<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Tuesday,  June 25 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Sports / Seahawks

Slumping Seahawks, Eagles both trying to stay aloft

Seattle’s postseason hopes fade amid four-game skid

By TIM BOOTH, Associated Press
Published: December 17, 2023, 3:45pm

SEATTLE — Nick Sirianni isn’t yet feeling a growing anxiety or concern about what’s happened the past two weeks with Philadelphia.

Pete Carroll seems to be feeling every bit of the worry about what’s happened with Seattle.

The two slumping teams will meet on Monday night, each trying to snap losing streaks and where a win could dramatically alter how the final three weeks of the regular season are viewed.

“We’re not hitting a panic button as far as, ‘we’ve got to do everything.’ We didn’t play well and we didn’t coach good the last two weeks,” Sirianni said with the Eagles having lost two straight. “We didn’t play good enough and we didn’t coach good enough the last two weeks to win the games. It wasn’t up to our standard, so we’re pissed and we’re looking for ways to fix that.”

The Eagles (10-3) are no longer alone atop the NFC East after last week’s loss to Dallas. They no longer have the inside track at the No. 1 seed in the NFC after losing to San Francisco two weeks ago and thus the 49ers holding the tiebreaker. Since Sirianni took charge in Philadelphia before the 2021 season, the Eagles’ only three-game losing streak came in his first month as a head coach.

But the Eagles can wrap up a postseason spot with a victory.

Seattle would love for its playoff hopes to be that simple.

The current freefall facing the Seahawks (6-7) is even more significant. They’ve lost four straight for the first time in Carroll’s tenure. They’ve got from being firmly entrenched in the NFC playoff conversation to now on the outside in a muddled pack trying to find their way back into contention.

A win over the Eagles would dramatically change Seattle’s fortunes — and playoff odds — especially with a final three games that appear far more manageable than the past few weeks have been.

“There is so much at stake from this point forward. There’s so much, with five other teams that are vying for this spot,” Carroll said. “It’s a run to the finish and see who wins the race. It’s exciting, and we got to make the most of it and be tuned into it.”

Morning Briefing Newsletter envelope icon
Get a rundown of the latest local and regional news every Mon-Fri morning.

Be flexible

The Eagles and Seahawks had the honor of becoming the first game the league has flexed from a Sunday to Monday as part of the league’s agreements with its broadcast partners. Games being moved around on Sundays has become commonplace on the calendar, but this was the first time a game was moved from Sunday to Monday.

Originally, the Chiefs were scheduled to face the Patriots as the last game of Week 15. And despite asking the Eagles to travel cross country for a Monday night game, they won’t face a short week. Philadelphia was already scheduled to be one of the three games played on Christmas this season.

DK’s day

Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf was in the spotlight again last week for reacting to a hit from behind by San Francisco’s Fred Warner during an interception return that led to a minor scuffle between both teams. Metcalf was one of two players ejected for the small melee.

He’d like the conversation to turn back to his production on the field and replicate what he’s done in the past against the Eagles. Two of the biggest games of his career have come the past two times Seattle and Philadelphia have played.

In the 2019 playoff meeting, Metcalf had seven catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. When the teams met the following season, he had an even bigger game with 10 receptions for 177 yards, which is still his career high in yards receiving.

QB question

Seattle is hopeful that not playing last week and an extra day of rest with the Monday game will allow starting quarterback Geno Smith to return from a groin injury. Smith was a spectator while Drew Lock made his first start with Seattle and his first start since the final week of the 2021 season.

There was good and bad that came with Lock’s performance. He threw for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but one of his two interceptions was a poor decision and a poorly thrown ball. Lock was able to extend plays with his feet, but also missed a couple of opportunities to run for potential big gains.

Seattle would like to have its starter back, but feels confident if Lock needs to go again.

Rookie watch

The matchup could feature two of the leading contenders for defensive rookie of the year and two players who were highly rumored to be of interest to the other team going into the draft.

Seattle defensive back Devon Witherspoon and Philadelphia defensive lineman Jalen Carter are two of the leaders in the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation.

Carter was rumored to be a target of the Seahawks to help with their defensive line, while the Eagles were thought to be interested in Witherspoon to bolster their secondary.

Both teams seem pretty happy with how things played out. Witherspoon has 16 passes defensed, three sacks and one interception. Carter has four sacks, two forced fumbles and last week returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Whether both are on the field on Monday is still unknown after Witherspoon left last week’s game in the first half with a hip pointer.