Seahawks at Eagles final score: Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf lead Seattle over Philly in wild-card finale

It was not pretty, and it was probably far more difficult than it should have been, given the circumstances, but the Seattle Seahawks went on the road and beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game of the wild card round, prevailing by a 17-9 score. 

Seattle took an early lead but never really extended it far enough to put the Eagles away, despite the fact that Philadelphia was working without so many injured players on both defense and offense -- including Carson Wentz, who was concussed during the first quarter. The Seahawks struggled to run the ball all game, yet insisted on running it often. They also took 11 penalties, allowing the Eagles to stay in a game they probably had no business competing in once Wentz went down. 

In the end, two players made the difference in the game: Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf. Wilson did his usual thing, making something out of nothing often. But it was Metcalf's breakout game that truly stood out. He scored what ended up being the game-winning touchdown on a 53-yard strike from Wilson. He sealed the game with a similarly-placed 36-yard catch down the field, skying over two Eagles defensive backs to haul it in and allow his team to run out the clock. He ended the game with seven catches for 160 yards and the aforementioned score. 

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The Seattle defense held Philadelphia to just three points, holding Wentz to 1 of 4 passing for three yards before his exit, then sacking Josh McCown six times on 34 dropbacks and pressuring him far more often. Seattle ended the game with seven total sacks, nine QB hits, and 11 tackles for loss. They held the Eagles to 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth, and 0 of 3 on their red zone trips. 

Good quarterback play, explosive wide receiver play, and solid defense is as good a recipe for playoff success as there is in the NFL, and that's what the Seahawks got on Sunday. They'll need it again to win in Green Bay next week.

Why the Seahawks won

Mostly, because they have Russell Wilson. Seattle's run game was completely non-existent in this game, and what little offensive production the team had was almost entirely the result of Wilson's brilliance. He escaped crowded pockets and made plays downfield on several occasions. He made plays with his legs, scrambling six times for 48 yards, including a 22-yard scamper for a huge first down. He made the biggest play of the game, finding DK Metcalf streaking up the seam for a 53-yard score. The Seattle defense should not go unmentioned, though. The front four -- in particular -- did a strong job of keeping pressure on Carson Wentz and Josh McCown all night long. They registered seven sacks, nine quarterback hits, and 11 tackles for loss. 

Why the Eagles lost

They were decimated by injuries on offense, and their defense was just shy of good enough to make up for it. Philly came into this game without Lane Johnson, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, and Brandon Brooks, while Zach Ertz was playing with a broken rib and a lacerated kidney. By the end of the first quarter, they were also without Carson Wentz. Miles Sanders got banged up on the final play of the first half. There just were not enough threats on the field to truly do damage to the Seattle defense. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's defensive front did an excellent job of bottling up Marshawn Lynch (six carries, seven yards) and Travis Homer (11 carries, 12 yards), but the secondary was torched by DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (four catches, 62 yards), and gave up additional crucial gains to Lynch and David Moore. 

Turning point

It has to be the Wentz injury, which happened about midway through the first quarter. Wentz attempted to scramble away from Seahawks defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney, and while he was going to the ground, Clowney clocked him in the back of the head. Wentz's head then banged off the turf, and he was taken into the medical tent and eventually, back to the locker room. He had thrown just four passes and taken only eight snaps before exiting. McCown did an admirable job filling in, considering the circumstances, but pretty much all hope of explosive plays from the Philly offense went out the window when Wentz went down. With nearly all of their perimeter weaponry missing, the Eagles were mostly limited to check-downs to their running backs and tight ends. It's extremely difficult to run an offense that way, and it showed. 

Play of the game

The 53-yard touchdown toss to Metcalf. It's a thing of beauty. 

Everything about this play works fantastically well. 

The Seahawks motion Tyler Lockett from the left side of the formation to the right, snapping the ball while he's crossing the field. Wilson fakes a hand-off to Travis Homer, who chips a rusher on the left side of the line. Lockett draws the attention of the wide side safety, while David Moore's crossing route holds the linebacker underneath. 

All of this allows Metcalf to take the top off the defense, splitting two defensive backs to get down the field. Wilson almost overthrows him, but Metcalf has such an enormous catch radius that he's able to haul it on while going to the ground, spring back up to his feet, and tumble into the end zone. Gorgeous. 

