Separated by 2,831 miles and 42 years of existence, the Eagles and Seattle Seahawks have faced each other just 17 times.
The teams that will meet in Sunday afternoon’s wild-card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field have never played each other in October, have had just one game reach overtime, and have rarely engaged in a nail-biter.
Seattle leads the series, 10-7. Philadelphia won four of the first five games, but Seattle has taken the last five games and six of the last seven.
Here's a look at each of the games:
Fog, cold, the last game in a 4-10 Eagles season, and little curiosity about the home team's first meeting with the expansion Seahawks caused 26,750 Veterans Stadium ticketholders to stay home. First-year coach Dick Vermeil's team literally ran away with the game, as both Tom Sullivan (23 for 121) and Mike Hogan (19-104) rushed for more than 100 yards.
This time, at 7-1, Vermeil's Super Bowl-bound Eagles had the league's best record. But there were questions about their strength of schedule and the health of their QB. Ron Jaworski, who a week earlier was knocked unconscious by the Bears’ Mike Hartenstine, seemed fine, however, for the first-time visitors to Seattle. He hit on 19 of 30 passes for 253 yards and two TDs, including the 5-yard game-winner to Billy Campfield with 2:43 to play.
En route to a 5-10-1 record in Buddy Ryan's initial season, visiting Philadelphia allowed two TDs on punts in the final 2 minutes of the first half — Eric Lane’s 12-yard return of a blocked John Teltschik punt, and Bobby Joe Edmond’s 75-yard return of an unblocked Teltschik kick. QB Randall Cunningham was sacked nine times. The Eagles’ 73 sacks allowed — in just their 12th game — set an NFL record.
A season that would end in a second straight playoff appearance began in 93-degree heat at the Vet. Ryan’s fierce defense stifled the NFC West-favorite Seahawks, limiting them to 270 yards, sacking QB Dave Krieg four times, and seeming to intimidate them. “I think we made them quit,” Eagles safety Andre Waters said.
The morning of the Kingdome game, in a New York Times article, Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner, who didn't talk to the Philly media, called owner Norman Braman cheap, coach Rich Kotite “a puppet” and said Cunningham had “deserted” ex-coach Buddy Ryan. Rattled, Philadelphia, which would go 11-5, nearly let Seattle (2-14 that year) beat them. Roger Ruzek’s 44-yard FG in overtime salvaged the victory.
In a Kingdome loss filled with odd calls and decisions, the strangest came in the third quarter, when, after the playoff-bound Eagles had closed to 20-14, coach Ray Rhodes had punter Tommy Hutton kick off. The kick went out of bounds, giving Seattle the ball on their 40. Two first downs later, they kicked a field goal to take a two-possession lead. Philly running back Ricky Watters, who’d dropped two passes and run for just 63 yards on 21 carries, snapped on the sideline after that he didn’t get the ball on a failed fourth-and-2 effort.
A Seattle team that would go 8-8 destroyed Philadelphia in a boo-saturated home opener The Inquirer described as among the lowest points in franchise history. The Eagles finished with 12 net passing yards, as QB Bobby Hoying was sacked as often as he completed passes (nine each). It was the Eagles’ worst opening-day loss since they were beaten 56-0 by the Giants 65 years earlier, in the first game they ever played.
In their first game since the 9-11 attacks, the teams huddled at midfield before the game and stood solemnly for the national anthem. But the Eagles showed little respect for Seattle in the game played at the University of Washington, while the Seahawks' new stadium was being built. Free-agent wideout James Thrash caught 10 passes from Donovan McNabb. And Philly’s defense pressured QB Matt Hasselback (9-for-24 for 63 yards) into a horrible performance.
McNabb (broken ankle) and backup Ty Detmer (dislocated elbow) were unable to play, so third-string QB A.J. Feeley (21 for 35, 190 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception) got the start in Philadelphia's debut at Seahawk Stadium. Headed for a third straight postseason, Andy Reid’s team rode a controlled passing game and Duce Staley’s 100-yard rushing day to a 27-6 lead and held on for its 10th win in 13 games.
The most-lopsided shutout loss in Monday Night Football history happened on a snowy night at Lincoln Financial Field, when the Eagles were honoring the late Reggie White. It could have been worse. Seattle didn’t score for the game’s final 29 minutes, 45 seconds. With McNabb hurt again, Philadelphia started Mike McMahon at QB. He and the entire team, which missed the playoffs for the only time in five seasons, were overmatched by the 10-2 Seahawks. When Buddy Ryan and White’s former teammates took the field at halftime, the stadium was half-empty.
In what was becoming a theme against Seattle, McNabb was out with an injury. This time, Feeley had no magic. He threw four interceptions — giving him six in 66 attempts that season — and completed just 19 of 42 passes. The loss negated a great night for Brian Westbrook, who ran for 93 yards, caught seven passes, and returned a punt 64 yards. Four fruitless cracks at the end zone late in the first half cost Reid's Eagles dearly.
McNabb played in this one and was spectacular after a slow start. The visiting Eagles’ QB completed 25 of his last 30 passes and finished 28-of-43 for 349 yards and two TDs. The rest of Philadelphia’s scoring came from David Akers, who kicked field goals of 39, 24, 42, and 39. The three FGs inside the 40 meant the kicker had made 37 straight from that distance.
How bad was this road loss in Andy Reid’s next-to-last season? Here are three headlines from the next morning’s Inquirer after, Philly was thrashed by 4-7 Seattle and QB Tarvaris Jackson: “Team has no heart, no coaching,” “DeSean [Jackson] has checked out mentally,” and “Seattle exposes Birds as no-good, gutless team.” Eagles QB Vince Young, in for the injured Michael Vick, threw four interceptions. Seattle’s Jackson threw just 16 passes, completing 13, while Marshawn Lynch gashed the Eagles defense for 148 yards on 22 rushes.
The glow was already fading on the Chip Kelly era. His high-flying, fast-paced offense could manage just 139 yards against Seattle. Eagles QB Mark Sanchez completed only 10 passes for 96 yards. And his lost fumble and total of 50 yards tarnished the fact that LeSean McCoy became Philadelphia’s all-time rushing leader that afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field
The pivotal play in Philadelphia’s loss at Seattle was an illegal-formation penalty against Nelson Agholor, who also had a dropped pass. His penalty negated a 57-yard Carson Wentz-to-Zach Ertz TD pass. A pair of Wentz interceptions and seven Eagles penalties didn't help, either. Seattle’s Russell Wilson was 18 for 31 for 272 yards and a TD.
The Eagles were 10-1 and headed to the Super Bowl in Doug Pederson’s second season, but they were no match for the Seahawks on a cold and damp Monday night in Seattle. Wilson finished with a QB rating of 118.6 in guiding a confident attack. Wentz, meanwhile, lost a third-quarter fumble at the Seahawks’ goal line, a play that pivoted the momentum toward the home team.