Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on playoff win over Eagles
The Seahawks hung on for a 17-9 win over the Eagles to keep their playoff run alive on Sunday.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have enlisted the voices of 710 ESPN Seattle to share their instant reactions to get an idea of what they’ll be talking about on the station Monday.
Tom Wassell – Tom, Jake and Stacy
Let’s start at the end. If I were Eagles coach Doug Pederson, down 17-9 at the two-minute warning, I would have kicked the field goal with three timeouts left and hoped to make a stop. They could have run a hurry-up offense and gone for the win in that scenario. Not the end of the world, I just think it would have given Josh McCown the best shot to win. The way Pederson played it, McCown would have had to get the ball in the end zone twice because of the two-point conversion they would have needed. That’s asking a lot. It’s a moot point though because Russell Wilson completed a bomb to DK Metcalf, which iced the game.
DK Metcalf!!! A playmaker of the highest order. He extended those big arms to make a tremendous touchdown grab earlier, and over the course of the game, he made things really hard for Philadelphia defenders. Wilson has tremendous chemistry with both Metcalf and Lockett. In play-action and at the right time especially, these guys are just unstoppable. Plus, how about Russell using his legs as much as he did? He ran several times for big gains, including a few timely first downs.
How about the defense coming up with one stop after another with… SACKS! Jadaveon Clowney had another monster game, even coming off of that core injury. Those of us who have not and never will experience that kind of injury can’t fully appreciate the kind of effort he gave given how hobbled he is. Cody Barton surprised me more than anyone out there, both in coverage and making tackles. He’s learning the game quickly, even if his game experience is limited at this point.
It was also great to see K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner have the games that they did. They both made big tackles, keeping Eagles ball carriers to short yardage or preventing them from gaining first downs. The defense relies so much on those two and they showed up in every way.
Bottom-line: Both teams are decimated by injuries, but the Seahawks survived because their QB was in there the whole game playing well while the Eagles’ QB, Carson Wentz, had to leave early with a head injury. Props to McCown for keeping it interesting, but if the Seattle defense hadn’t been able to stop him, I’d have been shocked (and mad). Onward to Green Bay!
Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore
17-9 AGAIN! Strange that the Seahawks won in Philadelphia again by the same exact score but not surprising at all that it wasn’t a comfortable win. That is just who this team is.
DK Metcalf was the star of this game and it’s not close. He ended the day with seven catches on nine targets for 160 yards and a TD, but more importantly he came up with game-changing plays. From the fantastic first-down catch to seal the victory at the end to the heads-up run after going down on his TD grab, he has become that big-time offensive threat that Seahawks fans have been craving.
While the running game was shut down, the Hawks did get a classic Marshawn Lynch-style TD run where he wasn’t going to be denied. Russell Wilson proved once again that he can find a way to win regardless of what is happening with the protection and lack of a rushing attack. He had multiple timely scrambles (nine carries, 45 yards to lead the team in rushing) and some huge throws on a day where he was under consistent pressure all afternoon.
Once again the defense bent but didn’t break, but you would have to imagine that the Packers and more specifically Aaron Rodgers are licking their chops having watched this defense struggle with an offense led by a 40-year-old journeyman backup QB (McCown) who was playing in his first postseason game along with a cast of players most have never heard of.
Bottom line, the Hawks did what they needed in order to win. So, while they will be decided underdogs against the Packers (as they should be), they seem to play to the level of their competition. It’s what they’ve done all season long, which means we could be set up for great one against the Pack next weekend.
Jessamyn McIntyre – Danny and Gallant
You didn’t think this was gonna be easy, did you? Relaxing? Never! It was quintessential Seahawks game that ended up in a victory, moving them further into the postseason and sending them to Green Bay for the divisional round of the playoffs.
The best things I saw tonight were as follows: Marshawn Lynch’s take-no-prisoners touchdown run, Jadeveon Clowney’s penetration despite a core injury and DK Metcalf. Metcalf had seven receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown, the most significant of which was the game-sealing 36-yard catch on third down late in the game.
