul.”
Forty-year-old Josh McCown stepped in, becoming the oldest quarterback to make his playoff debut. But he couldn’t lead the Eagles (9-8) into the end zone.
“I didn’t get the job done,” said McCown, who was quite emotional on the field afterward.
The Seahawks (12-5) lost three of their final four games, including a 26-21 defeat at home against San Francisco in Week 17 that cost them the NFC West title. But they traveled to Philadelphia for the second time in six weeks and became the third team to win on the road this weekend, improving to 8-1 away from home this season.
Wilson threw for 325 yards and led the team with 45 yards rushing. Metcalf had seven catches for 160 yards.
The Seahawks had a season-high seven sacks from six players.
“We made up our mind to not let them score,” All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “It was a mental thing more than execution.”
Wilson drove Seattle 82 yards late in the second quarter and Lynch powered in from the 5 for a 10-0 lead.
Wilson connected with Metcalf for 26 yards and David Moore for 38 on third-down, catch-and-run passes to keep that drive going.
McCown finally got the offense going on the opening drive of the third quarter. He connected with Zach Ertz for 32 yards and Boston Scott ran 15 yards to the 5. But a false start, fumbled snap and sack followed. Jake Elliott‘s 26-yard field goal cut the deficit to 10-6.
The Seahawks answered quickly. Metcalf stretched to catch Wilson’s deep pass, got up and tumbled into the end zone for a 17-6 lead.
“I caught the ball, I didn’t feel anybody touch me,” Metcalf said. “I got back up and I wanted a touchdown. I wanted a touchdown real bad.”
Down 17-9, Eagles coach Doug Pederson passed up a 42-yard field goal attempt with 6:24 left and went for fourth-and-4 from the Seahawks 24. Miles Sanders couldn’t catch McCown’s pass.
Philadelphia had another chance after Shelton Gibson, just signed earlier in the week, drew a 39-yard pass interference penalty to the Seahawks 13.
On fourth-and-7 from the 10 with two minutes left, Clowney sacked McCown.
Wentz started all 16 games for the second time in his four seasons and played his best down the stretch with backups surrounding him. But he finished the season injured the same as the previous two.
“I’m disappointed for him,” Pederson said. “I wanted this for him. I think a lot of his teammates did, too. The team and the organization did. He’s battled through a lot.”
Maybe Wentz could have made a big difference on 3rd-down red-zone success for the Eagles, but we’ll never know now. What we do know is Russell Wilson killed the Eagles on 3rd-down plays. The Seahawks’ offense converted 8 of 15 third downs, including a couple that were truly back-breakers. A third-and-10 throw from quarterback Russell Wilson to wide receiver David Moore from the Eagles’ 43-yard line gained 38 yards when cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc missed a tackle and Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch bulled into the end zone from the 5-yard line two plays later to put Seattle ahead 10-3 late in the first half. Late in the fourth quarter, Wilson went up top for DK Metcalf on third-and-10 with 1 minute, 47 seconds remaining at the Seattle 11-yard line and Metcalf went above the crowd to haul in a 36-yard gain.
That was all she wrote. It ends like this. Not our finest moment, but certainly far from the worst. We almost went the distance. Our car broke down.
|Passing 1st downs||10||9|
|Rushing 1st downs||4||7|
|1st downs from penalties||2||4|
|3rd down efficiency||8-15||3-11|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-2|
|Yards per Play||6.7||4.6|
|Yards per pass||10.3||4.6|
|Yards per rush||2.5||4.6|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||0-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|