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Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald
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Seahawks’ defense, Rashaad Penny lead the way in 17-9 win over Eagles

In the Seahawks’ 11th game of the season, they won for the ninth time on Sunday in Philadelphia. They did so in a manner that was different from any of their eight previous victories, as well.

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Seattle’s defense came up with five takeaways – three fumble recoveries and two interceptions – and running back Rashaad Penny had a big second half to lead the way to a 17-9 win over the Eagles.

Any win at this point is an important one for the Seahawks, who are in a six-team fight for the top seed out of the NFC for the postseason. Meanwhile for the Eagles, the loss is a significant blow to their playoff hopes as they fall to 5-6.

The Seahawks received a second straight sterling performance from their defense, the first being an overtime victory over the previously undefeated San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 11. Even with star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney out of action with a hip injury, Seattle had a strong pass rush against a banged-up Eagles offensive line, sacking quarterback Carson Wentz three times. Ziggy Ansah had his best performance as a Seahawks defensive end, registering 1.5 sacks.

Wentz put the ball on the ground three times and tight end Dallas Goedert had an additional fumble, and Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson and Quandre Diggs each had a recovery for the Seahawks’ defense. Wentz also threw a pass that was picked off by Bradley McDougald in the second quarter, which the only Eagles turnover that the Seahawks turned into points as Jason Myers kicked a short field goal on the Seattle possession set up by McDougald’s big play. Tre Flowers added a pick of Wentz in the fourth quarter.

The Seahawks struggled holding onto the ball themselves in the cold and windy weather in Philadelphia. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw his third interception of the season in the third quarter, and he and running back Chris Carson fumbled on back-to-back plays in the fourth, the second of which was recovered by the Eagles.

Wilson threw a beautiful 33-yard touchdown pass to Malik Turner in the first quarter on a flea flicker play, and Penny’s long run in the fourth quarter accounted for Seattle’s other touchdown. Penny finished with a game-high 129 rushing yards on 14 carries, while Wilson threw for 200 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 13 for 25 passing (52%) in one of his least effective games of an MVP-caliber season.

Seven receivers caught a pass from Wilson, with Tyler Lockett (one catch, 38 yards) having a quiet day less than two weeks removed from spending two nights in a Bay Area hospital with a shin injury suffered against San Francisco.

First quarter

Seahawks 7, Eagles 3

The Seahawks fell behind 3-0 after a poor punt into the wind gave Philadelphia a short field to work with, and the Eagles’ tough defense against the run proved to be just that early on.

Wilson and Seattle’s offense had something up their sleeve, however.

The Seahawks used passes of 21 and 17 yards to Jacob Hollister and DK Metcalf, respectively, to get into Philadelphia territory, then they pulled out the old flea-flicker trick to create some room for Wilson to pass. He got all the time he needed to find Turner on a long bomb in the end zone, allowing the Seahawks to take a 7-3 lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass.

Everything kept coming up in Seattle’s favor for a time in the first quarter. Wentz fumbled near midfield, and Woods jumped on the ball for a recovery. And while the offense couldn’t advance on the ensuing possession, punter Michael Dickson and Seattle’s special teams unit made up for a sub-par first punt by pinning Philadelphia at its own 1 after a 46-yard kick.

PHI – Jake Elliott 28 FG (3-0 PHI), 7:29
SEA – Malik Turner 33 pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kick, 7-3 SEA), 5:54

Second quarter

Seahawks 10, Eagles 3

The big question after the Seahawks’ Week 10 overtime win over the 49ers and the bye week that followed was whether Seattle’s defense could keep playing like it did against San Francisco.

After the first half in Philadelphia, the answer was yes.

Seattle had three sacks, two takeaways and held the Eagles to 104 total yards of offense – 44 passing, 60 rushing – through two quarters.

McDougald had the big play of the second quarter for Seattle, picking off Wentz on a pass intended for tight end Zach Ertz.

Perhaps the most impressive fact about the Seahawks’ defensive effort in the first two quarters is that is happened without Clowney, who was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the 49ers and has been arguably the best player on that side of the ball for Seattle this year. Clowney met the team in Philadelphia after having a hip injury checked out in the city before the Seahawks flew to the game, and Seattle opted to make him inactive in a gameday decision.

While the Seattle defense continued to shine, the offense struggled to hold up its end of the bargain before halftime. Wilson missed a wide-open Hollister in the end zone from a relatively short distance on third down, and the Hawks had to a settle for a 24-yard Jason Myers field goal instead. Seattle went three-and-out on its next possession after Wilson took a pair of sacks, and with about a minute to go before the half, a long third-down pass attempt from the Philadelphia 38 was dropped by rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf near the goal line.

Injury note: Seahawks defensive lineman Jarran Reed went down with an apparent lower-leg injury on Philadelphia’s final offensive series of the first half.

SEA – Myers 24 FG (10-3 SEA), 7:13

Third quarter

Seahawks 10, Eagles 3

It was a very on-brand third quarter for the Seahawks: They didn’t play particularly well, but the score didn’t change.

Though the Seattle defense recovered a Wentz fumble for its third takeaway of the game, penalties prevented the Hawks from making anything of it on offense. Well, that and the fact that Wilson threw his third interception of the season, giving the ball back to Philly.

The Seattle defense stood tall, however, forcing the Eagles into a punt after the pick by Philadelphia’s Rodney McLeod.

Penalties became the story of the game in the third quarter. Seattle had been called for 10 on the day before the Eagles were called for their first, an offensive holding flag, inside the final three minutes of the frame. The Seahawks were called for an 11th before the fourth quarter began. Seattle lost 90 yards on 12 penalties in the game compared to Philly’s loss of 15 for two flags.

No scoring in third quarter.

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 17, Eagles 9

Penny was already having a good day when he took a handoff from Seattle’s 42 yard line. After an explosive 58-yard run to the end zone, his day was upgraded from good to maybe his best in two seasons as a pro.

Later in the quarter, Philadelphia and Seattle traded fumbles, then the Eagles turned it over on downs. The Seahawks had to punt to end their next series, but a Dickson punt was downed at the 1 for the second time on the day, giving the Eagles a long ways to go just if they wanted to cut Seattle’s lead to one score.

They didn’t get close. Flowers picked off Wentz at the Seattle 32 with a little over four minutes remaining, and the offense was able to run the clock down to almost the two-minute warning before punting it back to Philly.

A 30-yard pass to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside set up a 2-yard TD from Wentz to Ertz with 20 seconds left, but a fumble on the two-point conversion try kept Seattle’s lead at 8 points. Philadelphia’s onside kick attempt was corralled by Hollister to ensure the Seahawks’ victory.

SEA – Rashaad Penny 58 run (Myers kick, 17-3 SEA), 11:56
PHI – Zach Ertz 2 pass from Carson Wentz (run failed, 17-9 SEA), :20

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