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The Opposing View: An Insider's Look At The Seahawks' Week 15 Opponent, The Philadelphia Eagles

Five questions from about this week’s opponent, five answers from Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts rolls out against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts rolls out against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

The Seahawks host the Eagles on Monday night in a matchup of two NFC teams looking to get back on track after recent losses. The Eagles are still in good shape to make the playoffs, but are in a fight for the division title after consecutive losses to San Francisco and Dallas dropped their record to 10-3. The Seahawks meanwhile, have lost four in a row for the first time under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, and are hoping to get back on track in what is a fourth straight game against the NFC's top teams.

To help you get ready for this week's game, reached out to Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro with five questions about Seattle's Week 15 opponent.

The Eagles have lost two in a row for the first time this season, yet they're also still 10-3 and in first place. What is the level of concern about what happened in those two games, and what do they need to do to get back on track?

Spadaro: I think there are always peaks and valleys in a season and the Eagles have lost two games to two really good teams, and the mistakes that were made are what the coaches and players are working to clean up. This has been a very tough several weeks of the schedule, but that's the way it is in the NFL. No excuses. There are a couple of specific areas that the coaching staff has talked about – turnovers on offense and getting off the field on third downs on defense. The Eagles had 19 giveaways all of the 2022 season and they have 19 through 13 games. That is a significant issue (last year the Eagles were plus-14 in giveaway/takeaway and now they're minus-4). So, ball security is an emphasis and, really, has been since Nick Sirianni became the head coach.

Defensively, the Eagles have just had a lot of trouble getting off the field on third down. They led the league in quarterback sacks last year and those numbers are down in '23. They've trailed at halftime in six straight games, so playing from behind isn't a winning, sustainable formula. These are areas to work on, to get right, to beat Seattle.

On the flip side of that, the Eagles have shown a ton of resilience all season in coming back to win close games, is that a trait they can lean on this week trying to bounce back from the recent losses?

Spadaro: For sure. There is great leadership here and they understand the way a season flows. Nobody is in panic mode, but there is no doubt urgency. Players know the ebbs and flows. Everyone understood that it would not be a breeze this season because teams are giving the Eagles their best shot. And we have a month remaining in the regular season. Lots of football still to be played.

The Eagles have given up 109 points and 1,355 yards in their last three games, is that side of the ball a big cause for concern right now, or can some of that just be chalked up to facing the Bills, 49ers and Cowboys, three of the leagues' top offensive teams?

Spadaro: The yards and the points have piled up, no doubt. Third down is a target area to improve. Taking the football away would help, too. Playing with a lead is a goal, because in all of those games, against those three outstanding offenses, the Eagles have had to come back from halftime deficits. The defense is searching for consistency, that's for sure. There have been injuries in the back seven and the defense has just not found that sweet spot. The Eagles know Seattle has dynamic pass catchers and a strong running game so the challenge is significant this week as well.

Aside from the obvious big names, what player or players do you see as being potential X-factors in this game?

Spadaro: Is running back D'Andre Swift on the list of "aside from obvious big names?" (Editor's note: We'll allow it)He is a threat as a runner and a receiver. The Eagles are looking to start fast, so maybe they incorporate Swift and fellow back Kenneth Gainwell into the mix early to try to establish the running game. Tight end Dallas Goedert is healthy and could have a significant impact. On defense, linebacker Shaquille Leonard is in his second week with the team and could play a larger role. The Eagles have been good on special teams, and Britain Covey has been a big-play punt return man. The pass rush is the strength of the defense, and while Haason Reddick is in double digits in quarterback sacks once again, look out for end Josh Sweat. He's a really good, under-the-radar player.

What matchup or matchups are you most looking forward to seeing play out on Monday?

Spadaro: I want to see the Seattle wide receivers work against Philadelphia's cornerbacks. This is such a critical matchup. Darius Slay and James Bradberry understand just how good and dynamic and varied the Seahawks are in the passing game, and I could see the Seattle offense looking to test these two guys early in the game. The Eagles don't want to give up "X-plays" (extra-yardage plays) and they know that tackling receivers that are such good catch-and-run threats is important. The defense needs to be aggressive, yet at the same time not let the likes of DK Metcalf do what he did to Dallas a couple of weeks ago (6-134-3). After what the 49ers did last week, targeting Metcalf and trying to get him off his game, I'm sure he will come out on Monday night intent on having a huge game in front of a national television audience.

The Seahawks and Eagles face off on Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. Kickoff is set for 5:15 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Eagles.

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