Sunday Night Football Predictions
Will Seahawks Stop Eagles Streak Without Legion Of Boom?
One of the most positive stories of the 2017 NFL season has been the sharp rise of the Philadelphia Eagles. Instead of struggling to maintain pace with Washington, the Cowboys and the Giants, Philly’s wrapped up the NFC East division with five weeks remaining in the regular season.
Despite a horrendous slew of injuries, the Seattle Seahawks haven’t given up in their attempt to chase down the resurgent Los Angeles Rams for top spot in the NFC West division. If Seattle manages to pull off an upset against arguably the best team in the NFL, coach Pete Carroll’s crew will remain in the hunt for another division title while maintaining their position in the NFC wild card race.
- Game: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
- Pick: Eagles Beat -4 Spread, Over 46.0
- NFL Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
Eagles at Seahawks - Vital Trends
Wentz Following Path Of Greatness
Since 1970, only two quarterbacks have lead the NFL in TD passes during their first or second season. The first was Dan Marino for the Dolphins in 1984, followed by Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams in 1999. After eleven games of his super sophomore season, Carson Wentz leads the NFL with 28 touchdown strikes, two more than Tom Brady and five more than Russell Wilson. Regardless of whether Wentz follows Marino and Warner’s example, Philly’s star pivot’s a likely MVP candidate this season.
Eagles NFL Leading Offense
Everything’s clicking on Philly’s attack this year, with LaGarrette Blount pitching in 59.8 yards per game on the ground to complement the Eagles devastating air attack. The team also stole Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins mid-season, giving Philadelphia one of the deepest, most diverse attacks in the league. As a result, the Eagles average 31.9 PPG this season, best in the NFL. Opposing teams can’t focus too much on the run or the pass, because the Eagles can devastate defenses through either path, making them nearly impossible to defend against.
Philadelphia’s Progression On Defense
In addition to possessing the best attack in the NFL, the Eagles have gelled as a defensive unit under the leadership of coach Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. They allow a mere 17.4 PPG, ranking third in the NFL. Philly’s rush defense is the best in the league, and their secondary has been terrific at stopping long drives by snagging the second most interceptions in the league. In the unlikely event of an offensive breakdown, the Eagles can rely on their defense to hold the fort.
Russell Wilson Bounceback Season Continues
After posting a career low 92.6 passer rating in 2016, Russell Wilson has enjoyed a strong bounceback campaign, tossing more TD passes in eleven games compared to all of last season. His yards per game average and TD% are also up year-over-year, exactly what the Seahawks need after a series of catastrophic injures to running backs and their secondary. Russell’s always been one of the most mobile pivots in the NFL, and this season he’s regained his ability to break free, with an impressive 36.5 running yards per game.
Legion Of Boom Doomed
The Seahawks have been torn apart by injuries this year, especially after a disastrous Thursday night football outing which decimated the Legion of Boom. Richard Sherman’s out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles, Kam Chancellor’s done for the year with a neck injury and Earl Thomas is a game-time decision with a bum heel. In addition to these key maladies, three Seattle running backs are on the injured list, and a total of twenty Seahawks are on the IR or on the limp.
NFL Sunday Night X-Factors
Part of the reason why the Eagles spread seems small would be the history between these two teams. Seattle has won five of their last six matchups, including four blowouts of ten points or more. Interestingly, the Eagles last win against the Seahawks was in Seattle during the 2008 season, when Philadelphia earned a resounding 26-7 victory.
Another reason the spread has been set at 4 would be the dominance of Seattle playing at home. This game represents the first time that Seattle will be considered underdogs at home since 2012. An ESPN study revealed that the Seahawks have the best home advantage of any NFL squad, confirming a long-running belief held by most American gridiron experts.
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