Philadelphia Eagles Meet Seattle Seahawks in Wild Card Weekend Bout

The Philadelphia Eagles, winners of the NFC East, will host the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, at Lincoln Financial Field. Kickoff is set for 4:40 p.m. EST and will be aired on NBC. The two teams previously met earlier this season in Philadelphia with Seattle winning 17-9. Seattle leads the all-time series, 10-7, including winning the last five, all within the Pete Carroll era in Seattle. 

Philadelphia (9-7) has now won the NFC East in two of the last three seasons and have made the playoffs for three consecutive years. Head coach Doug Pederson is 4-1 in the postseason, including a victory in Super Bowl LII. Philadelphia ended the season on a 4-0 surge to claim the NFC East crown. Although hosting this playoff game, the Eagles enter the Wild Card Weekend as 1.5-point underdogs. 

Carson Clutch

The Philadelphia Eagles, affectionately referred to as the ‘Legion of Whom’ due to the amount of injuries suffered on the season, have relied heavily on the stellar play of quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz became the first quarterback in Eagles’ history to throw for over 4,000 yards in a season. Wentz finished the regular season with 4,039 yards, 27 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Wentz also rushed for 243 yards. 

Wentz played all 16 regular season games this year for just the second time in his four-year professional career. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 20 touchdowns and seven or less interceptions in three straight seasons. Wentz appears to be returning to his MVP-caliber form at just the right moment for Philadelphia. 

Injuries Lead to Practice Squad Production

Philadelphia lost wide receivers Desean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, and Alshon Jefferey to significant injuries. Jeffrey is on IR and Jackson has missed nearly the entire season. Agholor has missed the last four games. Running backs Corey Clement and Jordan Howard also missed significant time this season. Clement is also on IR, and Howard was only recently activated after missing multiple weeks. 

These injuries forced Philadelphia to get creative offensively and rely extensively on the practice squad players. Running back Boston Scott and wide receiver Greg Ward were called up and made an instant impact for the Eagles. Over the last four games, Scott rushed for 151 yards and added another 199 receiving. Scott also scored four touchdowns. Ward, who spent the last several years being signed and cut by the Eagles, joined the team later in the season and made a major impact down the stretch. During the four-game winning streak, Ward caught 21 passes for 205 yards and a game-winning touchdown against Washington. 

Rookie on the Rise

Practice squad players were not the only Eagles to benefit from injuries, putting yet another silver lining in the clouds of injuries hovering over the team. Rookie Miles Sanders, a second-round pick from Penn State, has become the go-to man in the backfield for Philadelphia. Sanders leads the Eagles with 818 rushing yards and 509 receiving yards to go along with six touchdowns. Sanders tweaked his ankle against the Cowboys but is good to go for the game this Sunday.

Defensive Dominance

Over the last four games, the Philadelphia defense has begun to return to its championship season form. The Eagles held opponents to only 17.5 points per game. Philadelphia has also forced four turnovers over the last four games. If the defense can keep Russell Wilson in check this weekend and force at least one turnover, the Eagles will be advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. 

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