Zach Ertz via Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] for NFC Wild Card

NFC Wild Card: Playoffs Preview, SEA at PHI

The final game of the Wild Card round in the playoffs is between the Seahawks and Eagles. The NFC Wild Card matchup this afternoon will determine who plays the 1-seed 49ers and the 2-seed Packers.

NFC Wild Card

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

Lincoln Financial Field

Philadelphia, PA

Betting

The Eagles (+100) enter this NFC Wild Card game as slight underdogs at home. Having backed their way into the playoffs due to the incompetence of the Dallas Cowboys, I don’t think the Eagles are up to the task today. The Seahawks -1.5 (-115) is my pick and I also like the OVER 45.0 (-110).

Injuries

Zach Ertz is somehow suiting up to play today.

As we can see here, there is real risk that Ertz is playing with fire in this game. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports stated on Fox Pregame that Ertz is going to be wearing a heavy-duty rib protector but that it’s not 100% going to remove the risk. I hope Ertz plays it smart and avoids any shots to the body in this NFC Wild Card game.

Other Eagles injuries include WR Nelson Agholor and RT Lane Johnson, both of which are OUT. Agholor missing action is nothing new for the Eagles who have been playing with backups at the position for some time now. However, Johnson missing this game opens up Carson Wentz for some big hits.

For the Seahawks, they’re hurting even more so than the Eagles. Starting LB and leader of the defense, Mychal Kendricks is done for the year after tearing his ACL.

Other names to note are LG Mike Iupati (Questionable), WR Jaron Brown (OUT), and WR Malik Turner (OUT). The Seahawks O-line has been bad and missing a starter surely won’t help. As for the WR position, the Seahawks only have 4 healthy guys so don’t expect Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf to leave the field.

Eagles Offense vs. Seahawks Defense

The Eagles offense is in a lot of pain right now. With nearly all the weapons suffering through some sort of injury, Carson Wentz has counted on WR Greg Ward, TE Dallas Goedert, and rookie RB Miles Sanders to move the ball. Despite all the injuries, the Eagles are somehow still somewhat productive on offense.

When they face the Seahawks mediocre defense, that’s missing LB Mychal Kendricks, they’ll be on fairly equal footing. The one thing that swings the advantage in the Seahawks favor is RT Lane Johnson missing this game. With Johnson gone, Jadeveon Clowney mind as well have free rush at Carson Wentz. The Eagles will have to keep an extra man in to block which gives them even fewer weapons on the outside. If the Seahawks can create pressure like I suspect they will, this game comes down to their offense.

Seahawks Offense vs. Eagles Defense

Russell Wilson was in the MVP discussion for most of the season, until Lamar Jackson became a Gif-God.

But, that doesn’t undermine how great Wilson has been. Considering he’s played behind a mediocre-to-poor O-line his entire career, Wilson finds a way to be one of the very best. He and Tyler Lockett are one of the most reliable and efficient QB/WR duos in NFL history.

With the big-bodied rookie WR DK Metcalf leading the NFL in redzone targets, Wilson 2 guys that he trusts as they face off against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. If Wilson can stay upright, they shouldn’t have an issue passing the ball. Running the ball, though? That’s a different question entirely. A returning Marshawn Lynch is a fan-favorite but he’s not exactly in full-game playing shape just yet. He’s good for around 10-12 touches but that’s definitely not going to cut it. But, if the game is on the line, the Seahawks can’t possibly pass up giving him the ball 3-TIMES!

Predictions

Seahawks: 32

Eagles: 28

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: DK Metcalf

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Jordan Howard

Best Fantasy QB: Russell Wilson, his running ability gives him the edge.

Better Fantasy RB: Miles Sanders, his ability to lineup as a WR in an injury-riddled offense gives him more touches.

Better Fantasy: WR: Tyler Lockett, best WR on the field today and he faces an easy secondary.

Best Fantasy TE: Dallas Goedert, I think Ertz is playing decoy today to free up some space on the field.

Better Fantasy D/ST: Seahawks, neither team has been great on this side of the ball but I think SEA will be safer on offense.

Conclusion

Who do you think wins today in this NFC Wild Card game? Depending on the winner of the other NFC Wild Card game, who plays the 49ers and Packers next week? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out the shop and other content by clicking here.

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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