When Eagles run the ball
The Eagles have rushed for 588 yards in their last three games, averaging 34.3 rushing attempts per game and 5.7 yards per carry. Despite having an MVP-candidate quarterback, their run percentage during their nine-game win streak has been 51.5, the highest in the league. Jay Ajayi's explosiveness has been evident in his first three games with the Eagles. He has just 20 carries, but they have included three runs of 30 yards or more. Ajayi's arrival hasn't impacted LeGarrette Blount's workload. At least not yet. Blount has played 39.3 percent of the snaps and has had 37 carries over the last three games. Rookie Corey Clement has six TDs, four on the ground, and has averaged 5.7 yards per carry the last four games. Then there's Wentz, who has just three fewer rushing first downs (21) than the Seahawks' Wilson (24). Despite the loss of safety Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks still are tough to run on. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are an outstanding LB tandem. The Seahawks have held their last four opponents to 2.5 yards per carry.
When Eagles throw the ball
Carson Wentz has thrown an NFL-high 28 touchdown passes, 22 of them in the last seven games. He hasn't thrown an interception in his last 96 attempts and has just three in his last 282. He is off the charts in situational football. He leads the league in third-down passing (123.4) and has a 65.3 completion percentage in the red zone. He's the only quarterback in the league who hasn't thrown an interception or been sacked in the red zone. Alshon Jeffery's chemistry with Wentz continues to improve. Jeffery has seven TD catches, five in the last four games. Five of his seven scores have been in the red zone. He is tied for 11th in the league in third-down receptions with 17.
The Seahawks pass defense clearly isn't as good without Chancellor and four-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. They have just one interception in the last four games. Two weeks ago, the Falcons' Matt Ryan was 8 for 10 for 91 yards, one TD and seven first downs on third down vs. the Seahawks.
When Seahawks run the ball
That quarterback Russell Wilson is the Seahawks' leading rusher (405 yards, 6.2 yards per carry) pretty much tells you everything you need to know about their ground game. They are 23rd in the league in rush average (3.9 yards per carry). Take Wilson's numbers out of the equation, and that average plummets to 3.2. But Wilson's running ability can't be discounted. He has 24 rushing first downs. The Seahawks' 39.8 run-play percentage is the lowest since Wilson was drafted in 2012. Eddie Lacy was the Seahawks' primary ball carrier last week, but that varies from week to week. They also have third-down back J.D. McKissic and Thomas Rawls, though Rawls had no touches last week. The Seahawks are averaging just 3.28 yards per carry on first down, the seventh-lowest average in the league. During their nine-game win streak, the Eagles have held opponents to 2.6 yards per carry on first down. The Eagles are first in run defense (65.1 yards per game), but opponents are averaging a league-low 18.8 carries per game. Last week, they held the Bears to 6 yards on 14 carries.
When Seahawks throw the ball
Russell Wilson puts a lot of pressure on defensive backs with his scrambling ability. Wilson already has thrown 23 TD passes, two more than he had all last season. He's 26th in third-down passing (73.7) and has completed just 54.2 percent of his red-zone attempts. But he's been hell on wheels in the fourth quarter, leading the league with a 134.9 passer rating. Fourteen of his 23 TD passes have come in the fourth quarter, when the Seahawks have outscored opponents by 104-46. It has taken three years, but the Seahawks finally have figured out how to use TE Jimmy Graham. Graham has a team-high 49 catches and eight TDs, all of them in the red zone. The Eagles have given up more than one passing TD once in the last seven games. They have a 50.9 opponent passer rating on third down. Seven of their 16 interceptions have come on third down. In the two games since cornerback Ronald Darby's return, the Eagles have five interceptions, zero TD passes allowed, and a 33.6 opponent passer rating.
Eagles PK Jake Elliott has converted 18 of 22 FG attempts, including 11 of 13 from 45-plus yards and 5 of 6 from 50-plus. The Eagles' coverage teams, which usually rank among the league's best, have had some costly breakdowns recently. In the last three games, they gave up a 61-yard KR to the Cowboys' Ryan Switzer, a 39-yard KR to the Bears' Tarik Cohen and a 44-yard PR to the Broncos' Isaiah McKenzie. The Eagles are 16th in punt coverage. Eagles PR Kenjon Barner is fourth in punt-return average (11.8). Seahawks P Jon Ryan, who is 20th in net average (40.3), has had 45.7 percent of his punts returned. The Eagles have returned just 10 kickoffs all season. The Seahawks have allowed 26 KRs, but are third in kickoff coverage (18.5). Seahawks PK Blair Walsh is erratic. He's 18 for 24 on FG attempts. He has missed two 30-plus-yard kicks and is 6 for 10 from 40-plus. WR Tyler Lockett handles both the KR and PR for the Seahawks. He's fifth in KR average (25.9), but 20th in PR (6.6).
Eagles 30, Seahawks 17
— Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins vs. TE Jimmy Graham: Graham leads the NFL in red-zone TD catches with eight. Jenkins won't be the only one charged with covering him, but he'll likely spend the most time with him. ADVANTAGE: Seahawks
— Eagles RT Lane Johnson vs. Seahawks LE Michael Bennett: Johnson silenced the Broncos' Von Miller and the Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence, the NFL sack leader, in the Eagles' last three games. He'll go for the trifecta against the Seahawks' top sack guy. ADVANTAGE: Eagles
— Eagles RBs LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement vs. Seahawks LBs Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright: The Eagles are averaging 5.7 yards per carry in their last three games. The Seahawks have held their last four opponents to 2.5 yards per carry. When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object … ADVANTAGE: Even
Hot and Not
Eagles: QB Carson Wentz. You can't get any hotter than 22 TD passes in the last seven games. OK, you can, but it's hard.
Seahawks: QB Russell Wilson. Already has thrown two more TD passes than he did last year, and, oh yeah, he leads the team in rushing.
Eagles: Kickoff coverage unit. Has given up 39- and 61-yard returns in the last two games and saw its kicker KO'd.
Seahawks: RB Eddie Lacy. Averaging just 2.6 yards per carry and doesn't have a TD.