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PHILADELPHIA — This clearly goes into the category of winning ugly.
The Seattle Seahawks stumbled all around Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. Russell Wilson was sacked six times. One would-be, short touchdown pass flew over the head of his wide-open target. And a could-be TD was dropped at the goal line. Right after the Seattle defense recovered a fumble, the Seahawks fumbled to turn it back over.
Good thing for the Seahawks, though, is that they ran into an opponent in even worse shape.
The Philadelphia Eagles tried, but were ill-equipped to put up a decent fight.
Bottom line, the Seahawks scratched out a 17-9 victory that marks their fourth consecutive win and tied the franchise record for road victories (6) in a season. And pending what happens later at Levi’s Stadium, the less-than-impressive outcome could even push Seattle (9-2) into first place in the NFC West.
The Eagles (5-6) are reeling but there’s still hope for a late-season playoff push.
You see their schedule? Just one of the Eagles five remaining games comes against a team that currently has won more than two games.
It took overtime for Seattle to earn its previous two victories, and seven triumphs this season came by seven points or less. But at least they didn’t have to sweat out the finish this time, even with a last-minute Eagles touchdown.
But Lord knows they tried.
Three other things we learned from Sunday:
1. The Eagles really missed Lane Johnson. And Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard, plus DeSean Jackson, too. The injury-decimated Philadelphia offense could muster little against a Seattle defense without its best playmaker (Jadeveon Clowney, out with a hip injury). Carson Wentz was hardly at his best (2 INTs, 2 fumbles lost), but he was also under siege all afternoon (3 sacks) behind a battered O-line that was without its best lineman in Johnson (concussion protocol), lost right guard Brandon Brooks early (illness) and has left tackle Jason Peters still trying to work back into form after missing three games with a knee injury. Philly’s defense kept the game in range, but the offense could never get over the hump.2. DK Metcalf’s hands can’t be trusted. The Seahawks rookie receiver – whose rep has been established with a bodybuilder’s physique and a 4.33-second time in the 40-yard dash at 228 pounds – still isn’t the complete package. He dropped a sure touchdown catch in the second quarter after beating his defender on a post pattern that would have made it a double-digit lead. In the third quarter, he beat his man on a third-and-long go route, but the ball glanced off his fingers as he stretched for what would have been way more than a first down. Sure, it would have been a tough catch. But the best receivers make ‘em. Metcalf will be so much better if he can develop sure hands.
3. Wilson lost ground in the MVP race. Tough day for the Seahawks quarterback. He threw just his third interception of the season, had one of his lowest-rated games for efficiency (75.4) and had trouble establishing his usual rhythm. He also lost a fumble on a muffed exchange with Chris Carson. But he still won, in part due to a beautiful 33-yard touchdown pass to Malik Turner – into the wind — in the first quarter off a razzle-dazzle play-design after getting a throwback pass from Carson.
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