There’s a trend developing with the Eagles — or rather, among those who make predictions on a weekly basis. It seems as though everyone is starting to get on the same page when it comes to this team. Reality has set in. This is just a bad football team.
There’s no magic switch they can flip. No player returning from injury that will turn this around. And no hope for anything beyond a hollow division title and a likely ass beating at home in the first round of the playoffs. At this point, it’s essentially time to just play out the schedule and decide who is worth keeping and who should be moving on when the 2020 season mercifully comes to an end.
But, because the NFC East is the worst division in the history of football, those who draw a check from the team will tell you, to a man, that they’re not giving up on the 2020 campaign. The owner? Well, it seems like he might be more like the fans than expected, as Jeff McLane of The Inquirer is reporting that Jeffrey Lurie skipped the Birds’ most recent loss in Cleveland over growing frustration over his team’s performance this season.
Will that frustration boil over a lead to a full house cleaning in South Philly? Or will the team show Lurie enough over the final six games of the season to keep the current power structure in place? Well, the quest to find that answer begins on Monday night when the Eagles host the Seahawks at the Linc for a primetime game in which the home team is currently a 5.5-point underdog against Russell Wilson and Co., according to TheLines.com.
We’ve already broken down some
matchups things to watch and offered up predictions of our own — as well as picks for every Week 12 game. Now, as we do every week, let’s take a look at how the local and national media sees this game playing out…
• PhillyVoice staff: We’re once again divided in our picks, with four taking the Seahawks and two taking the Eagles. Here’s a bit more from yours truly, who is in the majority this week:
The Eagles should be packing it in and looking toward the 2021 season (and beyond), but because of their putrid division, they remain in contention. However, with Washington’s win over Dallas on Thursday, the Eagles have slid to second place in the NFC East for the first time in a while. And if the Giants can pull off a win on Sunday, the Birds will drop to third heading into Monday night’s game against Seattle.
The Seahawks might not have the best defense in the world — it’s actually the worst — but their offense can score, and I don’t really see this defense shutting down Russell Wilson and those Seahawks receivers. If the Eagles offense can get going on Monday night with Zach Ertz back in the fold, this could be a high-scoring affair in South Philly, but it’s hard to see them keeping up with Seattle’s offense. Not with the way this team has been playing.
Maybe the Seahawks can finally hand the Birds their first real blowout loss of the season, and maybe that will finally put the nail in their proverbial coffin, allowing them to close the book on the 2020 season and begin building for the future. Unfortunately, Doug Pederson’s philosophy seems to be that as long as this team is mathematically in the race, they’re going to continue to try to make the playoffs. And given the division, that’s going to be the case for quite a while.
• Inquirer.com: With the game not being played until Monday night, the Inquirer’s full predictions aren’t out yet, but Paul Domowitch always makes his early, and he’s predicting a 24-20 win for Seattle…
If you’re looking for hope in the Eagles’ 3-6-1 season, you might be able to find it in an improving defense that gave up just 79 points in the last four games.
If you’re looking for despair, there’s the offense, which had the league’s worst third-down percentage in the last five games, a quarterback with a league-high 18 turnovers, and an offensive line that already has given up 40 sacks.
Two turnovers, one by running back Miles Sanders and another by quarterback Carson Wentz, cost them a chance for a win on the road last week against the Browns. Now, they host Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, a team they are winless against in four meetings since Doug Pederson became the Eagles’ head coach in 2016.
Can they finally beat the Seahawks? Sure. Will they?
• NJ.com staff: All six of their writers are picking the Seahawks over the Birds on Monday, including Mike Kaye.
The Eagles are football vampires. All three of their wins have come at night. But, now they’ll face their most dominant NFC rivals in a game that could seal Philly’s fate within the NFC East race.
Carson Wentz is struggling like never before, and even against a struggling Seattle offense, it’s hard to have faith that he will turn things around.
PICK: Seahawks 26, Eagles 20.
• Bleeding Green Nation staff: Seven of their nine writers are going with the Seahawks in Week 12.
• ESPN staff: Each of their 10 NFL experts are picking Seattle.
• Tim McManus, ESPN.com: Seahawks 30, Eagles 24
• Brady Henderson, ESPN.com: Seahawks 28, Eagles 20
• Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Seahawks 30, Eagles 19
The Seahawks’ defense has been good enough in three of their last four games, with Carlos Dunlap adding some necessary pass-rush boost. Good enough is all this unit needs to be! In Philadelphia, the ‘Hawks face an offense that ends slumps. The Eagles’ run-first approach plays to Seattle’s strengths, and Carson Wentz — even with shackles on — just keeps making mistakes.
This is a long trip for the Seahawks, but they won at Philadelphia twice last season, including once in the playoffs. They know how to win there. This Eagles team is much different. Seattle can score on offense, and the defense has played much better. Look for Russell Wilson to lead Seattle to a good road victory.
• Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: Seahawks 30, Eagles 17
This was a playoff game last year. It won’t be this year.
• Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk: Seahawks 34, Eagles 21
The Seahawks’ pass defense is weak, but Carson Wentz is weaker. Seattle shouldn’t have much trouble winning in Philadelphia.
• USA TODAY Sports staff: All seven of their writers are picking the Seahawks.
• Bleacher Report, NFL staff: Seahawks 28, Eagles 21
We all know the Seattle Seahawks are vulnerable through the air on defense, but has struggling Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz given us any reason to believe he and his offense can take advantage of that Monday night?
The Philly passing game ranks 30th in DVOA, and Wentz is the NFC’s lowest-rated qualified passer. What started out as a slump has turned into a poor season for the ages as the former MVP candidate leads the NFL in interceptions, sacks allowed and fumbles.
At home, in a desperate spot, in front of a national audience and against a weak pass defense, it’s possible he’ll suddenly turn it on as the Eagles put up a fight against Seattle to close out Week 12. But the reality is there’s no evidence a turnaround is on the horizon.
That being the case, the majority of our correspondents are laying 5.5 points with the more rested road team on Monday Night Football.
• The Athletic: All three of their writers are taking the Seahawks over the Eagles, including Sheil Kapadia.
They’ve played four times in the past four years and the Seahawks won each time, outscoring the Eagles by a combined 41 points. The Eagles have failed to score more than 15 points in any of those meetings, and their offense ranks 30th in efficiency this season. It’s possible the Seahawks get conservative and some weird 2020 stuff happens. But other than that, there’s no real reason to even think about taking the Eagles here. Seahawks 27, Eagles 14.
• Bill Bender, Sporting News: Seahawks 27, Eagles 19
The Eagles are clinging to a half-game lead in a bad NFC East, and the Seahawks are not the team they want to be facing. Russell Wilson broke out of his funk against the Cardinals, and Seattle will take advantage of Philadelphia’s run defense.
• Vinny Iyer, Sporting News: Eagles 27, Seahawks 24
The Eagles desperately need this game to hold off the pack of even weaker NFC East teams behind them. They came through with a key win over the 49ers earlier and get that result here at home in prime time. The Seahawks are much more vulnerable on the road defensively. Wentz uses all his weapons and running style to outduel Russell Wilson with some help from his defense, too.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports