WHEN THE EAGLES RUN THE BALL

The Eagles are coming off their best rushing performance of the season, a 256-yard effort against Dallas. With the returns of C Jason Kelce and LG Evan Mathis four weeks ago, the Eagles have regained the continuity up front that had been missing much of the season. The Eagles have averaged 5.1 yards per carry in the last two games.
After a slow start, LeSean McCoy has found his stride. He is third in the league in rushing with 1,018 yards and has rushed for 80 or more yards in 7 of the last 8 games. McCoy has rushed for 745 yards in the last 7 games. Five hundred sixty-one of those 745 yards have come out of 3-wide receiver sets, which the Eagles have been using 3 out of every 4 plays.
The Seahawks are fifth against the run, holding opponents to 86.3 yards per game on the ground. But they lost one of their best run-defenders, DT Brandon Mebane, to a season-ending hamstring injury in Week 10. A week later, Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs rushed for 190 yards v. them.
EDGE: Eagles
WHEN THE EAGLES THROW THE BALL
Mark Sanchez is coming off his best performance as an Eagle, completing 20 of 29 passes against Dallas on Thanksgiving and not throwing an interception. The Eagles aren’t throwing the deep ball as much with Sanchez at QB as they did with Foles, which isn’t surprising since Foles has a stronger arm. Just 12.5 percent of Sanchez’s throws have traveled 20-plus yards, while 23.4 percent of Foles’ had.
That said, Sanchez is averaging a solid 8.0 yards per attempt. He has relied heavily on slot receiver Jordan Matthews, who has 5 TDs and is averaging 17.0 yards per catch in 19 quarters with Sanchez compared to 2 TDs and 9.3 yards per catch with Foles.

Seattle has one of the best and biggest secondaries in the league, though it hasn’t been as opportunistic as it was last year. The Seahawks have just nine interceptions, the 10th fewest in the league. They had an NFL-high 28 last year when they won the Super Bowl. Their pass rush also has hasn’t been as disruptive (just 20 sacks in 12 games).

EDGE: Seahawks
WHEN THE SEAHAWKS RUN THE BALL
The Seahawks are first in the league in rushing and rushing average. They’re averaging 168.6 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry.
RB Marshawn Lynch is a physical runner who is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He is tough to bring down alone. Nearly 62 percent of his yards have come after contact. He has an NFL-high 61 broken tackles. Lynch was inexplicably underused early in the season. He had just two 20-plus-carry games in the first 7 games, but has had 4 in the last 5.
The Seahawks’ running game isn’t just about Lynch. It’s also about QB Russell Wilson, who is 15th in the league in rushing with 679 yards, split almost 50-50 between zone-read runs and pass-play scrambles. Wilson, who is averaging 7.5 yards per carry, is ninth in the league in rushing first downs (39) and first in third-down rushing (210 yards on 21 carries).
The Eagles’ run defense has been very good. It held NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray to a season-low 73 yards last week.
EDGE: Eagles
WHEN THE SEAHAWKS THROW THE BALL
The offseason departure of Golden Tate, the trade of their most dangerous vertical threat, Percy Harvin, and a season-ending ankle injury to tight end Zach Miller has hurt the Seahawks’ passing game. WR Doug Baldwin has a team-high 48 receptions, but is averaging just 10.8 yards per catch. Rookie first-round pick Paul Richardson has not had much of an impact so far on the offense. He has just 14 catches and is averaging 7.3 yards per catch.
QB Russell Wilson is averaging nearly a yard less per pass attempt (7.36 from 8.25) and is 19th in TD percentage. He does have 15 completions of 30-plus yards, which is the seventh most in the league. Most of them have come when he’s been able to get outside the pocket and extend plays with his scrambling ability.
The Eagles have a potent pass rush that has notched 42 sacks, and are first in the league in opponent completion percentage (57.5). But they have given up way too many big passing plays. They’ve allowed 24 TD passes and have given up a league-high 23 completions of 30-plus yards, including 10 for TDs.
EDGE: Seahawks
SPECIAL TEAMS
Eagles special teams have produced a league-high 6 touchdowns – 2 on KRs, 2 on PRs and 2 on blocked punts. Rookie PK Cody Parkey has made 27 of 29 FGAs, including 9 of 10 in the last 2 games. His TB percentage on KOs has dropped precipitously in recent weeks. He has just 7 TBs in his last 24 KOs. Opponents have averaged 25.5 yards per return on the other 17.
Darren Sproles is second in the league in punt returns, averaging 14.5 yards per return. Eight of his 13 returns in the last 5 games have been 10 yards or more. P Donnie Jones is 29th in the league in net average (37.3), but is second in punts inside the 20 (25) and has had just 11 of his last 33 attempts returned.
The Seahawks are 31st in the league in punt coverage (13.1), but P Jon Ryan has had just 14 of 44 attempts returned. So Sproles probably won’t get many return opportunities Sunday. PK Steven Hauschka is 27-for-30 on FGAs this year and missed just 2 of 35 last year.
EDGE: Eagles
INTANGIBLES
The Seahawks won’t have their 12th Man advantage at the Linc, where the Eagles have won 10 straight regular-season games. The Seahawks are 8-4 overall this season, but just 3-3 on the road. They’re averaging more than a touchdown less on the road (21.0 points per game) than at home (28.7).
EDGE: Eagles
Domo’s prediction: Eagles 27, Seahawks 24
KEY MATCHUPS
Eagles ILB Mychal Kendricks v. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch: Kendricks is the lynchpin of a run defense that held its last 7 opponents to 3.6 yards per carry. Lynch leads the league in broken tackles. Advantage: Eagles
Eagles CBs Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin v. Seahawks WRs Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Paul Richardson: The pressure will be on the Eagles’ corners to hold their coverage when QB Russell Wilson gets outside and extends plays. Advantage: Even
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin v. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman: Sherman is one of the best press-man corners in the game, but the susre-handed Maclin has 9 TD catches and is averaging 15.3 yards per catch. Advantage: Seahawks.
HOT AND NOT
Hot
Eagles: RB LeSean McCoy. Has had four 100-yard rushing performances in the last seven games.
Seahawks: RB Marshawn Lynch. Has three 100-yard rushing performances in the last four games.
Not
Eagles: TE Zach Ertz. Has just 10 catches for 106 yards and no TDs in the last 5 games.
Seahawks: RT Justin Britt. Has given up 3 sacks, 4 QB hits and a team-high 31 hurries.