Good morning. It should be a cold but dry one tonight, with lows in the 30s, so dress appropriately.
Here’s five keys for the Seahawks as they take on one of the best offenses in the league with Philadelphia coming to town.
Limit the penalties: We’ve discussed at length how Seattle’s needless penalties are costing this young team at the end of games. Seattle has to be more disciplined down the stretch. The Seahawks have given up 30 first downs by penalty this season; their opponents have only given up half of that (15).
Contain McCoy: Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy is probably the most talented runner Seattle will face this season. They already had trouble with a similarly explosive runner earlier this year when DeMarco Murray ran for 139 yards in Dallas. The Seahawks need to get all 11 defenders to the ball and swarm tackle the elusive McCoy.
Feed the Beast: Seattle has done a nice job of running the ball the last month, with Marshawn Lynch topping 100 yards in three of his past four games. That needs to continue, but even mores so in the final quarter. Lynch only had five rushes for 11 yards in the fourth quarter against Washington last week. Seattle needs to feed Lynch more at the end of the game in order to grind out the clock and keep Philadelphia’s explosive offense off the field.
Push the ball down the field: Seattle receivers had six drops last week. And with Sidney Rice done for the season because of back-to-back concussions, it will be up to Mike Williams, Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate to create some explosive plays in the passing game and not allow the Eagles’ talented secondary to sit on short routes at the line of scrimmage. Seattle had just two passing plays of 20 or more yards against Washington. A good number to hit is four explosive pass plays a game, or one a quarter.
Play hard: The Eagles are dealing with a mountain of adversity and travelling all the way across the country on a short week. Seattle needs to test Philadelphia’s will early by getting after them and getting the CentruyLink Field crowd behind them. Attempt to take the Eagles’ fight out of them early in the game and see if they will fold.
Here’s my advance for tonight’s game. With Mike Vick and Jeremy Maclin out, the contest has lost some of its star power.
The No Huddle crew on the NFL Network likes Seattle in this one. Check out the video link.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that Tarvaris Jackson has turned a corner with his health and practiced fully all week.
Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes that it’s audition time for both Seattle and Philadelphia in his game preview.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that both teams have taken different paths to 4-7 records.
ESPN’s Mike Sando offers five things to watch for in today’s game.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald offers some keys to the game.
Art Thiel and Steve Rudman of Sportspressnw.com both like the Eagles on this one.
Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News breaks down the game here.
Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News talks with Darryl Tapp, Owen Schmitt and Jason Babin about facing their former team.