Posted on January 3, 2020, by Travis Pulver
One of the many great things about the playoffs and wild card weekend is that it doesn’t matter how you get there. It only matters that you do. When the playoffs start, it is like hitting restart; the last four months do not matter. All that matters is how you play right now.
For the Philadelphia Eagles, that means they can forget about the struggles and the four-game winning streak they needed to win the NFC East and earn a playoff berth.
As for the Seattle Seahawks, it means they have to get over how close they were to winning the division, the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and a bye.
They both made the playoffs and will close Wild Card weekend out when they face off at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.
Seattle Seahawks News
Every team prefers to have the first weekend of the postseason off. But for the Seahawks, it could end up being a good thing. With the injuries to Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson down the stretch in the regular season, they are forced to feature rookie Travis Homer in the run game along with Marshawn Lynch.
Homer had eight total carries before last week. Lynch had not played in over a year. The week off would have given both some much-needed practice time. But, assuming no one gets hurt, the game reps they will get this week could prove more valuable.
That is, assuming they can get past the Eagles.
While they beat the Eagles in Philadelphia back in Week 12, Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny paved the way with 155 yards on the ground.
However, during the regular season, they averaged 137.5 yards/game. Last week, with Homer, Lynch, and Russell Wilson carrying the ball, they still gained 125 yards on the ground. That was against a very tough San Francisco defense.
Philadelphia Eagles News
The Eagles needed a hot streak and little luck to win the division and make the playoffs—and got it. But that hot streak should come with an asterisk. The two of the teams they beat, the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, should have been easy to beat for a playoff-caliber team.
While the final win over the Giants was easy, the first one was not. The Giants should have won that game, and the Redskins could have won their game. As bad as Dallas was playing down the stretch, the Cowboys still had a shot at beating the Eagles in their game.
To compound the level of difficulty for the Eagles, the team has been decimated by injuries this season. But as they lost players, many started to step up and fill the void. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson credits much of the recent success to Carson Went emerging, via ESPN:
“He’s grown up as a leader of this team. You’ve seen it now over these last couple of games how he’s really put the team on his back and said, ‘Hey, follow me.’ I think that’s a sign of growth and a sign of maturity….”
Wild Card Weekend: Seahawks-Eagles Betting Tips/Prediction
If the Seahawks were healthy, the final game of wild card weekend would not even be close. But with him out, that means the Seahawks are going to have to rely on Russell Wilson even more. While that will likely not be a problem, it does mean the game is going to be closer (probably).
But, running game or not, Wilson will get the offense moving for Seattle and put points on the board. It is hard to say the same about the Eagles. Getting Jordan Howard back will help, especially with Miles Sanders not 100 percent. Boston Scott will get a few opportunities as well. But losing Zach Ertz is going to hurt.
So—who’s going to win?
Look for Seattle to win a close one, straight up and against the spread (-1.5, via DraftKings). But don’t count on either team scoring a lot; so, take the under (45.5).