Game Preview – PHI at SEA

Posted: December 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 96 Comments »

This has been a season of test for the Eagles. Sunday night will be one of the toughest of the year. They’ll be facing a team with a star QB, good defense and a big time home field advantage.

I also think the Seahawks will be very fired up because of all the hype going to the Eagles. That team is missing some key players, but they still have plenty of talent and those guys will all have a chip on their shoulders. And you know the Seahawks won’t give a flip about the Eagles 10-1 record.

To be fair, those teams likely faced Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, and possibly Marshawn Lynch. This is a very different Seattle team.

The Eagles are an ascending team. The Seahawks are descending. That doesn’t mean the Eagles will win this game, but the teams are headed in different directions. Time and age have worn at Seattle, while Philly is just getting going. That’s life in the NFL. You can get to the top, but staying there is incredibly hard.

I wrote a preview of the game for PE.com.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Jim Schwartz defends Russell Wilson. Will he blitz a lot? Will he spy? If he does spy, will that be Mychal Kendricks or would he do something crazy like play a Dime defense and have Malcolm Jenkins in that role?

We’ll see.

The Eagles have been up and down with kick/punt coverage this year. They need to be strong in those areas tonight. Make Seattle drive the long field. Don’t let them make big plays on offense or STs.

With Seattle having a banged up secondary and lots of new faces back there, it might be smart for the Eagles to use the no-huddle attack at times. If you can get those DBs confused and a bit unsettled, maybe they blow a coverage that leads to a big play.

It feels pretty good to know the Eagles don’t have to do anything special to win this game. They can choose to do some different things in terms of strategy, but they don’t have to come up with the perfect plan. They’re the better team.

*****

There is a lot to be happy about, now and into the future.

Mike Florio of PFT did have a report that the Eagles have been talking to Brandon Graham about a new deal and he’s in no rush to get one done.

As the Eagles try to lock up as many of their key players for as long as they possibly can, one key player isn’t as eager to sign a long-term deal as the team wishes he were.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, veteran defensive end Brandon Graham has been pushing back on efforts to ink him to a new contract.

Signed through 2018, the 2010 first-round pick is earning $6.5 million in salary this year. Next year, he’s due to make $6.75 million.

Graham currently has a career-high seven sacks, with five games to play.

So why not take a long-term deal? Because the market, and the salary cap, continue to go up and up. Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon cashed in a couple of years ago at $17 million per year, and Graham may believe that forcing his way to the market — or worst-case scenario to the franchise tag — is better than whatever the Eagles are offering.

I have no problem with Graham waiting. He’s underpaid now and knows it. He’d like a big deal and has a chance to get one. If he wants huge money, he’ll need other teams competing with the Eagles.

The one word of caution I would have for Graham is that he will be 30 in April. He will basically be 31 when he hits free agency. Will he get a mega-deal at that age?

I’ve been a fan of Graham’s since his days at Michigan. I hope he and the Eagles work things out and he can stay here.

_


  • kajomo

    Huge drive here

  • Howie Littlefinger

    How does Keenum look this good without Tyron Smith playing??

    Seriously tho people better start talking about how he has routinely been provided 6+ seconds for each throw

    • kajomo

      I’m not as impressed with him as everyone else seems to be.

      • Howie Littlefinger

        I’m impressed with that Oline. I think head to head we dismantle them

  • P_P_K

    The Seahawks are, indeed, a team in decline. They are completely one-dimensional on O. Shut down Wilson and their output will come to a crashing halt. Their D is a skeleton crew. Skip over the aura of past conquests and see a team that can’t hold up against the Eagles on either side of the ball.
    Wentz and Jeffery will put on a show to celebrate Alshon’s new contract, and Ertz may have close to another century day. Jim Schwartz will dial up a D that contains Wilson, with Fletcher and Vinny in his face all day.
    Russell will make some magic and get his team on the board, but Eagles win again: 31-17.

    • Someguy77

      A lot of sharps (pro betters) apparently agree with this assessment because the point spread got moved in a big way real quick when it opened at -3 or -3.5 for the Eagles.

      • P_P_K

        That is sometimes a tricky read because those guys aren’t so much predicting which team will win, they are trying to find the tipping point at which they can get money covering and taking the spread. Regardless, I believe this is the first time since 2012 a visiting team opened as the favorite in Seattle.

    • Someguy77

      Yeah the Seahawks are getting too much praise yet based on recent past performance.

      Wilson is good but he isn’t Brady. Ditto Carroll isn’t Belicheck.

      • P_P_K

        I think this a statement game and the Eagles will be the team making the statement. Maybe it’s even a good thing Minn won, keep everyone on their toes.

  • kajomo

    Ryan has missed some big time throws this game

  • daveH

    Kearse of the Jets with a sick 1 handed catch … go Jets !! Sit andy down once again! !

    • kajomo

      Downvote for Andy hate

      • daveH

        100 downvotes please

  • kajomo

    Apparently we will need to go 15-1 to get HFA

    • ColorSgt

      Doable.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Minnesota-Atlanta has been enjoyable to watch. Two good teams, slugging it out.

