The Eagles are 5-4 on the year heading into arguably their toughest game of season this Sunday on the road against 6-2-1 Seattle. The Seahawks have all the momentum in the world on their side following last Sunday's stunning 31-24 upset of New England on the road. The general consensus is that they will stay on a roll this Sunday with a relatively easy win at home as touchdown favorites.
I personally believe that the Eagles have Seattle right where they want them. Going back over Philly's first nine games, it has closed as an underdog in five of those contests. Doug Pederson's crew won as underdogs on the road in Week 2 against Chicago before we knew just how bad the Bears really were. They took on the Steelers as underdogs when everyone still thought that Pittsburgh was headed to the Super Bowl this year and went on to hammer their in-state rivals 34-3. When Minnesota came to town on Oct. 23 as a road favorite, the Eagles made short work of the 5-0 Vikings in a 21-10 victory that was the springboard to that team's fall from grace in its current four-game losing streak. Last Sunday as a home underdog against the Atlanta Falcons, they held the NFL's highest scoring team to just 15 points in a much-needed nine-point win. The two losses as underdogs came against Dallas on the road in overtime and to the New York Giants on the road when a furious fourth-quarter rally came up just short.
What this all means for this Sunday's game is the Eagles should be thankful that nobody expects them to win. They tend to play their best football when their backs are up against the wall and given the fact that they are still in last place in the NFC East despite having a winning record makes just about every game they play from here on in a 'must win' affair.
I am not going to try and argue that Seattle is not one of the top teams in the NFC this season, but I still think the Seahawks are overrated given some of their weaker performances this season. Going back just a few weeks ago, the tied 4-4-1 Arizona before losing to New Orleans. Seattle's offense is ranked 30th in the league in rushing yards and it is 21st in the NFL in scoring with 21.4 points a game. The strength of this team still lies in its defense, but this unit did not live up to its lofty rankings two weeks ago at home in a 31-25 win against Buffalo.
I thought I was pretty bold in predicting earlier victories against the Vikings and the Falcons after a very shaky start in my official picks for Philly's first few games. I am probably picking with my heart instead of my head for this Sunday's contest, but I honestly believe that the Eagles will come away with a win at Seattle with the Seahawks getting caught reading all their own press clippings from last week's improbable upset on the road.