What's next

The Eagles are eliminated from the playoffs. They'll have the No. 21 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They have needs in the secondary and at wide receiver, and one would assume they'll want to make sure they have a very strong backup quarterback, given that Wentz's last three seasons have now ended in injury. 

The Seahawks advance to the divisional round, where they'll meet the Green Bay Packers. That game will be played at Lambeau Field, next Sunday (Jan. 12) at 6:40 p.m. ET. 

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SUN 4:40 P
PHI -1, o44.5
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PHI -1, O/U 44.5

Season Leaders

passing
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R. Wilson 2986 YD, 30 TDS, 10 INTS
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R. Wilson 2986 YD, 30 TDS, 10 INTS
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C. Wentz 2326 YD, 14 TDS, 14 INTS
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C. Wentz 2326 YD, 14 TDS, 14 INTS
rushing
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R. Wilson 55 ATT, 367 YD, 1 TD
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R. Wilson 55 ATT, 367 YD, 1 TD
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M. Sanders 102 ATT, 585 YD, 3 TDS
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M. Sanders 102 ATT, 585 YD, 3 TDS
receiving
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D. Metcalf 48 REC, 862 YD, 9 TDS
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D. Metcalf 48 REC, 862 YD, 9 TDS
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T. Fulgham 31 REC, 451 YD, 4 TDS
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T. Fulgham 31 REC, 451 YD, 4 TDS
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They pass it, and it works. D.K. Metcalf is wide open deep, and he comes down with the jump ball. That's game. Eagles spend their final timeout, stopping the clock, but this one's in the books.

Seahawks get nothing on their first two hand-offs, so it's third-and-long with 1:47 left. Eagles with one timeout remaining. Will Seattle keep it on the ground or take a chance and try to put it away with a pass?

Seattle with a season-high seven sacks in tonight's game. That seventh one might end up being the one that seals this win for them if the Eagles can't get their own stop.

McCown can't even get the pass off. Sacked while climbing the pocket. So Seattle takes over with 1:56 left. Eagles have three timeouts remaining but will need to hold the Seahawks to a three-and-out.

Eagles are down eight. They're knocking on the door of the end zone. But they need seven yards to pick up a new set of downs. Only two minutes left. Let's see what Doug Pederson has up his sleeve.

We've got another fourth-down try on tap. It'll be fourth-and-7 after the two-minute warning. Season on the line.

Third-and-13 upcoming for the Eagles with just under three minutes left.

McCown unloads on a deep ball to Shelton Gibson, who was just brought back to the active roster this week, and Seattle is flagged for DPI on the incompletion. Easy call. Huge first down for the Eagles.

McCown stays in, avoids a couple would-be sacks, then just barely misses Dallas Goedert over the middle. He's battling to stay in right now.

McCown limping after firing a first down to Dallas Goedert. The Eagles don't have a third QB active, so WR Greg Ward would be the emergency signal-caller.

Can Josh McCown play hero? He'll have 4:56 to try to get the Eagles in the end zone. (And then, of course, go for two to try to tie the game.)

Wilson completes to Hollister on third, but the TE is stopped well short of the sticks. Here comes the Seahawks punt. Eagles will have just under five minutes to make another run at the end zone.

Eagles bring pressure, and Wilson throws it wide toward the right sideline, incomplete. Third-and-12.

Wilson loses the snap on the first play of the drive but hops on top of it. Saved a potential disaster.

Eagles still have all three timeouts and the two-minute warning, but they also can't let Russell Wilson find any wide-open receivers deep downfield. They need a stop ASAP. Seahawks, meanwhile, just need a couple of first downs to ice this one away.

Eagles went in four-for-four on fourth-down tries in the playoffs. They're now four-for-five.

Oof. Bad drop by Miles Sanders, who would have had the first down.

January 6, 2020, 12:15 AM

That checkdown to Goedert got them into position to go for it on fourth down. Nice job.

January 6, 2020, 12:14 AM

Seahawks nearly sack McCown way behind the line, then get him down after he eludes Jarran Reed. Third-and-11 for the Eagles from just outside the 30, and Philly false starts. Brutal.

McCown sneaks it for a new set of downs. Clock ticking below nine minutes as Eagles look to break this eight-point deficit apart.

Correction: He was short of the first. Third-and-inches for the Eagles upcoming.

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