5 Key Matchups Eagles Need to Win to Beat Seahawks

After crushing their last four opponents by an average of 26.75 points per game, things are about to get a little tougher for the Eagles

As you might have heard, the Eagles (10-1) have beaten just one team with a winning record this season. They're about to play two back to back.

Before they play the Rams in L.A., they'll have to take on the Seahawks (7-4) in CenturyLink Field, where Seattle is traditionally really tough to beat. It's worth noting, however, that the Seahawks have lost their last two home games.

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Seattle hasn't lost three straight home games since 2008.

But the Eagles have a real chance to make that happen this weekend. Here are five matchups to watch Sunday night: 

Russell Wilson vs. Eagles D 
The days of the Seahawks being a run-first team are long gone. This offense is extremely reliant on Wilson's ability to throw the football. And some of the things he's been able to do this season are amazing. 

Wilson has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in the first 11 games this season. But what makes Wilson so dangerous is his ability to run. And it's not just scrambling. Wilson can buy time and still deliver downfield. 

Jim Schwartz said Wilson is unique because he can escape the pocket vertically, where most passers can do it horizontally. 

"You have to stay alive on everything," Schwartz said. "Our D-linemen are going to have to do a great job staying on their feet and staying alive. You can never go to sleep because if he's scrambling one way, there's a good chance he's coming back to you. We have to stay alive in coverage as well as our rush, and he threatens the whole width of the field and the whole length of the field."

Wilson basically plays backyard football and is the Seahawks' entire offense. It'll take a group effort to stop him. 

Doug Baldwin vs. Eagles corners
We mentioned that the Seahawks are a pass-happy offense these days and Baldwin is their main receiver. He already has 58 catches for 698 yards and four touchdowns this season. 

Baldwin is a speedy receiver, but the good news for the Eagles is that his big plays have come from the left side of the field. He has four catches for 111 yards on 20-plus plays to the left side of the field, according to ProFootballFocus. That's important to note, because that's the side of the field where Ronald Darby lines up. Darby is the Eagles' fastest outside corner. 

Jimmy Graham vs. Malcolm Jenkins
Graham is starting to become that weapon we all remember him being. This season, he has 49 catches for 447 yards and eight touchdowns. Only one player in the NFL has more receiving touchdowns (DeAndre Hopkins has nine).

Graham has been really dangerous in the red zone. He has more red-zone targets (21), receptions (13) and touchdowns (eight) than any other player in the league. 

Maybe he's not the Graham we once saw in New Orleans, but this guy is pretty damn dangerous and it'll be up to Jenkins to slow him down. 

Carson Wentz vs. Earl Thomas
The Seahawks have lost Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, but they still have at least one great player in their secondary. Thomas is still playing at a ridiculously high level. 

While there are maybe a few occasions where Thomas is down in the box now that Chancellor is out, he's still a true free safety, centerfielder. 

"Anytime you have a safety like that, that has free rein to be all over the field, that's big," Wentz said. "That's big to just know where he's at, at all times. Pick up on some tendencies, which there aren't many because he does kind of fly around and he's got no real responsibility. It seems like the coach just tells him to make plays and fly around and he does a great job of that. You just have to be smart with using your eyes and knowing where he's at, at all times."

Halapoulivaati Vaitai vs. Michael Bennett 
Bennett leads the Seahawks with 7½ sacks this season and although he wasn't mentioned in the group of top pass rushers the Eagles will face this season, he has been very disruptive. 

The interesting thing about Bennett is that he's normally on the left side of the defensive line but will move to the right side, too. According to ProFootballFocus, he has 313 pass rush snaps from the left and just 60 from the right. He's also been much more productive on the defensive left. Of his 52 total pressures, 47 have come from the left. 

But facing the Eagles, that would mean going against Lane Johnson, who is playing at an All-Pro level. It'll be interesting to see what the Seahawks do, but it would make plenty of sense to see them flip Bennett to the defensive right to go against Vaitai instead. 

Johnson said he thinks he'll have Bennett over him plenty on Sunday, but knows the Seahawks like to move him around. 

"They'll bounce him around," Johnson said. "They pick a matchup they like and keep him there." 

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