A look at five Seahawks worth keeping an eye on Sunday night against the Eagles.
Our look at five Seahawks to watch against the Eagles Sunday night includes one former Philadelphia first-round pick.
DE MARCUS SMITH: Smith was a first-round pick of the Eagles in 2014 before being released earlier this year and picked up by Seattle, since becoming a key part of the Seahawks’ defensive rotation, especially in the last week with the release of Dwight Freeney and an injury to Dion Jordan. — Smith played a season-high 39 snaps last Sunday against the 49ers. With Jordan doubtful for the Eagles game, Smith figures to again see significant action. Smith this week didn’t indicate any ill will toward the Eagles for releasing him but did offer what he thought would be a key to the game. “I think stopping the run with them, because they have LeGarrette Blount, they have (Jay) Ajayi,” Smith said. “If we stop their run and allow them to pass the ball and we pressure a lot…..I just feel like if we stop the run first, we’ll be okay.”
CB BYRON MAXWELL: Maxwell is also a former Eagle, spending the 2015 season there as a free agent after four years with the Seahawks before being traded the following year to Miami, and then after being waived by the Dolphins landing back in Seattle. Maxwell has also mostly evaded talking much about the past but you have to figure he’d like to play well against his old team. Shaquill Griffin is expected to step back into the starting lineup at right cornerback which means Maxwell could be the starter on the other side ahead of Jeremy Lane.
LB K.J. WRIGHT: Seattle’s linebackers will not only get heavily tested by the run today but also in coverage as the Eagles use their tight ends as much as anybody — Zach Ertz (55), Brent Celek (eight) and Trey Burton (11) have combined for 74 catches in 11 games. Seattle’s given up a few notable big games to tight ends in past seasons though that was a strength for the Seahawks last season allowing just three touchdowns to tight ends. Seattle, though, has allowed four this season and will now play the rest of the season without Kam Chancellor, whose value defending tight ends through the years hardly needs to be stated. While covering TEs is a group effort — and Bradley McDougald will also take on a lot of it as Chancellor’s replacement — Seattle will also need a big game from Wright against both the run and pass.
RB MIKE DAVIS: Davis is healthy and could move back into the starting lineup at tailback. At the least, expect him to play significantly as the Seahawks will likely need all hands on deck to get a running game going against an Eagles team that comes into the game allowing the fewest rushing yards in the NFL. That the Eagles have had a lot of big leads, forcing opponents to throw, has contributed. But Seattle has struggled running against most teams this year and will be hoping that Davis can provide some of the same kind of spark he did early against Atlanta in his lone action this season.
WR TYLER LOCKETT: Lockett has been a little quiet lately with just seven catches for 63 yards in the last four games — and shut out last week against the 49ers — while also still waiting to score his first touchdown this season. Lockett, though, had a breakout return game against Atlanta a week ago Monday and the Seahawks could use some more of that against the Eagles.