The Eagles are getting ready to embark on another (hopefully) miraculous playoff run. The Seahawks still remember the last one.
Seattle has largely become the national media darling, along with a trendy betting pick in Las Vegas. The Seahawks remain a 1.5-point favorite to beat the Eagles, with 81-percent of the public throwing down cash on the road team.
Don’t tell that to Pete Carroll.
The Seahawks coach has been admiring the Birds’ four-game winning streak from afar and believes their championship pedigree has helped save their season. Carroll credits the Eagles for buying into Doug Pederson’s positive messaging. Everything matters.
“They’re a championship team,” Carroll told reporters in a conference call. “They’ve shown that makeup and I’m sure it comes right from the top.”
Yes, the Seahawks beat the Eagles on Nov. 24 at Lincoln Financial Field. Sure, Seattle has defeated Philadelphia in five straight games. None of that matters.
“Every time we’ve played those guys they’ve been really physical and tough and well-schooled and challenging,” Carroll said. “They have a really good all-around team. Their special teams are really solid. The defense gives them what they want week in and week out. They’ve got real good commitment in the run game. They know what they’re doing offensively, just a really well-rounded team.”
Here’s one more stat to ponder: the Eagles are 2-0 at home in the playoffs under Pederson while the Seahawks are 2-5 on the road in the playoffs.
Did Seattle Know the Eagles’ Offensive Players?
There was a lot of hub-bub centering around comments from one Seattle player back on Nov. 24. Linebacker K.J. Wright claimed to have known the Eagles’ offensive plays.
Wright mentioned that he knew when certain plays were being called, specifically short passes and tight-end screens. Players and coaches both kind of laughed at the notion after that game, a sentiment that the Eagles are carrying over into the rematch.
If the Seahawks really knew everything that was coming at them, then why was it such a close game at 17-9? Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh had fun with the idea the other day.
“Yeah, we figure we just run the same ones as last time so that he probably won’t be expecting it,” joked Groh.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time an opponent said they knew the Eagles’ offensive strategy. The Patriots were openly calling them out from the sideline.
“The screens we ran last game weren’t the same,” Groh said. “They were a new presentation. But people know that we want to get the ball to our guys on some screens. I think we still had opportunities there.”
Miles Sanders Dissed by Pro Football Focus
Pro Football Focus released their list of the Top 50 rookies in the NFL. Surprisingly, one name was absent.
Miles Sanders did not make their list despite ranking eighth in all-purpose yards while assuming the lead back role in Philadelphia. Sanders has hit many accolades and milestones in recent weeks, including the following big ones, via the team’s official website:
Since 2007, Sanders is one of only three NFL rookies to craft at least 1,300 scrimmage yards and 300 return yards joining Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara. Nice company.
Sanders took advantage of his expanded role down the stretch. Over the final seven weeks of the season, Sanders was one of just six players (and the only rookie) to post at least 650 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns.
Sanders is one of seven rookies in NFL history to account for 800 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards. Some of the other names: Gale Sayers, Marshall Faulk, Edgerrin James, and Saquon Barkley.
Sanders’ 1,327 yards from scrimmage led all NFL rookies. Five of the last six players to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year honor led their class in scrimmage yards.
Not on the list? That’s a disgrace. Sanders is a shoe-in to win NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
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