After suffering a narrow defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots during Week 11, Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) look to recover with win against a tough Russell Wilson-led Seattle Seahawks squad (8-2) that comes to the Linc Sunday.
With Philadelphia wide receivers and running backs a bit banged up, Wentz will surely be looking to his top two tight end targets in Ertz and Dallas Goedert to help lead the offense.
“It’s a resilient group,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. “I lean on the leaders; I lean on the veteran players to really keep everything coming. We just have to go practice, continue to trust our process and do all the little things that helped us get to the post-season and ultimately the Super Bowl a couple years ago.”
No. 86 leads the Eagles with 55 catches (on 86 targets) for 621 yards and two scores, while Goedert has a team-leading four touchdown catches on the season.
Tight ends have seen success this year against the Seattle defense, which bodes well for the Eagles entering this matchup. On the year, opposing tight ends have accounted for 51 receptions for 615 yards and four touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, stopping the Seattle running attack will be critical to getting the win on Sunday. Through the first 11 weeks, the Seahawks have averaged 4.3 yards per carry on 327 attempts, with their primary back being Chris Carson, perhaps one of the more underrated backs in the NFL. They also average 133.2 yards per game on the ground, which ranks sixth in the league, and head coach Pete Carroll will likely look the get the ground game going early.
Philadelphia presents a tough matchup in the run game defensively, however. The Birds allow just 86 yards per game on the ground, fourth-fewest in the NFL, and 3.8 yards per attempt, which is the sixth-fewest. Last week, the Eagles held the Patriots to 74 yards rushing on 22 attempts.
Also encouraging, the Eagles are getting healthy on the defensive side of the ball. This was evident Sunday as they held Tom Brady to 224 yards and no touchdowns on the day.
“We played tight coverage,” cornerback Jalen Mills said. “As far as our defensive setup right now, we’ve got our starters back in the secondary. We’ve got our starters back on the D-line. (Defensive coordinator Jim) Schwartz trusts us in the game plan, and we trust the game plan.”
Stopping Russell Wilson will be no picnic either. The former Wisconsin signal caller leads the league in touchdowns (23) and QB rating (114.9), with just two picks on the year, and he could very well end up hoisting the MVP trophy at the end of the year.
For Philadelphia, this game will be a true test against yet another playoff-caliber opponent, with Philly needing a win to stay firmly in the NFC East race.
Kickoff from Philadelphia is set for 1 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen on FOX.