Crunching the Numbers: Do Eagles have an advantage over Seahawks?


Line vs. Line

Although the Eagles have gone through many different iterations of their rushing attack throughout the year, they have been fairly efficient. The numbers may not be entirely fair as to how explosive their ground game can be. Because of the lack of experience in the backfield, and some experimentation in run scheme, the Eagles have taken more losses on runs than we are accustomed to (12th). This perhaps overshadows the team averaging 2.3 yards before contact, which is in line with the best rushing attacks in the league.

The line itself has been less than stellar in the midst of injuries and turnover. However, they still finished middle of the pack in terms of efficiency (14th). Placing a premium on athleticism across the offensive line, Philadelphia is once again one of the better power run teams in the league (3rd). They are lacking in explosive runs (16th), however, with Miles Sanders taking over the backfield, splash plays have been more common.

Football OutsidersEagles’OffenseSeahawks’Defense
Adjusted Line Yards 4.43 14th 4.37 21st
RB Yards 4.36 15th 4.28 19th
Power Success 76% 3rd 67% 22nd
Stuffed 18% 12th 20% 12th
2nd Level 1.17 18th 1.21 20th
Open Field 0.78 16th 0.82 21st

The Seahawks defensive line has also been through their fair share of turmoil. That has resulted in poor efficiency against the run (21st). They aren’t exactly star-studded along the defensive line, but have some guys that can really make a difference. They also have an All-Pro linebacker behind them in Bobby Wagner. Individual plays and fast-flowing linebackers are a major reason why they’ve managed a 12th best stuff rate. Despite a very good linebacking corps, Seattle has allowed a lot of space behind the line of scrimmage. They rank near the bottom in both 2nd level (20th) and Open Field yards (21st).

They have mainly been exploited on the right side of their defense. When attacking the left end or tackle, the Seahawks’ defense ranks 27th and 25th respectively. The defense has been much better on Jadeveon Clowney’s preferred side. He’s difficult to move, and an excellent slasher, making it hard to run off tackle — where Seattle ranks 4th. The Seahawks are a little worse on the perimeter (13th), but Clowney’s athleticism can make it difficult to get around the edge.

The center of the defense has been fairly easy to navigate (27th) due to the lack of real star power on the interior. Yet, opponents haven’t taken advantage of that to any extent. A 43% interior frequency rate is well below the league average (56%). The Seahawks have historically been a tough defense to overpower, but they have been more bark than bite this season.

Rank Frequency   Rank Frequency
Left End 4.46 9th 15% 4.50 27th 13%
Left Tackle 3.70 24th 12% 4.75 25th 17%
Center/Guard 5.18 2nd 45% 4.78 27th 43%
Right Tackle 3.73 23rd 10% 3.19 4th 18%
Right End 2.88 29th 18% 3.79 13th 9%

All of this is fantastic news for the Eagles. Jason Kelce is fresh off a 1st team All-Pro nod and has been fantastic all season. The Eagles average the 2nd most yards up the middle, even with a low 45% frequency rate. They won’t be the same without star Guard Brandon Brooks in the lineup, but the massive Matt Pryor is a much better run blocker than pass protector.

Unsurprisingly, with Lane Johnson missing so much time, the Eagles have not had the success they are used to running behind the right side of the line. There is still some hope that Johnson plays, but it seems unlikely at this point.

The Eagles love to stretch the ball to the sideline and this game will be no different. However, the team should have plenty of success banging bodies in the middle. Jordan Howard’s physicality and vision could help him be a very underrated asset in this game.


The new-look Eagles’ backfield is spearheaded by two recent record setters in Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. At PSN, we never miss an opportunity to point out an Eagles’ record, and so you can check out artcles on both backs below:

The Eagles’ backs have only broken 31 tackles this year (17th), and average only 2.0 yards after contact. That evens out to be one broken tackle every 14.6 rushes (17th). Over the span of his short career, Jordan Howard is the king of broken tackles. It will be interesting to see how many touches, if any, he gets on Sunday. Both Boston Scott and Miles Sanders also have the ability to make defenders miss and can punish defenses if given space to operate.

Seattle’s defense has been uncharacteristically shaky bringing down running backs this season. They have missed 131 total tackles (4th most) despite having a plethora of solid tacklers. They have also struggled to make tackles behind the line of scrimmage, tallying only 52 tackles for loss (27th). They have allowed running backs to score 18 rushing touchdowns (31st).

An area where they have been dreadful is allowing quarterbacks to escape the pocket and run. Admittedly, playing the Ravens and Arizona twice doesn’t help. Still, the team allowed 347 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks (29th). Carson is no Lamar Jackson, but should be able to pick up some first downs using his legs. Pederson and co. have been much better getting him out of the pocket in recent weeks.

RPO/ Play Action

The Eagles use their run game to set up a very good RPO and play-action game. They have implemented the RPO 139 times this year (4th) for a total of 706 yards (6th). Wentz throws the ball as often as he hands it off (69:70), which makes the Eagles’ RPO a very difficult play to cover.

Philadelphia has also used a ton of play-action. 160 total play-action plays (3rd) have resulted in 1052 passing yards (10th). Unfortunately, defensive stats against play-action won’t be readily available until after the season.

Seahawks’ Offense vs. Eagles’ Defense

The Seahawks will be without their top three backs on Sunday, but have welcomed back Marshawn Lynch for their playoff push. That has also paved the way for rookie Travis Homer, who amassed 62 yards on the ground on just 10 carries against a very good San Francisco run defense last week. During the regular season, Seattle had the 4th best rushing attack in terms of total yards (2200, 137 per game). They ranked 3rd in both rushing attempts (481) and first downs (121). Concerning efficiency, they average 4.6 yards per attempt (10th) — 4.4 over the last 3 weeks.

The Eagles defense has been their usual stout selves against the run in 2019. They have allowed only 90.1 yards per game (3rd), although they have only faced 353 rushing attempts (30th). This is likely a cause of their atrocious pass coverage as much as it is their fantastic run defense. Accordingly, they allow an 11th best 4.1 yards per carry. However, they have also been scored on 13 times on the ground (14th).

Continued on the page below.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports