BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 11/28/2017

Seahawks almost never beat teams like Eagles

Hosting the 10-1 Eagles Sunday night, the Seahawks only once in 41-plus years have beaten a team with 10+ wins and a .900-plus win percentage.

J.D. McKissic helped Seattle’s running game accumulate 90 rushing yards Sunday at San Francisco. / Drew Mekenzie, Sportspress Northwest

After grinding out a 24-13 win over one-win San Francisco, the Seahawks return to CenturyLink Field for a Sunday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles, through 11 weeks the NFC’s best team. The Eagles have the top mark in the NFL at 10-1 and are coming off nine consecutive victories, including three 28-point wins, 37-9 over Dallas, 51-23 over Denver, and 31-3 over Chicago.

The 84-point margin (119-35), the most in a month of three games (the Eagles played only three times in November) since the San Francisco 49ers outscored three foes 122-38 in November of 1993, according to Elias.

Philadelphia enters Sunday night’s contest with the league’s No. 1-scoring offense at 31.9 points per game, the No. 3-scoring defense at 17.4, and the front-runner for the Most Valuable Player award in QB Carson Wentz, who has 28 touchdown passes against five interceptions.

The Seahawks are 8-7 all-time against Philadelphia and have taken the past three in a row, all by a margin of at least 10 points, including a 26-15 decision last year at the Clink. But they have never defeated a Philadelphia team with a record this good.

Since their inaugural year of 1976, the Seahawks have only seven regular-season victories over teams with 10-plus wins and three or fewer losses. They most recently did it Jan. 3, 2016 in the final regular game of 2015. That day, Seattle knocked off 13-2 Arizona 36-6 in a game in which Bruce Arians rested many of his starters, including QB Carson Palmer.

A victory over the 10-1 Eagles would be Seattle’s second over a team with double-digit wins and a .900-plus winning percentage.

The top triumphs in franchise history over 10-plus win teams (Rec = record of the opponent at the time of kickoff):

Year Date Opp. Rec. Pct. Score Skinny
2005 Dec. 24 Ind 13-1 .929 28-13 Shaun Alexander 3 TDs
1997 Dec. 21 SF 13-2 .867 38-9 Warren Moon 4 TD passes
2016 Jan. 3 Ariz 13-2 .867 36-6 Russell Wilson 3 TD passes
2000 Dec. 16 Oak 11-3 .786 27-24 QBs: J. Kitna vs. R. Gannon
2014 Dec. 21 Ariz 11-3 .786 35-6 Marshawn Lynch 79 TD
1987 Dec. 14 Chic 10-3 .769 34-21 Dave Krieg 2 TD throws

After improving to 7-4 Sunday, the Seahawks would hold the NFC’s seventh playoff seed if there were seven seeds. There are not. Atlanta holds the sixth and final one by virtue of defeating Seattle two Mondays ago at the Clink. Counting the Eagles, Seattle’s season-ending slate includes Jacksonville (7-4) and Dallas (5-6) on the road and the Los Angeles Rams (8-3) and Arizona (5-6) at home.

So the Seahawks play three teams with winning records among their final five. Through 11 games, they’ve beaten only one team with a winning mark, the Rams.

Wilson pads portfolio

After throwing a first-pass pick at San Francisco Sunday, Russell Wilson went on to pad his portfolio in a more positive manner. He won his 63rd regular-season start, most in NFL history by a quarterback in his first six seasons. He threw his 150th career TD pass, becoming one of only four quarterbacks to do that in six seasons or less.

Wilson also improved to 23-4 (.852) in his career in games following a loss, the best mark by a starting quarterback since the 1970 pro football merger. With 228 passing yards, Wilson became the fourth quarterback in history to exceed 3,000 yards in each of his first six seasons. Those who did that:

Years Quarterback Team Year-by-Year Totals
1998-03 Peyton Manning Colts 3,739, 4,135, 4,413, 4,131, 4,200, 4,267
2011-16 Andy Dalton Bengals 3,398, 3,669, 4,293, 3,398, 3,250, 4,206
2011-16 Cam Newton Panthers 4,051, 3,869, 3,379, 3,127, 3,837, 3,509
2012-17 Russell Wilson Seahawks 3,118, 3,357, 3,475, 4,024, 4,219, 3,029

Noteworthy is that Wilson has played in a run-first offense most of his career. And yet, he is the only one of the four to improve his pass yardage totals every year. This season, he’s on a pace for 4,400-plus yards, which would be a career high and his third consecutive season of 4,000 yards.

Blair Walsh Project

Two Mondays ago, Blair Walsh came up short on a 52-yard field goal attempt with seven seconds left that probably would have sent the Atlanta game into overtime. Sunday, Walsh’s first attempt, a 48-yarder, missed as well. He later made a 34-yarder and now is 18-for-24 this season, which happens to be the fourth-worst mark by a Seattle kicker in the past quarter of a century.

