Prior to Sunday evening, the Eagles had played in nine games with a legitimate chance to win all nine.
In Week 11 in Seattle, Philly was simply overmatched and embarrassed by a high-powered Seahawks team that put on a show on both sides of the ball.
The Seahawks gained 439 yards on the ground and in the air, fueled by a revelatory game by Russell Wilson who threw for 272 yards on 18-for-31 passing, tossed a touchdown passes and caught one of his own on a 15-yard trick play.
The Eagles lost not only the game, but also several key players including their top two running backs Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. Philly proved unable to stop the Seahawks and unable to gain any momentum offensively as they faltered and fell back to 5-5.
With the NFC East jam-packed with talent and three other teams above .500, the setback could be the beginning of the end with Philadelphia likely needing 10, or even 11 wins to win a Wild Card spot.
Here are three things we saw in Sunday’s ugly defeat:
After a punishing and impressive defensive performance against the run last week, the Eagles proved vunerable on the ground in a big way when, in Seattle’s second possession, C.J.Prosise cut back and sprinted for a 72-yard touchdown. Momentum was slowed down a little but by Philly as Bennie Logan blocked the ensuing extra point.
The Seahawks got their second touchdown on a second first-half broken play. After getting a do-over on third and long thanks to an offside Eagle, Wilson rolled into the pocket and looked to have no running room as he tossed the ball downfield. But somehow he found a streaking Jimmy Graham to capped off the 92-yard drive with a touchdown grab to put Seattle back on top 13-7.
Philly’s third blemish in the first half came as they allowed back-to-back-deep pass completions to Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kerse. But the defense settled down at the three-yard line and held Seattle to a field goal, and a 16-7 lead.
The Eagles responded to the crowd noise and an early mistake by piecing together a long 13 play, 68 yard drive that milked 7:35 off the clock and saw Wentz go a perfect 5-for-5 and throw a four-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz. A Caleb Sturgis extra point put Philly ahead 7-6 at the start of the second.
Unfortunately their plan of ball-control offense failed quite miserably. Wide open drops, particularly one by Nelson Agholor as the wideoutfound himself uncovered for a possibly 25-yard third down conversion plagued the Eagles all afternoon long.
So too did unforced errors.
A potential long screen pass toErtz that saw him sprint all the way to the end zone, a play that would have put Philly in the lead, was called back due to a completely unrelated illegal formation error by an outsidewide receiver.
What’s wrong with Wentz?
Wentz threw two interceptions in Sunday’s defeat, the second a deep bomb that looked like a punt, caught by Richard Sherman midway through the third. The Seahawks offense made Philly pay, as a Baldwin bootleg throw to Wilson in the end zone put Seattle up comfortably 23-7.
After a sharp start Wentz slowly saw the wheels come off. The two interceptions are the statistical markings of mistakes but the rookie’s timing on throws was visibly off. He coughed up a fumble on third down that was recovered by a teammate and missed several open receivers as he went through his progressions.
A little silver lining came near the end of the fourth quarter, when Wentz found DorialGreen-Beckham in garbage time for a touchdown to cap off a sustained drive for the first time since the first quarter.