    • kajomo

      Atlanta squandered too many first half oppurtunities.

    • unhinged

      I wasn’t able to watch it, but to quote our Media friend it sure sounds like Falcons CHOKED. How does Atlanta get held to 9 points by anybody in December?

      • daveH

        They have the biggest choke ever locked up already

        • daveH

          But Jets are trying so hard to choke this Game away

      • FairOaks

        Vikings do have a very good defense. They shut down the Rams as well.

      • Dragon_Eagle

        Minny held in the redzone. 3 FGs made and 1 missed for Atlanta. Atlanta missed some other opportunities, but Vikings defense held when they needed it.

        • unhinged

          Thanks. I haven’t seen Vikings this season. Do they have 2 shutdown corners? Keeping Atlanta out of the end zone for 4 quarters sounds very unlikely…unless of course Atlanta isn’t as hungry as Minnesota.

  • daveH

    Benny Logan with a bad bad personal foul. . Oops

    • FairOaks

      Was the difference between a 2 point lead and a 7 point lead for the Jets, and way less time on the clock, and no timeouts. KC got in FG range on the last drive, but stalled from there. So this penalty may well have cost the game.

      • daveH

        Wierd because that has to be the same exact scenario every single times 1000s of times a season and never ever seen it called before .. life the game was fixed .. took 3 key penalties for the Jets to win this. . I mean they tried sofa hard NOT to win

  • Someguy77

    Keenum outplaying Ryan and Keenum-Thielien as the best QB-receiving combo in the league. Thielien didn’t put up big numbers today but had a few timely catches/drew his share of double teams which helped to open up across the middle and underneath.

    There is no way any single analyst or writer predicted that before the season began.

    Hope Keenum struck a decent deal with Beelzebub for his soul. Should’ve insisted on at least a ring this year.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Hilarious. Chiefs Marcus Peters out of frustration took a flag and chucked it into the stands. 15-yard penalty and ejection apparently?

    • Someguy77

      Reid losing to both NY teams this year is embarrassing. If the Chiefs collapse and end up under .500, it would almost certainly cost a lesser pedigreed coach his job.

      • daveH

        This ain’t quite over

        • Dragon_Eagle

          Down by 7 with 2:15 left. Alex Smith to the rescue. :

          • daveH

            Alex and Andy together for a 2 minute drill ..

        • Julescat

          yes it is

    • daveH

      Chiefs into the dumpster now. .. nice job Andy

    • daveH

      He wasn’t even ejected. .he walked out !!!

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Is anyone shocked that with 2:15 left in the game and the Chiefs needing a TD to score, the Chiefs have already burned all their timeouts?

    • FairOaks

      They burned them because the defense committed penalties on first a FG attempt from the 4, and then on a 3rd down play also from the 4, giving the Jets new sets of downs. The Jets kept running it and getting stopped, so KC was forced to use timeouts to preserve the clock. They scored on their third shot and 3rd-and-goal. Basically their 9th play from the five or so to get it in. KC should have just let them score earlier (or better yet, don’t commit the personal foul on the FG try, Mr. Logan.)

      • Gary Barnes

        Exactly..never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  • Ben Hert

    I love Graham but I just don’t see how the Eagles afford him. Got a lot of contracts coming up, and Barnett is playing well. Might have to be a guy we see move on.

    • unhinged

      Is this a contract year for BG?

      • Julescat

        signed through 2018

      • FairOaks

        He is signed at a very low contract number next year (relatively). He won’t cash in until 2019. Question is does he want to risk injury, etc. I’m sure the Eagles are trying to give him more next year but in return for not as massive a payday overall.

    • kajomo

      DE with first pick this year. This FO is planning ahead. Even if he is extended we need a DE to replace curry’s Snaps

      • Dave

        I could easily see DE again after Barnett. Either that or OL.

        • D3FB

          More likely a day 3 developmental guy who profiles as more of a future DE3. You don’t want to have to extend DE’s in back to back years.

          • Dave

            Even if it looks like they cannot agree to another extension with Graham in the off-season.

      • RC5000

        Is drafting a DE and trading BG out of the question ?

        • kajomo

          Yes because the DL makes our team go and we rotate DL so he should stay fresh even into his 30s (see Chris Long). I’d rather have 31yo Graham than Hicks for example

          • RC5000

            Long is exactly why I don’t want to pay Graham big money like the Eagles allegedly don’t.

            So am I to understand you are are you saying you want to draft another DE this year and pay a 31 year old DE big money to be a rotational DE like Chris Long who had an 1,850,000 cap hit this year?

    • RC5000

      It’s almost like a replay of Trent Cole though Cole was 1 1/2 years older or so.

  • SteveH

    Minnesota keeping pace, no room for error.

  • unhinged

    So did the NFL rules get relaxed recently? I saw Titans doing a layup drill at the goalpost, and no flag. Didn’t they ban that because of #5?

    • FairOaks

      You haven’t noticed a few more group celebrations etc. this year than in years past?

