HomeDa Birds NewsDefensive Dominance, Offensive Woes, and Persistent Pete: A Recap of Eagles-Seahawks

Defensive Dominance, Offensive Woes, and Persistent Pete: A Recap of Eagles-Seahawks

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After 32 consecutive regular-season weeks at the top of the NFL’s standings, Nick Sirianni’s Philadelphia Eagles are forced to look up at someone after a third consecutive setback, this time losing at Seattle, 20-17, on a late 29-yard touchdown throw from Seahawks backup quarterback Drew Lock to rookie receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

A desperate attempt to get Jake Elliott into field goal range in the waning seconds came up empty when Seattle safety Julian Love picked off Jalen Hurts for the second time on the night.

The high-profile move away from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia as the defensive play-caller worked to a certain degree with the embattled Eagles defense allowing just 297 total yards but the group continued to fail in big spots.

On the game-winner, Lock identified Smith-Njigba getting single coverage on the outside from veteran James Bradberry and lofted a pass toward the back pylon where the rookie snared the back of the football and hung on.

The Eagles (10-4) have already clinched a playoff berth but remain even with Dallas in the NFC and the No. 1 seed in the conference is likely out of reach with three games to play. San Francisco not only has a leg up on Philadelphia at 11-3 but owns the tiebreaker after beating the Eagles 42-19 to start the three-game skid.

HURTS, DOESN’T IT?

Hurts was questionable to play with an illness but gutted through the game. He was effective in the run game with 13 carries for a season-high 82 yards and two touchdowns, but he was just 17 of 31 passing for 143 yards and the two picks to Love for a passer rating of just 40.1.

HURTS SO GOOD

It wasn’t all bad for Hurts, who reached 14 rushing TDs on the season, topping his previous career high of 13 last season. Hurts also matched Cam Newton’s single-season NFL record for a QB with three games to play. It was also the 12th time Hurts had had two TDs rushing, an ongoing NFL record.

Sirianni and Hurts

DEFENSIVE DIFFERENCE

On first view, Patricia used more bodies than Desai. Kelee Ringo got his first NFL start for the injured Darius Slay (knee) but fellow rookie Eli Ricks finished. Josh Jobe got some snaps to help out Bradberry on the other side while a three-safety look with rookie Sydney Brown getting heavy reps along with Reed Blankenship and Kevin Byard was prevalent.

Patrick Johnson also got some work on the edge while Nolan Smith was seeing increased playing time until he banged up his troublesome shoulder.

SITUATIONAL IMPROVEMENT

It was a small victory but the reason Patricia got the job of defensive play-caller was because of the Eagles’ poor performance on third downs and in the red zone. Philadelphia came in dead last in third-down defense and No. 30 in red zone. They allowed an acceptable 6 of 14 (43 percent) on third down although the game-winner was on a 3rd-and-10 while Seattle didn’t cash in on two red-zone opportunities.  

Related: Matt Patricia Can’t Rescue Eagles Defense in Third Straight Loss

RUN THE BALL

The Eagles ran the ball and ran it effectively with Hurts leading the way. D’Andre Swift added 74 yards on 18 carries and the team totaled 178 yards but the bottom line is that the Eagles haven’t reached 20 points in the three-game losing streak.

PESKY PETE

During his tenure in Seattle, the Eagles have never beaten Pete Carroll, who extended his record to 8-0 against Philadelphia. Carroll tried to hand the Eagles an early Christmas gift with a poor timeout call that enabled Nick Sirianni to challenge a Lock incompletion that turned into a Jalen Carter sack. 

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