Ten Takeaways from Seattle's dominating 24-14 victory over the Eagles.
10. As anticipated with Jeremy Lane out, Byron Maxwell switched inside to handle nickel duties against the Eagles' rookie receiver Jordan Matthews.
The rookie led the Eagles with two catches for 23 yards but Maxwell also broke up a key third down reception intended for Matthews midway through the third quarter and made key tackles of Riley Cooper and Zach Ertz in the open field. Maxwell's replacement on the outside - second-year pro Tharold Simon - collected his first career interception to rob Philadelphia of momentum seconds after they seemed to seize it with recovery of a Marshawn Lynch fumble.
9. Seattle's tackles struggled in this contest against the Eagles talented and versatile front. Russell Okung had a terrible opening drive. Pass rusher Trent Cole shot the B gap between Okung and left guard James Carpenter for a rare tackle behind the line of scrimmage of Marshawn Lynch, who was running to his right. A few plays later, Okung was unable to control Fletcher Cox on a running play to the left. He was called for a false start that nullified an impressive connection from Wilson to Doug Baldwin for a first down and ran into Lynch while blocking downfield on the next play. Justin Britt was repeatedly burned by Connor Barwin, allowing some big hits on Russell Wilson.
8. Cox was the best player on the field, at times. Rotated all over Philadelphia's front, he consistently beat the Seahawks blockers in the passing and running game, alike.
7. Cox was the most impressive defensive lineman in this game but Jordan Hill picked the perfect time to enjoy the finest game of his short NFL career. Hill unofficially recorded two sacks of Mark Sanchez and also tracked down LeSean McCoy for a loss of eight in the second quarter. Hill, who played his collegiate ball at Penn State, gives the club a quick interior pass rusher to team with Michael Bennett. Veteran Kevin Williams enjoyed another strong game inside, as well.
6. Punter Jon Ryan's drop of a perfect snap was the biggest play of the first quarter but LeSean McCoy's fumble on the first snap from scrimmage of the second half was every bit the momentum changer. What a terrific job by K.J. Wright of chasing down the speedy running back and punching the ball out. Earl Thomas dove into the pile to secure the turnover.
5. It is hard to fault Pete Carroll for challenging the ruling that Josh Huff maintained control of the ball on his kickoff return early in the second quarter. Had he won the challenge, the Seahawks would have seized momentum with a second fumble recovery in the opening moments of the third quarter. Losing the challenge, however, took away a valuable timeout very early in a tight game. Perhaps this was an indication of Carroll's confidence. 000
4. Pete Carroll and the Seahawks do as good a job of making halftime adjustments as any team in the league. Chip Kelly and his staff, however, are also very good in this regard. Give the Eagles kudos for adjusting to Seattle's linebackers attacking the line of scrimmage with passes to tight end Zach Ertz on their third quarter scoring drive. Ertz drew a holding penalty on Wagner shortly before beating Wright down the left sideline for a 35-yard touchdown. Credit Mark Sanchez with a terrific throw. The Eagles defensive staff also did a nice job as Trent Cole was much more disciplined against Wilson's play-action bootlegs in the second half.
3. Another example of Kelly's design and Sanchez's execution resulted in the Eagles' first score of the game. A nice play design helped the Eagles identify which defense the Seahawks would use on the goal line. As noted by Troy Aikman on FOX's coverage, by putting wideout Jeremy Maclin in motion, quarterback Mark Sanchez and the Eagles could determine whether the Seahawks were in man or zone coverage. If Seattle was in man, safety Earl Thomas would have followed Maclin. When he didn't, Sanchez knew an accurate pass and even a marginal block by Riley Cooper against Maxwell would result in a touchdown. If Thomas would have run with Maclin, the Eagles would have taken advantage of his absence in the middle with a run or quick pass in the hole he'd left. Give Chip Kelly and his team credit, this was beautiful planning and execution by the Eagles.
2. The Seahawks passing attack has the aesthetic beauty of a mud puddle at times but the club's scramble drill remains incredibly effective. Wilson's elusiveness and vision and the awareness of his receivers have got to be every bit as demoralizing to a defense as getting pounded in the running game.
1. The scoreboard indicated a close game but Seattle, in fact, dominated this contest. The Seahawks owned a staggering 440-139 total yardage advantage over the Eagles, who ranked fourth in the NFL with an average of 411 yards gained per game entering the week. The Seahawks also won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 41:19, compared to just for 18:04 for the Eagles. The Seahawks top-ranked defense held true to form. Seattle's size and physicality has often overwhelmed the speedy spread offenses they've faced during the Pete Carroll era.
Seahawks suffocate Eagles, win 24-14
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