There’s rarely a dull moment with these Seahawks. Even against a 40-year-old backup quarterback, Seattle allowed things to be too close for comfort in Sunday’s 17-9 wild-card playoff win in Philadelphia. But at this point, close wins on the road are to be expected.
The Seahawks are 8-1 on the road this season and 11-2 in one-score games. So of course, a close, squeeze-the-couch-cushions-for-dear-life game against the undermanned Eagles shouldn’t come as a shock.
But in the playoffs, wins are the only currency that matters. It’s something the 8-point favorite New Orleans Saints and defending champion New England Patriots didn’t come away with in a wild-card weekend that lived up to its name. And now they get to go into Wisconsin in January to attempt another road victory against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
But first, let’s dive back into what the national media had to say about the Seahawks’ playoff win.
Andrew Siciliano of the NFL Network points out Sunday’s game was missing the most starters of any playoff game in history.
TruMedia Sports also notes the Seahawks had the most productive passing game and least effective running game of the eight teams that played in wild-card weekend.
Danny Kelly of The Ringer says wide receiver DK Metcalf, who set a rookie receiving record for the playoffs with 160 yards and a TD, is just what Seattle needs to make a playoff run.
Metcalf showed why he’s an absolutely perfect fit for the Seahawks’ scheme in the win, reeling in seven catches for a rookie playoff record 160 yards and a touchdown in his postseason debut. The dynamic receiver was the big-play X factor the Seahawks desperately needed to get past a resilient, banged-up Eagles team on Sunday―and he could be the difference-maker the team needs next weekend in its divisional-round matchup with the Packers.
Nick Wright of Fox Sports says for the Seahawks to win, they’ll need to rely more on Russell Wilson in the passing game.
Greg Jennings of Fox Sports says watching Seattle play is frustrating.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated says the Seahawks won Sunday’s battle of attrition because of Metcalf.
Both teams were without big-time linemen (Duane Brown for the Seahawks, Lane Johnson for the Eagles). Both were missing key skill guys (Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny for Seattle, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery for Philly). And really, the truth is, the difference on this afternoon was probably that one team lost its starting quarterback and the other didn’t.
Everyone seemed to have differing opinions about Jadeveon Clowney’s hit on Carson Wentz that eventually knocked the Eagles QB out of the game. Eagles left tackle Jason Peters called the hit “dirty” after the game, while Clowney said he didn’t intend to hurt anybody and that it was a “bang-bang play.”
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN says Jadeveon Clowney should have been ejected for his hit on Carson Wentz that eventually knocked the Eagles QB out of the game.
Meanwhile, former NFL safety and ESPN analyst Ryan Clark says the hit was not dirty.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports takes a look at the early lines for the divisional round.
The Seahawks play in close games, and the Packers stumbled into the No. 2 seed. Russell Wilson vs. Aaron Rodgers is an excellent historical rematch. The Packers’ pass rush has been nasty over the last few weeks and could be a major problem for a banged-up Seahawks offensive line.
Rob Reischel of Forbes notes five things the Packers should know about the Seahawks entering next week’s showdown.
The Packers and Seahawks have met three times in the postseason, with Green Bay holding a 2-1 lead. But Packer Nation will never forget the 2014 NFC Championship Game.