The Philadelphia Eagles had the best record in football. They were flying high on a nine-game win streak, and were playing at an elite level of football on both sides of the ball every week. However, after Sunday night’s showdown with the Seattle Seahawks in the emerald city, the Eagles hit their first sign of turbulence in over two months.
But do not get disheartened Eagles fans, there are a lot more positives here than you may think. The Eagles gained experience playing in one of the hardest crowds in all of football, against one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Russell Wilson, and they were still in it all the way until the very end.
It is true. No loss is ever in the plan. But sometimes a crushing defeat can do more good for a football team that a dominating win. Through the Eagles gut-wrenching loss on Sunday Night Football to the Seattle Seahawks, the Eagles may have made their road to securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs a little tougher, but they also got the chance to play in one of the toughest environments in football and learn a lot about their squad.
Quarterback Carson Wentz has been nothing short of phenomenal in his sophomore year. He currently leads the entire NFL with 29 touchdown passes to just 6 interceptions, and has a quarterback rating of 102. But for just the second time this season Wentz had to face a team with an above .500 record, and not just any team; but the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle in December.
And say what you will about this Seahawks defense. Like a lot of teams right now, the Seahawks have been bitten badly by the injury bug. They have lost key members, especially in the secondary but with key players like Bobby Wagner still playing at a high-level, this was going to be anything but an easy game for Eagles.
Despite all this the Eagles were still able to rack up over 400 yards of offense, and achieve five more first downs than the Seahawks while rushing for almost the same amount on the exact same amount of drives. This was by all-means a game the Eagles could have, and should have won. But between unnecessary penalties, too many miscommunications offensively, and way too many missed big-play opportunities they metaphorically shot themselves in the foot.
I understand that this kind of performance is frustrating for coaches, players, and fans alike. However, it may have been just what this Eagles club needed.
Last week the Eagles were on top of the world. They had just finished demolishing the Chicago Bears at home, were riding high on a 9-game win streak, and were even doing the electric slide as a group on the field. While you love to see the team you love playing well, and having fun doing it, sometimes winning can get taken for granted.
Let us not forget just how far this team has come in such a short amount of time. For years, Eagles fans have had to watch sub-par football with a handful of different quarterbacks and coordinators. However, after the firing of Chip Kelly, General Manager Howie Roseman has finally brought his team back to being one of the best teams in the NFL. It just looked as if some of the players had forgotten.
With this loss to Seattle, the Eagles will now travel to Los Angeles for a matchup of the top two picks from last years draft. For the Eagles to get back to their winning ways, they will need to go back to doing what they have done all year, and go back to doing the basics of football. The offensive line will have a tough matchup against one of the best young defensive lines in the game, and the defense will have no easy day against Sean McVay’s deadly combination of Todd Gurley and Jared Goff. But don’t think for one second that the Eagles do not have what it takes to get the win and clinch the division in week 14. They just got done facing one of their toughest challenges, and if they want to get to the NFC Championship game and even the Super Bowl they will have to be on their “A-Game” for the remainder of the season.
The good news is they will most likely see these Seahawks again in January. But this time around it will hopefully be at their home turf of Lincoln Financial Field, and Carson Wentz and Doug Peterson will have plenty of game film to help fix the mistakes made on Sunday.
The Philadelphia Eagles will soon be flying high once again. But if they want to make sure that their journey makes it all the way to Minnesota, they will need to take a hard look at what they did wrong in Seattle. But if there is one thing this Eagles team has shown me this year, it is that they believe in themselves and they will never give up.