Eagles can’t afford to look past the struggling Seahawks

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Eagles jalen carter Haason reddick
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter, left, runs with the ball while scoring on a fumble recovery as teammate Haason Reddick (7) gestures and Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Terence Steele (78) chases him during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The Philadelphia Eagles have had a rough go of things over the last few weeks. Back-to-back losses against the NFC’s top teams have sent the team back down to Earth in a downward spiral. Questions are being asked, pressure is building, and the Birds need to respond. They have an opportunity to do so against a 6-7 Seattle Seahawks team, but getting past them won’t be easy, regardless of how winnable the matchup is.

Sure, the Seahawks have struggled this year and Drew Lock will be the man under center on Monday night. But this is still an offense built on a strong foundation and features some lethal playmakers such as D.K Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and TE Noah Fant.

A glaring weakness

That last name is one to circle in red. The Eagles have given up 660 yards against opposing tight ends this season including 140 yards over the last two games. After the Niners exploited the middle of the field, the Cowboys doubled down. Now, Philadelphia faces a TE that hasn’t exactly been prolific this season, but still has 339 Yards to his name.

Defensive Coordinator, Sean Desai was notably an Associate head coach & defensive assistant in Seattle last year before making the jump to Philadelphia. If anybody knows how good those offensive playmakers are, it’s him.

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CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 21: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai looks on during a preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills on August 21, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

I think our defensive backs are looking forward to the challenge, and we’ll do a good job of holding up against that. Both those guys are professionals and have such different traits how they get open. It was good to be able to see them in person and how they’re being coached and what they’re being taught. 

DK is big, fast, physical and can have a big catch radius and win a lot of different ways on the field. Tyler, I said this when I got there, to me he was one of the most underrated wide receivers in the league. Really savvy in terms of how he can run routs and win to his leverage. He’s got a good catch radius for his size and quickness and speed as well. 

Those guys are really good, professional receivers and they do a good job at their craft. We will have a good challenge ahead of us and we’re looking forward to it.

Sean Desai

Even with Geno Smith failing to repeat his success from 2022, the Seahawks still sit 15th in total passing offense. They’re not a dominant NFC force just yet, but facing a pass defense as leaky as Philadelphia’s will undoubtedly give Lock and his playmakers some added confidence.

Some tough trends for the Eagles to snap

The Eagles also haven’t beaten the Seahawks since 2008. That’s an awful long time, and in fact, 7 of Seattle’s 12 series wins have come in that span.

The Seahawks, despite being 6-7 on the year, are 4-2 at home in 2023. Their iconic stadium remains one of the toughest places for visiting teams to play.

We haven’t yet touched on the fact that the Philadelphia offense is sputtering right now. The explosiveness that dominated headlines earlier in the year has been replaced with a mixture of complacency, and bland, repetitive playcalling.

While the Seahawks’ defense is hardly the beast it once was, the Eagles have to get out of their own way before worrying about who stands opposite them. A failure to do so would give even the weakest of defenses plenty of opportunities to capitalize through penalties, turnovers, and dropped passes. All of which have haunted the Eagles in recent weeks.

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts reacts after an incomplete pass on a third-down play against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Philadelphia might still be the favorite to win the NFC East thanks to an easy run-in with games against the Giants and Cardinals. But the Seahawks are as tough as any opponent they’ll face this year, and to end a streak that’s stood for 15 years is going to take a total reset for this Eagles team.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez