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2023 NFL season, Week 15: What We Learned from Seahawks' win over Eagles on Monday night

Seattle Seahawks
2023 · 7-7-0
Philadelphia Eagles
2023 · 10-4-0


  1. Drew Lock finds groove at perfect time. From losing his job in Denver to ending up as Geno Smith's backup in Seattle, Lock has traveled a road that would have sent some to retirement. His persistence paid off Monday night in a game in which he wasn't certain he'd even play until that night. Lock's performance didn't inspire much hope through three quarters, but with 92 yards ahead of him, he had one final opportunity to deliver. That he did, dropping a dime between two defenders into DK Metcalf's bread basket on third-and-10 for a gain of 34. Three plays later, Lock threw arguably the best pass of his career, launching a strike to Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who streaked down the sideline past James Bradberry, reached out and caught the ball with his fingertips for a fantastic go-ahead touchdown that sent the Lumen Field crowd into hysterics. In seemingly a flash, Lock rewrote his narrative, at least for one night. An emotional postgame interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters only further emphasized just how momentous the events were for the quarterback.
  2. Eagles let one slip away. Philadelphia largely owned the first two quarters of this game, but found itself in a tie game midway through the third quarter. The Eagles responded with an emphatic 12-play, 75-yard drive that included a number of quality Jalen Hurts throws and ended in a Hurts rushing score. In that moment, it appeared as if the Eagles had rediscovered their mojo, but it proved to be fleeting. The Eagles couldn't put away the game, failing to bleed enough clock on their penultimate possession to prevent Seattle from receiving one more opportunity to take the lead, and Hurts' sideline shot with time for at least one more play remaining properly punctuated the night for them. Instead of taking home another gritty win, the Eagles will fly back to Philadelphia losers -- and this one might be the most perplexing of all.
  3. Seahawks pull off much-needed win with classic formula. Seattle had to make a last-minute decision on who would start at quarterback, and Lock's slow start -- including one of the quieter 10-for-14 first halves you'll ever see -- meant Pete Carroll's crew needed to turn to his preferred method of operation: the ground game. Kenneth Walker came through, rushing for 86 yards on 19 carries, including an untouched 23-yard rushing score to pace a Seattle offense that needed every one of his yards to stay afloat. As Carroll said afterward, staying afloat was the key. The Seahawks' ability to hang around afforded them the final opportunity to open up the offense out of desperation, and produced a win the Seahawks desperately needed to get back to 7-7 and stay in the playoff race. There's no telling whether the Seahawks will build on this, but if they go on a run to the postseason, we'll look back on Monday night as a key turning point in their 2023 season. And it came in a fashion that fit their coach.
  4. Seattle's defense rediscovers form. The Seahawks devolved from a young, feisty, opportunistic group to one that was liable to give up 35 points in a given week. That's how the Seahawks lost to Dallas and San Francisco in consecutive weeks at the end of November, but they found their old formula at the perfect time Monday night. With their backs against the wall, the Seahawks shut down the Eagles' attempts to put away a road win, weathering multiple blows from Philadelphia and countering with two key takeaways. Julian Love had a tremendous night, picking off two deep Hurts passes to stop the Eagles in their tracks and give the Seahawks offense additional opportunities to climb back into the game. The latter of Love's two interceptions iced a game Seattle won because of its undeniable effort and desire to find a way to win.
  5. Philadelphia is officially in a rut. Nick Sirianni made the decision to swap defensive play-calling duties from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia, and the switch largely worked -- at least, until the Seahawks' final drive of significance. Despite the final numbers, Philadelphia's run defense was improved on a per-down basis, frequently stonewalling attempts. But the consistency still wasn't there, as evidenced by Walker's 23-yard touchdown run, Walker's 15-yard catch-and-run on a drive that ended in a field goal, and Lock's 92-yard game-winning drive. Placing James Bradberry in single coverage in a Cover 1 look should have worked out, at least on paper, considering the Seahawks were short on time with no timeouts available. But it didn't because Bradberry didn't protect deep, highlighting a lack of situational coaching emphasis that has become too prevalent for the Eagles this season. We haven't even gotten into Philadelphia's offensive issues, which continued with Hurts' two interceptions and the Eagles' inability to consistently piece together scoring drives. The total picture isn't a pretty one right now, and after three straight losses, it's certainly fair to be concerned about the Eagles. They haven't played a complete game all season and are struggling at a terrible time. They can only hope a meeting with the Cardinals (sandwiched by two dates with the Giants) ends up being the remedy they need.

Next Gen stat of the game: On his game-sealing interception, Julian Love covered 23.4 yards in 2.9 seconds from the moment Jalen Hurts released his pass to the moment Love picked it off.

NFL Research: The Seahawks' 92-yard game-winning touchdown drive was only the second game-winning touchdown drive of 90-plus yards in the last two minutes of a game by Seattle in the Pete Carroll era (since 2010).

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