The Philadelphia Eagles' reward for winning each of their last four regular-season contests and capturing the NFC East title is hosting an NFC wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. That may not be much of a perk considering the Seahawks defeated the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Nov. 24 for one of their franchise-best seven road victories this season.
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"We've been road warriors all year," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "Our guys have handled it well. Why? I know why we've done well on the road. Why we didn't win more at home, we'll talk about that in the offseason. But we're not worried about going on the road, that's for sure." The Seahawks would have secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs had tight end Jacob Hollister crossed the goal line on his fourth-down catch in the waning moments of a 26-21 loss to San Francisco last Sunday. The matter of a few inches now results in an approximate 2,400-mile trek from the Emerald City to the City of Brotherly Love where they'll face the Eagles, who overcame myriad injuries on their way to a third straight postseason appearance. Quarterback Carson Wentz, however, will make his first playoff start after a knee injury KO'd him during Philadelphia's run to its first Super Bowl title during the 2017 season and a back injury sidelined him last year.
TIME: 4:40 p.m. ET. TV: NBC. LINE: Seahawks -1.5 O/U: 45
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (11-5): Seattle sports an unhealthy dose of injuries, most notably to its backfield as running backs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise have all endured season-ending ailments over the last three weeks. Marshawn Lynch was summoned from retirement and rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown while rookie Travis Homer added 62 on the ground and caught five passes for 30 yards last weekend against the 49ers. Russell Wilson, who threw 31 touchdown passes this season, had just one and overcame six sacks to improve to 4-0 in his career against Philadelphia in November. Tyler Lockett, who posted career-high totals in receptions (82) and yards (1,057), had just one catch for 38 yards in the first meeting with the Eagles.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (9-7): Injuries to promising rookie running back Miles Sanders (ankle), wideouts Alshon Jeffery (foot) and Nelson Agholor (knee) and Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz (ribs/back) have led to Philadelphia relying on unheralded players like running back Boston Scott and wideouts Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over the last few weeks. Scott, who is listed generously at 5-foot-6, scored three touchdowns in the second half of the Eagles' 34-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday. "Just seeing him in those big moments is exciting," Wentz said of Scott, who was promoted from the practice squad in October. "We've kind of always known he was a dynamic out-in-space type of guy but you can only see so many of those things in practice." Sanders did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday, although he reportedly is planning to do so on Friday.
1. Seattle LB Bobby Wagner recorded eight of his NFL-best 159 tackles this season in the first encounter with Philadelphia.
2. Eagles TE Dallas Goedert has received double-digit targets in each of his last two games.
3. The Seahawks have qualified for the playoffs in seven of their last eight seasons.