The Seattle Seahawks are chasing their eighth win of the season in Philadelphia as they face the Eagles. Ben Steele expects big games from a trio of receivers...
"D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are one of the best receiver duos in the NFL, both on course to have more than 1,000 yards receiving and they dominate Wilson's focus when he drops back to throw."
Wilson can return to Seahawks air-raid
Since he was drafted in 2012 Russell Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He started this season in incredible form, looking like the runaway winner of the MVP. In recent weeks his pace has slowed, throwing four touchdowns in his last three games, but against the Philadelphia Eagles, Wilson looks set to return to form. The Eagles have had a few positive outings against the pass but are yet to face a quarterback of Wilson's caliber in the passing game who is as well support by his receiving corps.
D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are one of the best receiver duos in the NFL, both on course to have more than 1,000 yards receiving and they dominate Wilson's focus when he drops back to throw. The 32-year-old QB has attempted 362 passes this season, and 165 of those have been looking for his star receivers. Metcalf plays the role of the deep threat, averaging 18 yards per reception and finding the endzone nine times, while Lockett is a more secure pair of hands operating closer to the line of scrimmage. The pair dovetail nicely and this Eagles defence, that struggled against the likes of Chase Claypool earlier in the season, may have trouble against the talented pair.
There is a tempting OddsBoost of D.K. Metfcalf and Tyler Lockett to both score a touchdown at 9/2 available but my selection is a Same Game Multi of both men to have Over 72.5 yards receiving at 3.78 as Wilson's relies on the pair with his customary regularity to put the Seahawks in position to score.
Quarterback controversy brewing in Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-6-1 this season but thanks to the wretched form of the entire NFC East they still have a shot at making the playoffs. As is often the case in Philadelphia, a struggling Eagles team means fans are starting to ask questions about the quarterback, Carson Wentz. The former second overall pick has had a complicated career in the city of brotherly love, playing at an MVP level before an injury saw his backup (Nick Foles) deliver the franchise's first ever Super Bowl win. He has had to deal with quarterback controversies ever since and on Monday night the latest could reach boiling point.
Rookie Jalen Hurts is reportedly receiving first team practice reps and is expected to see playing time at quarterback tonight. With Wentz and Hurts effectively fighting for the starting job against a Seahawks defence who have been terrible against the pass this season I'm expecting a big game from Travis Fulgham who has emerged as Philadelphia's leading wide receiver this term. The Seattle Seahawks defence is a long way from the vaunted "Legion of Boom" secondary that made passing the ball almost impossible in the early part of the decade. The current iteration of the defence have given up almost 350 passing yards a game which bodes well for Fulgham to build on his solid season.
Changes at quarterback usually results in a reliance on the best receiver on the team and the second year pro leads the team in both receiving yards and touchdowns. It may be a muddled game under centre for the Eagles but Fulgham to have over 100 receiving yards and at least one touchdown against a poor defence is well worth a look.
Carson can make scoring return to the lineup
Seattle's offensive reliance on Metcalf and Lockett has, in part, been down to the absence of running back Chris Carson, who was playing while hampered by a foot injury earlier in the season, and has been entirely sidelined by that problem for the last four weeks. Carson is undoubtedly Seattle's figure head in the running game, despite missing the last few games he still leads the team in rushing touchdowns, and his downhill style allows him to make the most of a solid Seattle offensive line.
The Eagles defence has allowed 15 rushing touchdowns this season, conceding at least one in eight of their 10 games this season. Even the two games where they did shut out the rushing game aren't much to write home about, as they were against an injury-ravaged Dallas offence and a Cincinnati Bengals team who still scored 23 points. So facing the might of Seattle and their outstanding offence doesn't bode well. With Wilson keeping the Eagles worried about the pass, Carson is unlikely to be the focus of the defensive gameplan and that can only be to the running back's benefit.
Carson has found the endzone three times this season and I'm backing him to add to his total at 6/5 on his return to the starting lineup.
Ben Steele NFL P/L:
Staked: 43 points
Returned: 47.6 points
P/L: +4.3 points