Seattle Seahawks

Preview of the Seahawks next opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who grew up in Ferndale, watches his players warm up during practice at the team's training facility in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who grew up in Ferndale, watches his players warm up during practice at the team's training facility in Philadelphia on Wednesday. AP

SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-1)

5:30 p.m. Sunday, CenturyLink Field, Ch. 5

Line: Eagles by 5½.

Against the Seahawks: Eagles have lost five of the last six meetings back to 2005. Three of those games were in Seattle, including Philadelphia’s only win in that span, 26-7 on Nov. 2, 2008. The Eagles lost at CenturyLink Field last season 26-15 in late November.

What to know: The Eagles are the NFL’s runaway hottest team at 10-1. And they haven’t been challenged in months. Philadelphia has a point differential of 160 through 11 games, the league’s fifth-largest since 2010. The Eagles have boat-raced their last seven opponents by an average of 21.3 points per game. … The Eagles have beaten just one team that currently has a winning record: Carolina (8-3), 28-23 on Oct. 12 in Philadelphia. … The Chiefs are the only team to beat the Eagles, way back on Sept. 17 in Kansas City by a score of 27-20. That’s the only game this season the Eagles have scored fewer than 26 points. … Philadelphia leads the NFL in points per game (31.9) and have scored at least 31 points in five consecutive games. Quarterback Carson Wentz, the second-overall draft choice last year, has thrown 28 touchdown passes to lead the NFL, against just five interceptions. … Wentz threw a touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz and interceptions to Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor last season when Philadelphia lost 26-15 at Seattle on Nov. 20, 2016. He’s had only one game with more than one interception since then. … Philadelphia runs it, too. The Eagles are second in the NFL in rushing at 147.5 yards per game. LeGarrette Blount (658 yards) is their leading rusher. Jay Ajayi, acquired last month from Miami, is the slicker, faster back. Rookie Corey Clement is averaging 4.5 yards per carry and has four TDs rushing and two more receiving. … Ertz is the Eagles’ top receiver (55 catches, 7 TDs), and Seattle has struggled against tight ends down the field for years. … The Eagles’ front seven on defense is a strength. Brandon Graham leads with seven sacks, but Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell notes all seven of the linemen and linebackers can get after quarterbacks. The Eagles’ 31 sacks are tied for fifth-most. … Philadelphia has the league’s top-ranked rushing defense (65.1 yards per game). Part of that is because foes have been so far behind so quickly against the Eagles they’ve abandon the run. Chicago ran just 14 times in its 31-3 loss last week at Philadelphia. … The Eagles are also winning the turnover differential (plus-9), tied for third-best. They have 16 interceptions in 11 games, tied for third-most. … Philadelphia is only 16th in the league is pass defense, but third in points allowed. … The Eagles hold opponents to 28.6 percent converting third downs, the second-best mark. Because their front four has rushed quarterbacks so effectively, the Eagles have been playing a lot of “dime” coverage with six defensive backs on third downs. They may not do that as much against Russell Wilson, unless they devote one of those extra DBs as a spy against the Seahawks quarterback’s scrambling. … Seahawks kickoff returner Tyler Lockett will notice the Eagles are just 24th in the NFL in kickoff-return yardage allowed. Lockett has been heating up returning kicks the last two games.

Quotable: “We had four tickets each Sunday. And I tell you it was a lot of fun for me growing up as a kid and it was a chance to experience the Kingdome and Jim Zorn, Steve Largent, Kenny Easley, all those guys playing back in the day, Curt Warner, the runner. I mean, it was just amazing to watch them play.” – Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who grew up in Ferndale north of Bellingham, on his parents being Seahawks season-ticket holders in the 1970s and ’80s.

gregg.bell@thenewstribune.com @gbellseattle

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