Wildcard: Conservative For The Win

PML Playoffs are here and everyone in the league is buzzing with excitement. The PML playoffs are where unexpected things happen and any team can win. The first matchup of the playoffs started with the 5th seed, Philadelphia Eagles going into Seattle to take on the 4th seed, NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks who we all thought were out of the playoffs were able to leap over the 49ers after they lost to their divisional rival Arizona Cardinals. The Eagles were able to overtake the Cowboys for the 5th seed by winning their week 17 game versus the New York Giants. With that win over the Giants, the Eagles came into the Wildcard round on a 7 game winning streak. The Eagles’ confidence could be seen by all, to the point that this game was immediately played without any preparation at all. 

In their week 17 game, the Eagles had a very conservative game plan, evening taking away their players’ moves in order to increase their odds of not fumbling the game away. After looking at the two big hitters on the Seattle defense, coach Skellington decided to use the same game plan in this game. The Eagles came out on fire to start this game. After a deep pass to start the game, Miles Sanders ran down the throat of the Seahawks for a touchdown.  Seattle would match the score and after 2 one play touchdowns would end up taking the lead 17-14. The Eagles would get the ball at the half but throw an ugly pick to give Seattle the ball. This is what could have been the turning point for the Seahawks, however it was the Eagles defense that turned the tide. Fletcher Cox would get immediate pressure on Russell Wilson, forcing him into a bad pass that was intercepted by rookie safety Lecounte. The Eagles would then go with their bread and butter, which resulted in Sanders scoring in two plays after the interception. The Eagles would go up, and never surrender the lead. Seattle would get on the scoreboard again but the Eagles played mistake free football, sealing their win with a final score of 27-20.  

With the game plan set to consertative, the Eagles would end up taking a huge amount of big hits,however, Miles Sanders and company would hold on to the ball. Carson Wentz knew that the Seattle defense would key in on the running game so he had to make some big plays with his arm. Wentz would complete a lot of deep shots in the game, however, he had a killer interception that almost turned the game. Wentz would end the game throwing for 249 yards and 1 interception on 20 attempts. Just like the rest of the season, Miles Sanders was the star of this show. He knew that the Seahawks would be coming for him but that didn’t matter. Sanders would shrug off every hit, on his way to 166 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day. Sanders broke 4 tackles in the game, including against the Seahawk big hitters. 

The Eagles have not lost a game when their defense holds an opponent to under 28 points. The defense is built to play bend but don’t break defense. Even though they surrender a lot of yards in the passing game, they don’t give up a lot of touchdowns. The defense let up two very long one play touchdowns, however, locked up the very potent Seattle offense. Metcalf and Lockett both had almost 1000 yards receiving this season, however, both were locked up by the Eagles defense. Metcalf only had 1 catch for 27 yards, while Lockett had 2 catches for 35 yards. Their ability to lock up these receivers and play the pass was due to the run defense only surrendering 55 yards rushing to Penny. 

The Eagles brought their win streak to 8 games with this win. This win streak has given the confidence that they need in order to play competitive football. They will either head to Minnesota or Washington in the next round of the playoffs. No matter which team they will play, the Eagles know that they will need to bring their A game to keep up. As for now, the Eagles will celebrate their first playoff win of the year,  which is one success that not many can say they have.

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