A 5-4 record, buried at the bottom of their division and a rookie quarterback under center who has struggled as of late might read like the Seahawks have it easy this week. Add to the fact that they are hosting an east coast team at home, and you have to bet on the Seahawks, especially based on their performance the past two weeks.
However Hawks fans can't look past the Philadelphia Eagles quite yet. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz is talented, even with his play falling back down to Earth. Not only that, but the Eagles feature an offense that ranks third in points against, giving up only 17.8 a contest.
Defensive end Brandon Graham is having his best pro season yet, leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss with five and nine respectively. Last week they had a strong showing against Matty Ryan, Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons, winning 24-15. Jones did get his, with 10 catches for 135 yards, but the most important stat is that 15 points they held the Falcons to.
On the Seahawks side of things, the team shook things up today by waiving Christine Michael. Although his stats were decent, averaging 4 yards a carry, he failed to be a consistent chain mover after the first few weeks of the season and now with the emergence of C.J. Prosise and imminent return of Thomas Rawls, Michael became expendable.
Although both Prosise and Rawls pose big question marks. In a perfect world, they make the perfect thunder and lightening combination out of the backfield. Though it remains to be seen if Prosise can perform the way he did against the Patriots week in a week out, I guess the Eagles' defense will pose a fair barometer for that measure.
The team says that Rawls is "practicing to play" this week, but who knows if he will be the Rawls of old right off the bat. Surely they will ease him into duty, so we can't expect to see the combo at it's full potential until late in the season, just in time for the playoffs.
Really though if it does not turn out gangbusters on a consistent basis, the running game has not been consistent all year thus far. However now it should get an added boost with Russell Wilson finally healthy and fully mobile, keeping defenses guessing and catching them on their heels.
At the end of the day I believe that the Seahawks defense and the Century Link crowd will overwhelm Wentz. The key is stopping the run enough to make Wentz beat you, which he probably (and should not) will not be able to.
Photo: Flickr/Ben Rea