The Seattle Seahawks aren't firing at 100 percent. But if the first half of this season has proved anything, it's that Seattle's 80 percent is better than most teams' 100.
Russell Wilson threw for 272 yards, and the Seahawks defense picked Carson Wentz off twice, as Seattle earned a 26-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Seahawks have won three straight and remain undefeated through their first five home games. At 7-2-1, they have an inside track on a first-round bye during the NFC playoffs; every other division leader, save for the 9-1 Dallas Cowboys, has at least four losses.
Seattle held Philadelphia to 308 yards, with Wentz accounting for 218 through the air. The rookie passer looked lost at times against the Seahawks' vaunted secondary, handing Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman interceptions. Chancellor had not made an interception in nearly a full calendar year (Nov. 29, 2015) before Sunday.
The NFL offered a highlight of the play:
Wentz finished completing only 23 of his 45 passes. After throwing seven touchdowns in his first four NFL games, Wentz has four in his last six. He had not thrown a touchdown in either of the Eagles' previous two contests.
Pre-Snap Reads' Cian Fahey couldn't help but reminisce:
Harsh but fair, sports writer Jared Dubin:
Not helping matters were the Eagles' skill-position players, particularly Nelson Agholor. A pair of drops cost Wentz an easy long touchdown and as many as 100 potential yards; they were also drive-killing mistakes that allowed the Seahawks to maintain momentum.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, accounted for 439 total yards despite losing running back C.J. Prosise to an injury. Wilson completed 18 of his 31 passes with a touchdown, continuing his recent trend of stellar play. Showing that perhaps his leg injuries that hampered the season's first half are a thing of the past, Wilson also hauled in a touchdown pass from Doug Baldwin in the third quarter.
The Seahawks were understandably pleased with their quarterback's effort:
Wilson has thrown for six touchdowns without an interception during the Seahawks' three-game winning streak. He had only five touchdown passes through Seattle's first seven games.
Baldwin finished with a team-high 104 yards on four receptions. His touchdown pass was the first of his career and gave him at least one score in back-to-back games for the first time all season. Baldwin was coming off a three-touchdown game last week.
Jimmy Graham also continued to be a large part of the passing game, hauling in three receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown. Graham has already eclipsed his yardage total from his first season in Seattle and is well on his way to a bounce-back campaign. Graham tweeted his thoughts after the game:
Playing for the first time since Week 2, Thomas Rawls had 88 total yards (57 rushing and 31 receiving) on 17 touches (14 carries, three receptions). He received more work than expected after Prosise left the game. Prosise got the scoring started for the Seahawks with a 72-yard scamper in the first quarter.
The Seahawks never trailed and led by as many as 16 points.
Seattle travels to Tampa Bay next week for a matchup with the Buccaneers, beginning its slate of three straight games against teams hanging by a thread to their playoff lives.
The Eagles, who have lost five of their six games on the road this season, return home next week for a matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Philadelphia has not lost at home this season.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner talked about the team's talent with reporters: "Especially on offense, there's so many different weapons, so many different ways that you can attack the defense. It makes it hard, especially when Russell's getting healthy, too. He steers the play and able to make plays with his feet and run for first downs and stuff like that. ... You pick your poison. If you run up and try to tackle Russell, he throws it over your head to Jimmy (Graham)."
Wagner also avoided playoff talk: "We can't even think about that. We just let it kind of fall into place, man, because those dudes (in the division), they can hit a roll and catch fire. We control what we can control."
Sherman discussed Wentz: "He wasn't shook. He's a rook. That's what he is. He's been kind of getting an easy walk through this league and then he ran into some people that we've been there before. We've seen your looks. We know your plays."