Seahawks have key advantage at quarterback experience over Eagles
After a tough home loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks have their sights set on the next task at hand: a road showdown with the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the playoffs.
If that sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because these two teams squared off not that long ago. The Seahawks traveled to Philadelphia in Week 12 right after their bye week and won 17-9 in a game that was not nearly as close as the score would indicate.
Since then, the two teams have gone in slightly different directions. The Seahawks went 2-3 over the final five weeks of the year – including losing three of their last four – while the Eagles went 4-1 to snag the NFC East crown from the Dallas Cowboys.
In Week 12, neither quarterback played particularly well – and heavy winds played a major role – but one clearly outplayed the other.
Wilson threw for 200 yards and one touchdown and one interception while Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 256 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also fumbled three times and lost two of them.
There’s more reason to believe Wilson and the Seahawks have an edge on Sunday: he has played in 13 playoff games in his career, has appeared in the playoffs in all but one season, has won a playoff game in five of his first six appearances and won a Super Bowl as the team’s starting quarterback.
Wentz also has a Super Bowl ring, but he won his wearing street clothes. The Eagles won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, but it was backup quarterback Nick Foles, not Wentz, who led them through the playoffs as Wentz had gotten hurt late in the regular season.
Last year was similar as Wentz again was injured for the Eagles’ postseason run and Foles won in the opening round before losing to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round. Additionally, Wentz is 0-3 against the Seahawks in his career.
Does Wilson’s playoff experience give Seattle an edge on Sunday?
“I think (playoff experience) means a ton to quarterbacks in terms of getting an understanding for what that environment is like, the intensity is like (and) how to handle it,” Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy said. “So for that reason, I really like the Seahawks chances in the playoffs.”
As mentioned, the Eagles franchise has recent playoff experience, but only a few players on the 2019 team were major contributors when they won the Super Bowl in the 2017 season. Seattle, meanwhile, has 30 players on their current 53-man roster with postseason experience.
“The guys who have been (in major playoff moments) know how to handle it, know how to compartmentalize it and bounce back (from tough moments or mistakes) and being able to do that is big,” co-host Stacy Rost said.
Rost pointed to the 2017 Los Angeles Rams, who were talented and made the playoffs, but most of their players were young and had no postseason experience, including quarterback Jared Goff. They lost in the first round to the Atlanta Falcons that postseason and the next year went all the way to the Super Bowl.
Wilson’s first postseason, the Seahawks won in the wild card round against the Washington Redskins and lost the next week to the Atlanta Falcons. The next season the team won its first Super Bowl trophy.
Sunday will be Wentz’s first playoff start compared to Wilson’s 14th and the winner will take on either the San Francisco 49ers or the Green Bay Packers on the road in the divisional round.
Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below at the 18:00 mark.
Jake & Stacy