Observations: Seahawks 24, Eagles 14
Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles-Seahawks game.
* The Eagles struggled to get anything going offensively all game long. On 12 drives, the Birds punted eight times, turned it over twice and scored two touchdowns. One of the two scoring drives came when special teams set the offense up at the Seahawks’ 14. Mark Sanchez went 10-for-20 for 96 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He averaged 4.8 YPA.
* The Birds couldn’t get anything going on the ground either. LeSean McCoy had 17 carries for 50 yards (2.9 YPC). His longest run was 10 yards.
* Big turnover with 9:07 in the fourth quarter. Sanchez stepped up in the pocket and fired downfield to Riley Cooper, but he threw a horrible pass and was intercepted. It was a wasted opportunity on the first play after the defense produced a turnover.
* McCoy also had a big turnover. He fumbled on the first play of the second half. The giveaway led directly to a Seahawks touchdown.
* On the Eagles’ first touchdown, Jeremy Maclin motioned from right to left, and no one went with him. Sanchez had the option of handing the ball off or swinging it to Maclin. He connected with the wide receiver for a 1-yard touchdown. On the Eagles’ second touchdown, Sanchez found Zach Ertz down the sideline for a 35-yard touchdown. Ertz was matched up with a linebacker, made a good adjustment to the ball and got in the end zone.
* Andrew Gardner had a rough go, and Sanchez was pressured quite a bit down the stretch. Overall, he was sacked three times.
* On multiple occasions, Eagles receivers and Chip Kelly wanted penalties called against Seattle’s defensive backs. This seemed like the most animated Kelly has been with the officials in the last two years.
* The Eagles’ defense was on the field a lot (85 plays) in this one. Billy Davis’ group was far from perfect, but kept the Eagles in the game down the stretch. They forced three punts and got a takeaway on four consecutive possessions before Seattle eventually ran down the clock.
* The Seahawks got on the board in the second quarter. They ran a play Eagles fans should be familiar with: double stacked wide receivers to each side and a packaged play. Russell Wilson ran a zone read and kept the ball. Trent Cole lost the edge, and Wilson took it to the house for a 26-yard touchdown. Cole later jumped offsides on 3rd-and-4, allowing Seattle to extend a drive.
* On the Seahawks’ final first-half possession, they went 41 yards and kicked a 44-yard field goal. Wilson made a couple plays where he bought time with his legs and then found receivers downfield. He threw multiple balls out of bounds from the pocket, but the officials did not throw flags.
* In the second half, Wilson ran a bootleg and threw the ball back to Marshawn Lynch, who was wide open for a 15-yard touchdown. Later, Doug Baldwin beat Malcolm Jenkins for a 23-yard score. A key play on that drive came when Bradley Fletcher was whistled for a questionable 44-yard pass interference penalty.
* Mychal Kendricks and Fletcher Cox had excellent individual performances. Kendricks had 11 tackles and forced a fumble in the fourth quarter. Cox was a beast against the run, finishing with 11 tackles. Lynch had 23 carries for 86 yards (3.7 YPC). Wilson had eight runs for 50 (not counting kneel-downs).
* Kendricks was used at times to spy Wilson. On Seattle’s first possession, he forced Wilson out of the pocket, and Connor Barwin got credit for the sack. Late in the first half, Kendricks nearly had a sack, but Wilson was called for intentional grounding. That forced the Seahawks out of field goal position. And Kendricks forced a throw-away on Seattle’s final possession of the first half.
* Wilson was at his best when improvising, extending plays and finding receivers open downfield. Overall, he played an excellent game, going 23-for-37 for 263 yards and two touchdowns.