This wasn't the high-flying offensive act most have become accustomed to from the Seattle Seahawks thanks to a spirited showing from the Philadelphia Eagles defense. But Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf and the Seahawks did enough to get past a struggling Carson Wentz and the Eagles on Monday night, 23-17.
1) It was hardly the offensive showing Russell Wilson has treated viewers to in the 2020 campaign. He simmered rather than cooked. He managed more than dazzled. But for the second game in a row he didn't have an interception and the Seahawks have won each of those games. Wilson's entertainment value and MVP campaign might be taking a hit, but the aerial circus made for a lot of close games and turnovers. Following the first stanza's scoreless showing for both squads, Wilson led Seattle on five scoring drives over the last three quarters (two touchdowns, three Jason Myers field goals). As mentioned above, it wasn't dazzling but it was winning football. Wilson throwing for 230 yards, one touchdown on a beautiful goal line fade and 23-for-31 passing with no interceptions isn't really all that sexy, but it was efficient. This was also a game in which the Seahawks seemed so close to a blowout throughout, though that never transpired. At this point in the season, we know the Seahawks have a good chance of winning a shootout with Wilson cooking, but over these last two games we've arrived at the realization that winning a different way is possible, too.
2) No ills were remedied for the Eagles offense with Jalen Hurts being folded into the mix, the issues just got far more convoluted. Carson Wentz was abysmal from the outset; Hurts came in for some snaps and offered no relief. And the Eagles have lost three in a row with the offense failing to touch 20 points in each of them. Wentz's start was dreadful, with a trio of incompletions to open the game and the first of three consecutive three-and-outs. Hurts made a cameo and was 1-for-1 for six yards. He wasn't even bestowed a full drive to show what could come to be. At one point, he and Wentz were each in the huddle together and a timeout was taken and confusion seemingly rang out. It's difficult to defend Wentz, whose final stats (25-for-45 for 215 yards, 2 TDs, INT, 73.8 rating) actually paint a better picture than how ugly this outing was. Still, he was sacked six times and rushed for a team-high 42 of the Eagles' 70 rushing yards. For all of Wentz' trials, the Eagles' offensive hopes still rest securely upon his shoulders. The Wentz of past seasons seems nowhere to be found, but can the Eagles really move on from a franchise quarterback with great past success and a huge contract to a rookie second-rounder? It's a question the Eagles likely don't want to answer, but it's one they'll need to make.
3) It wasn't that long ago that the Seahawks defense was so very troubled and Wilson's sudden offensive hiccups had let Seattle slip while the upstart Cardinals had caught flight and the Rams had seemingly found resurgence within the NFC West. But the Seahawks are now perched atop the division at 8-3 with L.A. trailing behind at 7-4, the Cardinals (6-5) slumping and just ahead of the 49ers (5-6). This might well be the best division in football and the race for the crown is hardly finished. However, the Seahawks were stumbling not that long ago and Pete Carroll's flock is now heading into the stretch with an improved defense, their next three games against losing teams and a firm first-place standing. ... As for the Eagles (3-7-1), despite being in the worst division in football and trailing Washington and New York by a half-game, it's arduous to imagine their title hopes aren't buried. Disasters likely await in consecutive weeks against the Packers and Saints.
4) Though he'd opened eyes and dropped jaws previously, DK Metcalf's real coming-out party was an all-time showing against the Eagles in the NFC Wild-Card Round last season. As the Seahawks took a victory, Metcalf had a rookie playoff record with 160 receiving yards on seven catches with a score. With Darius Slay traveling with him on Monday, Metcalf approached his postseason tally in the opening half, garnering seven grabs for 118 yards, including a huge 52-yard gain to the Eagles 1 that set up Seattle's first score. Metcalf is an athletic specimen to behold, but has proven himself to be a stellar receiver over and over this year and did it again. He and Slay got into some extra-curriculars early that drew a Slay penalty after some shoves, but Metcalf was rarely slowed or impacted. At night's end, he had a career-high 177 yards receiving that was more individually than the Eagles offense had for most of the game. It's difficult to slow him down, it's Herculean to overpower him and the Eagles found it once more impossible to stop the rising young star.
5) Hidden away in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Carson has long been a hidden gem for the Seahawks. Playing for the first time since Week 7 due to a foot injury, Carson's return was a reminder of how much more potent the Seahawks can be with a premier back next to Wilson, and Carson is a premier back when he's in peak form. Seattle wasted no time getting Carson involved as a pair of throws to him for seven and 12 yards began the offense's day. The first was negated by a penalty, but an early message was sent that Carson was back and the Seahawks have something else for the opposition to once more worry about. At the end of the game, his stats (59 scrimmage yards on 10 touches; 16-yard TD run) were hardly eye-popping and he was used somewhat sparingly. Still, it was clear that having Carson back bodes very well for an already impressive offense.
6) As a scoreless first quarter transpired, it almost felt as if the Eagles' offensive ineptitude had spread to the Seahawks. It was really an inspired performance by Philly's defense, which has looked good through spots in the season and was able to slow the high-flying 'Hawks early with Derek Barnett coming up huge by way of two fourth-down tackles to end each of Seattle's first two drives. The No. 10 scoring defense coming in, the Eagles were able to slow down the No. 4 scoring offense for the most part. It will be lost in all the negative hubbub regarding another stunningly bad offensive performance, but the Eagles defense held its own on this night and has for much of the season.
7) Facing a bumbling-and-stumbling Philadelphia offensive contingent, a cautious take must be had in complimenting the Seahawks defense too much. But regardless of the competition on Monday, the results saw a third-straight solid outing from the much-maligned Seattle D. Since its horrendous showing against the Bills in a 44-34 Week 10 defeat, Seattle hasn't allowed north of 23 points. The return of Jamal Adams has been a boon on the back end and in the pass rush, and trading for Carlos Dunlap has worked out phenomenally thus far (though a late foot injury to Dunlap is troubling) while Bobby Wagner is his same sensational self. As of Monday night, the Seahawks are trending upward in just about every facet.