NFC Wildcard Weekend: Seattle Seahawks – 17 Philadelphia Eagles – 9
Another season, another Carson Wentz injury in the playoffs. It’s a shame, too. Because despite the 9-7 record and the fact that the Eagles were home underdogs against a dangerous wildcard opponent, they almost pulled off a miracle with Josh McCown under center. I’ve been hard on Wentz about being injury prone in the past, but this wasn’t that. His head was driven hard into the turf by Jadaveon Clowney in the first quarter and that results in a concussion ten times out of ten. While Clowney wasn’t penalized in real time for the helmet to helmet hit, expect his pockets to get lighter as the league reviews the play this week.
Putting that aside, these Seahawks do look like a supremely tough wildcard team, despite pulling Marshawn Lynch (6 rushes for 7 yards and a TD) out of retirement because their backfield was barren. Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and crew adjusted the game plan, and the running back position might not matter too much. I’ve said that Seattle may have gotten the steal of the draft with Ole’ Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf and that he’d be a huge factor in this game. The rookie fulfilled his early promise under the bright lights, hauling in seven passes for 160 yards and a TD on nine targets. His chemistry with Russell Wilson (18/30, 325 yards, 1 TD) has grown organically as the season progressed, and he’s becoming downright impossible to cover as Wilson figures out how to get him the ball in the right places. Seattle did all the right things in the passing game out earning the Eagles, 318 yards to 162 in the air and converting on over half of their third down attempts to keep the chains moving.
In all seriousness, though, this massively outgunned Eagles team…with Carson Wentz… might have pulled off an improbable home win. The lack of balance offensively will begin to take its toll on Seattle as the playoffs wear on. Next up for the Seahawks traveling air show will be the Packers at Lambeau. Here’s hoping that they can sort out the tailback situation between now and then.
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Image Source: AP Images