The Eagles know they have a penalty problem. They know they have a road problem. Heading to Seattle Sunday isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for the NFC East’s last place squad.
“Going into this stadium, this 12th man – it’s real,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said.”The last time that I was up there was with the Eagles a few years back, and it’s a loud place. Those things are the things that keep your offense from executing and staying on the field, and this team definitely feeds off that and tries to get you into those second-and-long, third-and-long situations. The point of emphasis this week obviously is to be able to handle that and minimize those penalties.”
The Eagles are 1-4 on the road (5-4 overall) and have committed 42 penalties away from home — fourth most in the NFL. Their 75 accepted penalties this season are tied for the second most in all of football (behind the Raiders’ ridiculous94).
Sunday will be a test. And that’s before even considering the Seahawks are fresh off a victory over the Patriots led by a resurgent Russell Wilson.
“I think when you are on the road you try to press just a little bit,” Pederson said. “You try to get that quick, early lead; try to take the crowd of out of the game. You maybe do some things that are uncharacteristic of what you do at home, and we just can’t do that. We’ve got to stick to the game plan. We’ve got to approach it much like a home game and trust the players, trust the plan.”
Pederson said he plans to practice inside the Eagles’ practice dome, indoors despite the nice weather this week to prepare for the noise level at CenturyLink Field. He knows first hand the dedication of Seahawks fans having grown up himself in Washington state.
“As a kid going growing up, I was a part of it,” the coach said.”I was a part of the Kingdome and my parents took me to the Seahawk games. I grew up doing that. I’ve experienced it firsthand from a fan’s perspective as a kid in high school.”