Were there some worrisome things on the field today? Sure – there’s rarely a game where there isn’t. The biggest issue I saw was a hobbled Josh McCown seemingly moving the ball at will against the Seahawks in the second half. That’s not to say it wasn’t by design to keep everything in front of them, but either way, not the most encouraging sight.
Elsewhere, the Seahawks’ run game sputtered at best – 26 attempts for 64 yards is hardly ‘establishing the run.’ It’s a good thing Russell Wilson put up 325 yards with his arm.
While Seattle’s defense gave up some serious chunk yardage to McCown and company, they were the epitome of ‘bend-don’t-break’ and held up strong in the red zone, allowing just three field goals and turning the ball over twice on downs. They were as good as they had to be at the right time.
Love it or hate it – or find yourself somewhere in between – this is the way the Seahawks play, and that’s gotten them to the second round of the playoffs. For now, enjoy the win and prepare for the rest of a thrilling ride.
Stacy Rost – Tom, Jake and Stacy
Head coach Pete Carroll said after the Seahawks’ win over the Eagles that “the night was stolen by DK,” and he’s right.
Seattle’s DK Metcalf put an exclamation point on his record-breaking rookie season with a 160-yard performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in Seattle’s Wild Card win Sunday. The 22-year-old, who finished the 2019 regular season with 900 yards, set the rookie record for most receiving yards in a playoff debut.
The Seahawks, who finished the regular season fourth in the league in rushing offense, couldn’t get much of anything going on the ground against the league’s third-best rushing defense (save a bulldozing 5-yard touchdown run from the recently re-signed Marshawn Lynch, his second touchdown in as many games) and were short two starting offensive linemen. But it didn’t stop them from finding the end zone thanks to a strong performance by Metcalf and quarterback Russell Wilson, who finished with 325 yards and a touchdown. In fact, the game never felt out of hand for Seattle, despite a blocked field goal on its second drive.
A resurgence from Seattle’s pass rush certainly helped things – the defense had seven sacks, nine quarterback hits and held the Eagles to 3 for 11 on third down. Carroll admitted there were some tackling issues at times but overall sounded very pleased by Seattle’s performance on that side of the ball.
As for the Seahawks’ next stop, their road to the Super Bowl will go through Green Bay.
The Groz – Every day at 11:45 with John Clayton
Survive and advance is the postseason mantra made famous by Jim Valvano and North Carolina State in the 80s and that is just what the Seahawks did in Philadelphia Sunday night. I’m sure the expectation when Carson Wentz went down was this would be easy since that’s not Nick Foles out there – it’s 40 year old Josh McCown. And although it wasn’t pretty, the Seahawks played better than I think they are getting credit for. After all, there were no blowouts in the Wild Card round.
McCown did complete 75% of his passes but was sacked seven times and produced just nine points. Yards and completions don’t matter – points do. Good play calling when it counted and zero turnovers on offense.
The running game is challenged and there were too many penalties. A difficult day for Tre Flowers, as well. The running game is of particular concern because it’s what the Seahawks like to do. They made the adjustment and Russell Wilson threw for better then 320 yards against a very stout defense but they need to create more points.
I tweeted out during the fourth quarter that I wonder what Green Bay is thinking and got a flood of negative responses. I wasn’t being clear. I should have added what Green Bay is thinking about DK Metcalf. His performance was one of the best a rookie wide receiver has ever had in the postseason and the best for any Seahawk. They will have to continue to be creative on offense with no running game to speak of but this was a good start.
They will have to play better in Green Bay – it’s Aaron Rodgers, after all. Hopefully the Seahawks get a lineman or two back, but like the Titans, Texans and Vikings, they have survived and advanced. Russell Wilson has a very serious weapon for the rest of the postseason. If I was in Green Bay I’d be wary.
Jim Moore – Bob, Dave and Moore
On a weekend in which the Patriots and Saints were eliminated, the Seahawks survived to advance to the NFL’s version of the Elite Eight. They even have a chance to host the NFC title game with a win over Green Bay and a Minnesota win at San Francisco.
