Road woes continue for Philadelphia in loss to Seattle
SEATTLE — Richard Sherman saw the poise from Carson Wentz on film. He saw the correct decisions being made by the rookie and the success Philadelphia was having thanks to Wentz.
Sherman also knew Wentz had yet to see a defense like Seattle’s.
“He was pretty poised. He wasn’t shook, he’s a rook. That’s what he is. He’s been kind of getting an easy walk through this league,” Sherman said. “And then he ran into some people that we’ve been there before. We’ve seen your looks, we know your plays. He’s going to learn from it and he’s going to work hard and come back.”
Wentz and the rest of the Eagles received an education in what it takes to reach the top of the NFC on Sunday, thanks to Seattle’s 26-15 victory on Sunday . It was the fifth straight road loss and showed the thin line the Eagles are still walking between being competitive and, for the most part, being dominated.
While Wentz showed flashes of greatness against Seattle’s standout secondary, he also was 5 of 14 for 25 yards and two interceptions during a stretch of the second and third quarters as Philadelphia watched its 7-6 lead turn into a 23-7 deficit.
On a day Philadelphia needed to be close to perfect to hang with the class of the NFC West, the Eagles made too many careless mistakes.
“I think it’s a benchmark for us. You look at certain games on your schedule and obviously this is one,” Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson said. “They are a team that is playing extremely well. We were coming off of a good win a week ago. These are benchmark games.”
No mistake stood out more than wide receiver Nelson Agholor not lining up correctly on a second quarter play that became a 57-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz. Agholor was not close enough to the line of scrimmage and did not check with the official nearest to him, who was signaling for Agholor to move forward. Instead of a touchdown that would have given Philadelphia a 14-13 lead, the Eagles didn’t find the end zone again until late in the fourth quarter.
“That was a big play and mental errors like that you can’t have,” Agholor said. “I know better than that and I shouldn’t have done that.”
Seattle took advantage of Philadelphia’s lapses and also showed the Eagles’ defense has a way to go to join the elite of the NFC. Russell Wilson threw for 272 yards and a touchdown, and caught a 15-yard touchdown on a trick play pass from wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
The Seahawks finished with 439 total yards — the third time this year the Eagles have allowed more than 400 yards — and had three drives inside the Philadelphia 30 that resulted in just six points. The 11-point margin could have been much larger if Seattle was better in the red zone.
“We’ve been able to do a lot already, we’ve had a good season already,” Wilson said. “There’s just more we can do and there’s more out there. That’s the exciting part for us.”
Here’s what else to know from Seattle’s third straight win:
Absent receivers: For the first three quarters, Philadelphia had almost no production from its wide receivers. Jordan Matthews and Dorial Green-Beckham finished with a combined 10 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. But through three quarters, the duo had exactly two catches for 15 yards, the same amount of yards as Wilson had on his TD catch.
Injury bug: Both Seattle and Philadelphia suffered significant injuries that could have lasting impact.
Seattle lost running back C.J. Prosise for a significant amount of time with a shoulder blade injury. Starting cornerback DeShawn Shead and safety Earl Thomas both left with hamstring injuries.
Philadelphia lost running backs Ryan Mathews (knee) and Darren Sproles (ribs) to injuries, although Pederson did not know the severity or length of the injuries after the game.
In total, 17 players missed at least one play during the game due to an apparent injury.
Big play Seahawks: Seattle has rediscovered a knack for big plays on offense.
Starting with a 72-yard touchdown run by Prosise on Seattle’s fifth offensive play, the Seahawks had six plays of 20 yards or more. Wilson found Baldwin for completions of 44 and 34 yards and also hit Jimmy Graham on a 35-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Seattle had five plays of 20 or more yards in last week’s win over New England.
“You’ve seen us make shifts in the past, this is one of those big shifts for us,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s really exciting to see, we feel very aggressive.”