At 10-1 and the best point differential in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles seem to steamrolling all of their competition. But over the next two weeks, we’ll see how dominant they truly are as they go against two of the best teams in the league in the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams.
The Eagles have definitely enjoyed a fairly easy schedule so far, with 9 of their 10 wins coming against teams below .500. But this week they must face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks(7th seed) on Sunday Night Football in Seattle. Despite the game being in Seattle, one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, and in December, a month where the Seahawks are historically good, the Eagles are 4 point favorites. This largely has to due with how Seattle’s hallowed Legion of Boom lost two of its’ key players in Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor for the season. However, the Eagles still need to give the Seahawks their due respect. Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, is known for raising the level of play of players around him(i.e.: Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse). The defense is also nothing to scoff at either. They are 8th in YPG and 9th in PTS/G. The unit is especially strong when they are being uplifted by the 12s, the Seahawks’ loyal fan base. They are among the loudest in the NFL, and the last time the Eagles entered an environment similar to this, Kansas City, they lost their one and only game of the year.
A win in this spot does wonders for the Eagles season, as it would not only push themselves further ahead in the standings, but also hand another loss to an experienced and dangerous inter-conference opponent.
The Birds will not be flying home from Seattle, as they stay on the west coast to prepare for their game against the Los Angeles Rams, the 3rd seed in the NFC. LA has beaten some quality teams, including the New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Rams are 4th in offensive YPG and 6th in defensive PTS/G. Jared Goff has been on fire this season, completing 61% of his passes for 2,964 yards and 18 TDs, earning him a QBR of 98.6. Goff has developed strong chemistry with rookie WR Cooper Kupp and veteran receiver Sammy Watkins, especially in their most recent games. The running game must also be respected, as Todd Gurley is currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing.
A win against LA not only strongly enhances their chances of obtaining home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but it also serves as a statement to the rest of the league that the Eagles can hang with the best of them.
Judging by the last couple of games, it seems that the Eagles are on their way to 15-1. But, with a schedule like this, that may be slightly unreasonable to expect. If they could go 1-1 on this west coach road trip, I think that would be more than acceptable, due to the difficulty of the schedule. If they do go 1-1 on the road trip, they’ll be 11-2 and in great shape to continue their push for the top seed in the NFC.