PHILADELPHIA — The last time the Philadelphia Eagles hosted Seattle, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffered an interception and a fumble, and he overthrew a receiver on what should have been an easy lob for a touchdown.
Wilson lost one other fumble all season, and threw four other intercepted passes. His 31 touchdown passes indicate he didn’t miss a bunch of easy scoring throws in other games, either.
Wilson and the Seahawks still won 17-9 on Nov. 24, but they probably flew home thinking the score was misleading. Wilson lamented missing a “layup.” He also suffered a few drops, one in particular that could have been a touchdown.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was asked a lot of questions Tuesday about Wilson, who is 4-0 against them heading into their first postseason matchup, Sunday’s wild-card round playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field. Schwartz walked a fine line, making clear his respect for Seattle’s six-time Pro Bowl quarterback while steering away from any notion the Eagles can’t stop him.
“You can’t count on a quarterback like that missing that kind of play. We didn’t match up that coverage right, so that’s something you correct,” Schwartz said. “But every game there (are plays that aren’t made). Some of those that I think people labeled as drops (in the Nov. 24 game) would’ve been really good catches. They’re low-percentage shots down the field. You have to battle and you have to win those. We won our fair share of those (Sunday against the New York Giants). I think that had a lot to do with us keeping the score down.
“We’re close on a lot of plays, too. Get a ball on the ground and don’t recover a fumble, ‘Wow, you were close.’ Or you have a guy that’s an inch away from making a sack that the quarterback gets the ball off. That’s just the way this game goes. … You need to make the plays that are there for you, be resilient. Not every play is going to be perfect.”
Wilson saw the Eagles so recently, Schwartz was asked if he would try to do anything different, to give the QB a look he might not be expecting.
“We have a pretty long history. We played out there (in 2016 and 2017, losing both games). At this point of the season, you sort of are what you are when it comes to a lot of your stuff. … It just sort of turns into no real surprises,” Schwartz said.
“I’ll take you back a couple weeks. We didn’t do anything different against Dallas than we did the first time; obviously the game was a lot different, but I attribute that more to the spirit the players played with, and fundamentals and execution and teamwork, and all those intangible things that sometimes get overlooked when people talk about chess matches, schemes, and things like that.
“When it’s all said and done, it’s blocking and tackling and execution and that will carry us a lot longer on Sunday than anything new we put in. Every week, you have different wrinkles and different things that you set up from the time before, or things that you’re shoring up, or things you’re changing on offense and defense. Everybody does that.
“But I think this is going to be more of a players’ game.”