So, the Eagles didn’t clinch the NFC East last night. If you want something done right, do it yourself. The Eagles will march into CenturyLink Field to achieve the inevitable on Sunday Night. In order to do so, they’ll need some big performances across the board. Here are five players to keep an eye on.
It was only one year ago that Carson Wentz endured arguably the toughest task of his rookie season. The Seahawks fed on the rookie errors and forced Wentz into some uncharacteristic traits. One season and a league leading 28 touchdowns later, Wentz returns to CenturyLink field with securing the NFC East crown in mind. A weakened secondary will still pose a threat for the Eagles quarterback but this game will go a long way in showing how far he really has come since that fateful day. Can Wentz drown out the noise and lead his team to an NFC East crown, or will Wentz vs Wilson become a rivalry for years to come?
Jimmy Graham’s team leading eight touchdown this year hardly come as a surprise. The elite tight end has been on a complete tear recently with four touchdowns in his last three games. The former New Orleans Saint will face a familiar foe in Malcolm Jenkins. The veteran Safety prides himself in matching up against bigger tight ends and Graham had 46 yards and a touchdown in their encounter last season. Jenkins lines up all over the field, but will take extra care in covering one of the most lethal receiving tight ends in the game…especially with questionable linebacker depth.
Talking of linebackers, the Seahawks have a very dangerous rushing attacks. Eddie Lacy may not be the most intimidating back in the league, but it’s quarterback Russell Wilson who leads his team in rushing yards. Having to keep contain and worry about a committee of ever-changing ball-carriers is one thing, but being able to crash the pocket around Wilson is another challenge entirely. Bradham has been incredible this season as a run-stopper, but he will face a tough challenge in keeping Wilson contained.
There has been plenty of noise surrounding Ajayi and his subjectively “passive” comments after the team’s week 12 win, but he has every right to be frustrated. The Seahawks kept Carlos Hyde to under 50 yards last week and if Blount is unable to get going early on, Ajayi brings that extra receiving element to his game that Blount simply lacks. Expect hard running from the drop of the flag and a potential breakout game. Burned for his lack of speed one week and a fumble the next, Ajayi won’t be too happy heading into this weekend…but that only makes life harder for the defense.
The Seahawks have a flurry of receiving threats. Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin will both draw plenty of attention, but it’s Baldwin who will likely bring Ronald Darby over to keep him contained. This leaves none other than one of the year’s most pleasant surprises in Patrick Robinson to cover the veteran slot wideout. Baldwin has received for 698 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season and keeping him silent will force Wilson to step out of his comfort zone. If Robinson and Jenkins can remove the primary reads (Graham and Baldwin) from the arsenal, then the pass rush has much more of a chance of getting to the quarterback before he makes magic happen.
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