Who’s Picking the Eagles?
Here’s a roundup of national media predictions for Sunday’s Eagles-Seahawks game.
Over at NFL.com, two of five experts are picking the Eagles.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com selects the Eagles-Seahawks game as his “Power Pick of the Week” with the favorite being Seattle:
Seahawks 24, Eagles 22
Seattle’s defense doesn’t absolutely dominate this game, it merely wins the day. While I don’t see the Eagles’ offense getting stampeded here, and while I think Mark Sanchez is capable of making some plays, I do feel this is a tough matchup for Philly. In celebrating Sanchez’s Turkey Day efficiency, people overlooked LeSean McCoy’s contributions — particularly the impact his presence had on the second half of that game in Dallas. McCoy will probably accumulate 70-something rushing yards over the course of Sunday’s entire game, as opposed to reaching that number in each half, like he did on Thanksgiving. Expect short passes from Sanchez. Expect the Seahawks to pound Marshawn Lynch at Fletcher Cox, much like they ran right at San Francisco. Ultimately, Russell Wilson’s third-down rushing could be the deciding factor — he leads the NFL in said category.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com puts together his Week 14 Viewer’s Guide:
This game could end up determining which team gets a first-round bye.
The Seahawks’ passing offense has been stymied, but Marshawn Lynch has been in the beastliest of modes with healthy this season. Lynch has 100-plus rushing yards in three of his last four games and leads the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns. The Eagles’ front line has improved, and they’ve proven they can get after the passer, especially against a line that has struggled like Seattle’s. But Russell Wilson should be able to extend the play take advantage of a Philly secondary that has gotten burned at times this season.
Mark Sanchez is averaging 35.3 points per game in his four starts this season, which is the highest this year by any quarterback with at least four starts. Sanchez’s points per game total is 3.5 more than Andrew Luck, 3.6 more than Aaron Rodgers, 3.8 more than Tom Brady and 5.2 more than Peyton Manning. Unfortunately, he’s facing a Legion of Boom squad that is rounding into form at the perfect time to make another Super Bowl run. What a huge difference Bobby Wagner’s return makes in the middle of the Seattle D. He’ll be key against LeSean McCoy.
Don Banks of SI.com is picking the Eagles:
Eagles 28, Seahawks 24
I wrote about this glamor game back in April, when the NFL regular-season schedule was released, and it still holds up nicely:
For sheer entertainment value in that strength versus strength sort of way that we love about football, Week 14’s Seattle at Philadelphia matchup deserves it share of hype. The chess match of the Eagles’ fast-break offense pitting its most creative game plan against the depth and resiliency of Seattle’s superlative defense could make for game of the year stuff. Both head coaches (Chip Kelly and Pete Carroll) have a considerable amount of pride in their respective expertise on offense and defense, and won’t take this challenge lightly in any way.
We’re not getting the matchup of third-year quarterbacks who were drafted in 2012’s third round that we thought we expected — Russell Wilson versus Nick Foles — but the Mark Sanchez-Carroll USC reunion, not to mention the enormous playoff positioning implications, more than make up for that. The game could be a classic, but Philly’s 6-0 record at home gives it the slightest of edges.
The ESPN.com experts are leaning towards the Seattle with seven of 13 picking the Seahawks.
There’s a split decision at CBSSports.com with each team grabbing four analysts a piece.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com is one of those in favor of the Birds:
Eagles 27, Seahawks 17
This is the ultimate matchup of a good defense in Seattle against a good offense in the Eagles. So look to the other two units to decide this one. I think the Philadelphia defense has made big strides, and they will pressure Russell Wilson behind a bad line enough to limit Seattle’s offense. Eagles take it.
At FoxSports.com, there was an even split at three writers per side.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com was one of those who picked the Eagles:
Eagles 30, Seahawks 24
Pete Carroll is 1-1 against Carson Palmer and 1-1 against Matt Cassel. He’s now going up against his third USC quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Philadelphia is on the cusp of winning its 10th straight at home. The Seattle defense has played wonderfully the past two weeks, but neither the Cardinals nor 49ers have an offense like the one Chip Kelly is sporting. This could be a playoff preview. I like the home team and the student over the mentor — Sanchez gets the best of Carroll.
Four of the seven writers at USA Today are picking the Seahawks.
The writers at Pro Football Talk are going in opposite directions on this game:
MDS’s take: The Seahawks are finally playing the kind of football we’ve been waiting to see them play, but winning in Philadelphia is a tall order. I like the Eagles to take this one.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Seahawks 20.
Florio’s take: Pete Carroll knows Mark Sanchez well enough to outscore him. Sure, the Eagles looked great in Dallas. But the Seahawks have looked even better in their last two games.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, Eagles 27.
Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.