You could say the Seahawks benefited from the Eagles’ early loss of Carson Wentz to a concussion, but I don’t know if Wentz would have been that much better than his backup, Josh McCown, particularly in the second half. Besides, didn’t a Wentz-led Eagles team lose to the Seahawks by the same 17-9 score in November? And like McCown, he would have been forced to deal with a Seattle pass rush that came up with a season-high seven sacks.
The Seahawks moved on with their two running backs, Travis Homer and Marshawn Lynch, combining for 19 yards on 17 carries. You saw why – Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf were terrific, coming through on explosive plays and first-down connections. The Seahawks were also great at converting on third down, squelching what little life the Eagles had left.
Jake Heaps – Tom, Jake and Stacy
The Seahawks advance. That is ultimately all that matters.
Despite the Eagles being extremely banged up on the offensive side of the ball, the Seahawks’ defense struggled to stop the Eagles’ offense led by 40-year-old journeymen backup QB Josh McCown. The Eagles were able to march up and down the field, but when the ball crossed the 25-yard line the Seahawks’ defense tightened things up, not allowing a single touchdown. The Seahawks’ defense was not able to generate a single turnover but managed to get seven sacks in the game which could have very easily turned into nine or 10 if not for a few missed opportunities in the backfield.
The offense could not get anything going in the ground game due to a heavy mismatch in personnel between the Seahawks’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive line – 17 carries for just 19 yards between Travis Homer and Marshawn Lynch is not traditionally a formula of success for a Pete Carroll-coached team, but Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf picked up the slack in a big way. Wilson constantly put the offense in good positions with scrambles and by extending passing plays.
Lockett was involved in the game plan early which allowed the offense to open up, leading to Metcalf having a monster performance in his first playoff game. Metcalf had seven receptions for 160 yards, with one of those receptions resulting in a game-changing touchdown and another serving as the seal to the game.
Watching the Seahawks is an extreme roller coaster ride and I certainly do not want this ride to end.
Brock Huard – Brock and Salk
Gotta imagine a ton of firsts tonight
1-DK Metcalf was record-setting with 160 yards as a Rook in 1st playoff game. Foundational
2-Pete Carroll wins with RB’s rushing 17 times..:for 19 yards
3-Seven Seahawk Sacks, Seven! For 15 yards
Seahawks 8-1 on the road. What a ride!
— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) January 6, 2020
I’m astounded at the angst for Brian Schottenheimer:
Lockett & rookie 2nd Rd WR Metcalf have 1,000 yard seasons
Carson a career year
OL battles injuries to 60% of it’s starters
TE is a turnstile
Russ a career year & 2nd Team All Pro
Perfect call 3rd-10
Will he get any credit?
— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) January 6, 2020
Maura Dooley – Bob, Dave and Moore
Much like almost every other win this season, today’s victory was a battle until the very end. There may be some concern that it was that difficult to beat an Eagles team that had to play their 40-year-old backup QB for most of the game, but there are a lot of positives to take away as well. For starters, the Seahawks showed adaptability on offense, something that many believed was sorely lacking in the playoffs against Dallas last year.
The complaint last year was that the Seahawks were too stubborn in sticking to the run game early on, and by the time they let Russell Wilson loose it was too late. Today, the Seahawks changed it up a bit. The total passing attempts were almost exactly the same, with Russell going 18 for 27 last year and 18 for 30 Sunday, but the Seahawks let him get to work earlier this time. It paid off big, with Wilson throwing for almost 100 more yards than he did against the Cowboys. The Seahawks threw on 63 percent of their plays in the first half against the Eagles, compared to last year when they almost broke even with the rush at 52 percent. Against a team that had sacked Wilson six times in their last meeting and without their starting left guard and left tackle, the Seahawks managed to win it through the air.
DK Metcalf had a monster game, Marshawn went Beast Mode for a touchdown, Wilson was making magic happen, the banged-up offensive line allowed only one sack, but perhaps the most important thing that happened was the coaching staff’s willingness to shift the offensive philosophy ever so slightly. It was a struggle and there are those that are still unhappy with the level of commitment to the run game, but the Seahawks ultimately put the game in Russell’s hands, and that’s where it needs to be.