      • unhinged

        Yeah with our guys particularly, but I thought the crossbar dunk was still in effect.

        • A_T_G

          I saw a guy get flagged this year for giving the post a flying hug. The announcer explained that the ball is the only legal prop that can be used.

          • Dave

            I didn’t know that. I thought they couldn’t use the ball and that’s why Alshon didn’t use it as a bowling ball in their TD celebration.

          • D3FB

            Ball is allowed, remember the “peg” during one of the baseball celebrations?

          • FairOaks

            Alshon was supposed to roll the ball, but he didn’t want to lose the game ball (TD catch against former team and all).

        • FairOaks

          Yes, the NFL greatly relaxed the celebration rules this year. Among them are that group celebrations and using the ball as a prop is allowed.

    • daveH

      Someone posted the awesome jgpeg of the Eagle Cheerleaders doing the bowling pins strike … It wins ALL of them for me

  • Julescat

    Oakland runs 2 plays and scores. So much for NY rallying around their soon-to-be-fired coach

  • Dragon_Eagle

    We didn’t get any help in the early games. Switching beers to a New Belgium, Voodoo Ranger IPA.

    • daveH

      Leftover Heineken tall boys for me tonite …

  • Nailed It!

    Philly has absolutely invaded Seattle! So many eagles fans here!!

  • Gary Barnes

    If Curry is retained and Graham leaves due to cap issues, that will be a bad mistake. Curry has been better this year, but Graham is the better player and should be extended.

    Now Kelce is on the stacked roster list?! What a difference 11 games make. As one of the ones who argued loudest for keeping and playing him, I’m very glad he has stayed healthy and done well. Between him and Kendricks, the haters have had plenty of crow to eat this season.

    The Eagles are only the better team if they win vs Seattle. The Seahawks have had our number over recent years – we’ve lost 5 of 6 with the last victory coming in 2008. Time to slam the door on their face and move on to LA. Get it done!

    • D3FB

      Curry has not been better than BG this year.
      BG:
      Tackles: 23
      Sacks: 7
      TFLs: 10
      FF: 2

      VC:
      Tackles: 21
      Sacks: 3
      TFLs: 9
      FF: 0

      Graham is under contract through next year. He will be here next season. Curry is 50/50 at best to be here in 2018.

      • Dragon_Eagle

        I don’t think he meant Curry has been better than Graham, just that Curry has been better than before.

        Graham is playing at a pro-bowl level. Curry is not.

      • Gary Barnes

        Never said Curry was better than Graham…oh did not see Dragon_Eagle’s comment below. Yes, meant that Curry improved over last year

    • RC5000

      I wouldn’t give a mega deal to a 31 year old DE.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Kamara is scary good.

    • DJH

      Yep, as great as the Eagles offense has been, the defense is going to have to continue playing at a high level for us to contend. Several high powered offenses down the stretch.

      • xeynon

        I’m not nearly as scared of the Saints in Philly, but in New Orleans they will be very difficult to beat. We need to get that #1 seed.

    • Masked Man

      Yeah. Strange to say. But the key to beating the Saints might be to keep the ball in Brees’ hands. And keeping them both on the sidelines. Kamara is non-stop.

  • RobNE

    Did you see Gronk wind up and elbow drive to the head the runner who was lying half out of bounds?

    • A_T_G

      Yep. That was some dirty shit.

    • SteveH

      He should be suspended a game for that but probably won’t be.

      • RobNE

        You are right but I’m already annoyed. He deliberately did a foying elbow to the back of someone’s head who was lying on the ground. Good god. It was hard to watch the replay.

        • SteveH

          Yeah I saw. The league treats its stars differently though you know.

  • CrackSammich

    Listening to Joe Buck right now is making me miss Collinsworth’s stories about his fucking grandkids. It takes a lot, but I’m actually looking forward to hearing him verbally fellate Wilson for 3 hours now. Thanks, Joe.

    • SteveH

      Collinsworth’s ball gargling is insufferable under any circumstances, even after listening to the monotone wonder Joe Buck.

  • xeynon

    No help at all from the Falcons, Panthers, Cardinals, or Buccaneers today. If we’re going to get the #1 seed and win this conference, we’re going to have to earn it.

    • meteorologist

      Help is not what I’m focused on. Let’s take care of business

      • xeynon

        Sure, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing the Saints, Rams, or especially the Vikings go down. A margin for error is always good if you can get it.

    • ColorSgt

      Gives the Eagles motivation. Not just tonight but the rest of the season. If they take the foot off the gas to coast into the playoffs they might forget exactly where the pedal is come playoff time.

  • Ark87

    Panthers are a mess, not a scary team

    • xeynon

      Agreed, I think they still have a good shot at making the playoffs but they’re round one roadkill if they do.

  • SteveH

    So, looking at it, are the Broncos even eliminated in the West?

  • RC5000

    Kamara fell on his head but he’s alright.

    • Masked Man

      Hope he’s OK later too. Bad fall.

    • CrackSammich

      He landed so hard on top of his head that he bounded fully off the ground and landed on his head again.

  • RobNE

    New thread