Walsh’s percentage of field goals made – 75.0 – trails only Rian Lindell’s 62.5 (20-for-32) in 2001, Josh Brown’s 72.0 (18-for-25) in 2005, and Brown’s 73.3 (22-for-30) in 2003. Only one other Seattle kicker, Todd Peterson in 1997 and 1998, failed to make at least 80 percent of field goal tries in a single season.


  • Kevin Lynch

    Steve, I don’t believe Peyton Manning played in that game in 2005 when Indy was 13-1. If he did play it was very minimal. I wonder about the 1997 SF game , if they were resting any starters. Philly won’t be resting people Sunday, that’s for sure.

    • Parts

      If I remember correctly, Manning played the first quarter or so before being pulled. He threw for 100ish yards. I’m pretty sure they had their playoff position locked up.

      • art thiel

        You’re correct.

    • Chris Alexander

      I don’t think the Eagles will rest anyone on Sunday since they have a ways to go to lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But they could clinch the division nearly 72 hours before kickoff if Washington beats Dallas so …. maybe there’s a subconscious effect or …. ???

  • DJ

    Hey Steve,
    I didn’t see whether those wins against 10+ win teams were at home or away. I’m hoping that home and prime time will boost the ‘Hawks to a win. This game will certainly tell us a lot about what to expect for the rest of the season from the Seahawks. Thanks – GO HAWKS!

    • art thiel

      Bookies say home is worth three points. Iggles are favored by four.

      • DJ

        Obvious key Seahawk injuries aside, I’m not sure that the Eagles are all that scary once you look beyond their10-1 record. The combined records of their opponents is 48-73, which is same for the Seahawks. Eagles have played two teams with winning records, losing once. Seahawks have played three, losing twice, but also beat the Deshawn Watson Texans. Seahawks lost to Washington, whom the Eagles beat twice (Seahawks should have won if not for coaching/communication snafus).

        You can’t argue with Vegas, and maybe I can see the seven point swing if I consider how shaky the Seahawks are still at this point in the season. However, it’s a long season and teams change during the course of it anymore. Are the Eagles still improving, are as good as they will be, or are they due for a decline? Same about the Seahawks. Certainly the Hawks have more room for improvement, O-line jelling, and inspire RB play in particular. Maybe “next man up” plays out well for our defensive system. No surprise to me to see Maxwell fit right back into the mix, nor that he didn’t really catch on elsewhere. He was made for this system and will continue to be a factor. He and J-Lane need to keep from making mistakes and they should be fine.

        I’m looking forward to a good game – best of the season so far.

        • Chris Alexander

          Granted, I’m biased. But I think the Hawks will do what they’ve always done under Carroll which is play hard, consistently improve, build momentum, and collect December W’s. Conversely, the first team that figures out how to slow down the Eagles will give a blueprint to the rest of the league. I look for the Hawks to provide that blueprint.

          • DJ

            True – good take. I hope that’s so as well.

          • art thiel

            If the the Seahawks had a healthy D, I’d agree. But missing three key starters is a big blow. Frank Clark hasn’t stepped up behind Avril. They have to get to Wentz early and often.

        • art thiel

          It’s the degree of the beatings the Eagles have administered that’s impressive. Except for Indy, Seahawks have had a serious fight each week.

          • DJ

            Yeah, you’re right of course. I’d have to admit that margin of victory is the sign of a dominant team which will likely finish the season well. Still hoping that the Hawks can find the chink in their armor and are on enough of an upswing to take advantage of it. A lot still to come together!…….BTW You sure work late!

  • Paul Harmening

    So—what you’re saying is – they don’t have a chance.

    And, I agree.

    • art thiel

      Not zero chance. But the mountain is steep.

  • PokeyPuff

    Not sure of the premise here, seems it would be more relevant if the analysis was applied to the Pete Carroll era only. All the rest of it doesn’t really matter, different systems, different leadership. not hating just not seeing how this applies to the current situation.

    • Chris Alexander

      2 of the games on the list in the article were during the Carroll era. One is the 36-6 victory of Arizona that Art mentioned; the one where Carson Palmer and a bunch of other players rested. The other one was also against Arizona, which came in at 11-3 and went home 11-4 after being beaten by a score of 35-6.

      I know it’s a lot to expect the Hawks to pull out a win on Sunday but … I think they will. Go Hawks!

    • art thiel

      It’s a look at degree of difficulty throughout Seahawks/NFL regular-season history, to help you understand how big a deal it would be if the Seahawks pull off the upset.

  • PokeyPuff

    ….also the Hawks have beaten plenty of ten win teams in the playoffs. So maybe there are a few rays of hope :)

  • Dave2222

    Dear Steve, do you hve any idea what you’re talking about..? The seahawks come on in December, and talk of them being moribund is simply talk..missing 3 pro bowlers? doesn’t matter, the Seahawks D is way deep, and superlatively coached, they simply adjust and rise to the challenge.ESPECIALLY in December and ESPECIALLY in the second half..If they are ahead by the first half, essentially the game is over..russell wilson vulnerable cause he runs around.??.Nonsense..By the 3rd quarter, the other team is absolutely gassed, mentally AND physically