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Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 17-9 win over Eagles

The Seahawks' defense had five takeaways in Sunday's 17-9 win over the Eagles. (AP)

The Seahawks beat the Eagles 17-9 on Sunday to improve to 9-2 on the season thanks to a big game from second-year running back Rashaad Penny and five takeaways on defense.

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As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the initial impressions of 710 ESPN Seattle’s hosts. See what they have to say below, and make sure to catch all of the coverage of the win on the air Monday, including The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30 a.m. with Danny and Gallant.

Jim Moore – Bob, Dave and Moore

Could the Seahawks’ defense repeat its terrific effort in a Monday night win over San Francisco two weeks ago? Without an injured Jadeveon Clowney? I thought the answer would be “No” even if Clowney had played, but he didn’t, and the defense was really good anyway.

If you want, you could chalk some of that up to the Eagles’ offense being terrible with Carson Wentz playing poorly while missing his top three receivers. But imagine if the banged-up Eagles’ offense played well? We would have wondered why the Seahawks’ defense couldn’t stop a bunch of backup receivers.

As it turned out, the Seahawks ground out another win to improve to 6-0 on the road, tying the franchise record for most road wins in a single season, set by the 2013 Super Bowl championship team. They’ll have a chance to break the 2013 team’s 6-2 single-season road record if they can at least split their final two road games at Carolina and the L.A. Rams.

And as much as the defense played a big part in the 17-9 win, causing five turnovers, Rashaad Penny was the surprising star of the game, breaking it open with a 58-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Penny used great blocking from Joey Hunt, Germain Ifedi and Mike Iupati to burst into the Philadelphia secondary, shrugging off Ronald Darby on his way to the end zone. In his career-best game, Penny rushed for 129 yards on 14 carries and might spark a cry for more playing time considering that Chris Carson fumbled on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter (one was credited to Russell Wilson), giving him eight for the season.

The win sets up an outstanding Monday night matchup next week against the 8-3 Vikings at CenturyLink Field as the Seahawks continue to look the part of Super Bowl contenders.

The Groz – Every day at 11:45 a.m. with John Clayton

It’s the sign of a good team to be able to win in different ways, and that’s one of the many accomplishments the Seahawks had in their dominant performance against the Eagles. I think the two coordinators deserve a shout out. Despite being without Jadeveon Clowney, the Seahawks’ defense had its best day of the season. The Eagles were missing their top receivers and the Seahawks took advantage. They blitzed with the confidence that their back line could handle the Eagles’ receivers, and they were right. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.’s gameplan was terrific.

With the defense dominant and forcing turnovers and the offense hindered by Tyler Lockett’s health, DK Metcalf’s drops and Chris Carson’s fumbles, the Seahawks turned to Rashaad Penny and went conservative against a very good Eagles defense. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer called a trick play at the perfect time for a touchdown pass in the first quarter, and the Seahawks overcame a quiet day from Russell Wilson. They led nearly the entire way and the game never was in doubt. It was a game that the defense decided and it was excellent.

The Hawks weren’t perfect, but to control a game on the road the way they did – well, they made it look easy and are now 6-0 on the road. They have kept up the pressure on the entire NFC because even though they are 6-0 on the road, nobody wants to go through CenturyLink in the postseason. The way Seattle is playing these days, that is looking more and more possible.

Tom Wassell – Tom, Jake and Stacy

If you look only at Russell’s stat sheet, you won’t be impressed (13 for 25, 200 yards, one TD, one interception, 75.4 rating), but on a day where the defense came up with one big play after another, it didn’t matter. Rasheem Green, Poona Ford, Bradley McDougald, Tre Flowers, Shaquill Griffin and others (even Ziggy Ansah had a sack and a half!) all prevented Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense from getting into any kind of rhythm. He was sacked three times, fumbled three times and threw two picks. Wentz didn’t help himself either with errant passes that could have at least helped to sustain a handful of promising drives.

Bottom Line: The Seahawks defense owned the day.

Offensively, Russell hit the big strike early to Malik Turner to give them the early lead, but for a while it looked like missed opportunities (Wilson overthrowing a wide-open Jacob Hollister in the end zone) might let Philly hang around enough to get back in the game. In the second half, though, Rashaad Penny busted loose a few times – once for a TD – essentially putting the game out of reach.

Other than the explosive plays, it was far from pretty. Russell was sacked six times and Chris Carson put the ball on the ground again, plus DK Metcalf had a few drops, one of which was in the endzone. On a day where the defense doesn’t play as well as it did, things could have been much different. What’s the lesson here? The Seahawks are showing that they’re more balanced right now than at any other point this season. The defense picked up the offense today. Perhaps by the end of the season, they won’t be so reliant on one side of the ball to carry the other. Special teams even contributed by downing the ball right up against the goal line twice on punt plays.

It’s yet another road win to make them 6-0 away from CenturyLink Field. We’ll take it.

One more note: How happy are we all for Shaquem Griffin? After two years of struggling to find the right role for him on this team, he’s really settled in not only as a capable special teamer, but now as a rotational pass rusher. Who knows what it will lead to, but it’s inspiring to see him hang in there and continue to make an impact on this team’s success.

Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore

Well, that was an interesting game. Let’s start with the good:

The Seahawks’ defense was spectacular once again. The biggest concern through the first nine games was the defense, and for good reason. It just hadn’t played well at all and the offense was carrying the load. Over these last two games the defense has not only been great, but it is the reason the Hawks were able to come away with the win.

The Seahawks forced Carson Wentz into four turnovers, two interceptions and three fumbles (two lost), and also sacked Wentz three times. Plus they forced another recovered fumble later in the game. With no Jadeveon Clowney they were able to get consistent pressure forcing some bad throws and poor decisions. Ziggy Ansah had 1 1/2 sacks, Rasheem Green had a sack and a forced fumble, and Quandre Diggs came up with a forced fumble and recovery. Aside from a garbage time TD, they held the Eagles to three points.

What seemed to be the lone bright spot on offense was Rashaad Penny. He rushed for 129 yards including a 58 yard touchdown run on 14 carries. To say the offense needed that today is an understatement!

The bad:

DK Metcalf dropped a couple of balls – a sure TD and what would have been a first-down conversion on second-and-8. He had three catches on six targets, and all three of the balls he didn’t catch hit him in the hands. In all fairness, he got his hands on one ball that would have been a pretty tremendous catch but was unable to hang on.

Chris Carson fumbled twice. One he recovered, and the other immediately following on the next play on a botched handoff from Wilson went to the Eagles. I love the violent running style and heart that Carson has but this fumbling situation simply cannot continue.

The wind seemed to be a bit of a factor at times so maybe that is why Wilson sailed a ball over the head of Jacob Hollister when he was sitting all alone in the end zone. That’s what I would like to believe, anyway. It felt like the offense did very little to help itself or take advantage of the great situations the defense was putting it in.

Throw in Wilson being sacked six times and the team being flagged for 12 penalties on the day and you see why a game that could have been a blowout was a bit closer than it should have been. Bottom line, despite the inconsistencies we’ve see from this team all season, the Seahawks are 9-2 and I’ll take it!

Stacy Rost – Tom, Jake and Stacy

Gallant: Hawks’ D shines again, but there are still unanswered questions