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Seattle's defense coming around just in time for stretch run

Tue Dec 1 4:21pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer

Seattle Seahawks' DK Metcalf (14) catches a pass against Philadelphia Eagles' Darius Slay (24) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)


Philadelphia Eagles' Dallas Goedert (88) tries to get past Seattle Seahawks' Quandre Diggs (37) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)


SEATTLE (AP) Justifiably maligned for the first half of the season, something has happened to the Seattle Seahawks defense in the past three weeks.

They're getting stops. They're causing disruption and forcing turnovers. They're starting to be the complement to Seattle's offense that continues to sizzle in different ways.

The latest example came in Monday night's 23-17 win over Philadelphia. Seattle (8-3) sacked Carson Wentz six times. They held the Eagles to 250 yards and only a touchdown and 2-point conversion in the final seconds made the score as close as it was.

''From the beginning we knew what we had, we knew what type of talent we had,'' safety Jamal Adams said. ''It was only a matter of time.''

That's three straight games where Seattle has looked competent on defense as opposed to the group that for the first half of the season was on pace to give up a record amount of yards.

And the timing couldn't be better.

Seattle's current four-game stretch that started with the win over the Eagles will likely decide the NFC West race and whether the Seahawks have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They are all games Seattle should win and if the Seahawks can continue to play this well defensively they might find themselves back in the role of favorites in the NFC by the time a Week 16 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams rolls around.

WHAT'S WORKING

Philadelphia would appreciate if it never had to face DK Metcalf again. Seattle's young star has produced two of the best games of his career against the Eagles. The first came in last year's playoffs when he had 160 yards receiving. He followed up with 10 catches for 177 yards on Monday night, tormenting Philadelphia cornerback Darius Slay throughout.

Metcalf now leads the NFL with 1,039 yards receiving.

''He's a beast. He's a man-child,'' Adams said.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

While he deserves praise for the way Seattle has functioned offensively most of the season, Monday was not the best game for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. At times, the Seahawks seemed disjointed and struggled to establish consistency in the run game even with the return of Chris Carson.

There was also the fourth-down situation in the first quarter when Seattle seemed to have a chance to put the game out of reach early. The Seahawks were stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 2 and fourth-and-2 at the Philadelphia 37 with puzzling play calls that both came after timeouts.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll took the blame for those fourth-down issues.

''We lost all of whatever momentum we could have had the first quarter by not getting scores and converting and completing the sequence. I just didn't like it,'' Carroll said.

STOCK UP

The extended break after playing on a Thursday night in Week 11 was a major benefit to Adams and his sore shoulder. It helped result in possibly the best game of the season for Adams against the Eagles. He continued to be effective coming on blitzes as a pass rusher, but Adams was also solid in his pass coverage.

Adams now has 6+ sacks on the season and is the first defensive back to have six or more sacks in multiple seasons since the sack became an official stat in 1982.

STOCK DOWN

The tight end was once a major part of Seattle's pass game, but with the emergence of the Metcalf-Tyler Lockett combo the position has become more of an afterthought. Jacob Hollister had two catches against the Eagles. Will Dissly didn't even get a target. Among the tight ends, Greg Olsen was leading the way with 23 catches on 35 targets, but he's likely out the rest of the regular season with a foot injury.

INJURIES

Seattle came out of the victory with one significant injury concern moving forward. Carlos Dunlap has a sore foot and underwent an MRI after the team returned to Seattle, Carroll said on his radio show Tuesday morning. Dunlap has been a big part of the resurgence in Seattle's pass rush since his arrival via trade from Cincinnati. Depending on the severity, the Seahawks can likely manage the next few weeks without Dunlap, but would definitely want him back by Week 16 vs. the Rams.

KEY NUMBER

9 - Bobby Wagner became the third player since 2000 to have nine consecutive seasons of at least 100 tackles after his five tackles on Monday night pushed him over the century mark.

''We're looking at a Hall of Fame football player,'' Carroll said. ''We're so accustomed to the way he plays and the tremendously consistent numbers he continues to add up, and we maybe don't realize how great a player he is and how hard it is to do what he's doing.''

UP NEXT

It's a surprising showdown of first-place teams when the Seahawks host the NFC East-leading New York Giants on Sunday. Seattle plays three of its last five games at home.

Player Notes
Marquez Callaway Dec 1 3:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints rookie wide receiver Marquez Callaway (knee) suffered a minor knee sprain in the Week 12 win over the Broncos and could miss a little time. Callaway hasn't been targeted in the passing game in the last three games and has just 15 receptions on 19 targets for 136 scoreless yards in his first nine NFL games with the Saints. The 22-year-old out of Tennessee represents receiver depth for New Orleans and also has contributed in the kick-return game in his rookie season. If anything, he's just a stash candidate in dynasty/keeper leagues. Tre'Quan Smith and Deonte Harris will continue battling for No. 3 duties behind Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

From RotoBaller

George Kittle Dec 1 3:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is "holding out hope" that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and tight end George Kittle (foot) can return for the last few weeks of the regular season. Garoppolo is recovering from a high-ankle sprain and shed his walking boot several weeks ago. The 29-year-old wasn't doing a whole lot for the Niners when he was healthy, though, and he should remain on waiver wires in single-season formats. Nick Mullens will continue to start at QB for the foreseeable future. Kittle, one of the best tight ends in the league when healthy, was a huge loss for San Fran and fantasy managers. It might be worth stashing him in an Injured Reserve spot for a potential Week 16 game (the fantasy championship in most leagues), but don't expect much if Kittle makes it back by then. Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley should continue to split the tight end duties in his absence.

From RotoBaller

Colt McCoy Dec 1 3:00pm ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that defensive end Carlos Dunlap (foot) is dealing with a sore foot and will go for an MRI exam on Tuesday. Dunlap left the Monday night win over the Eagles with the injury, and depending on the results of his tests, the 31-year-old pass-rusher could miss some time. Acquired from the Bengals this year, Dunlap has been a godsend for the Seahawks Defense, recording 12 tackles (five for loss), eight QB hits and four sacks in his four games. He had just 18 tackles (two for loss), four QB hits and one sack in seven games with Cincinnati to begin the season. Seattle's turnaround on that side of the ball coincided with Dunlap's arrival, so losing him for any amount of time would be bad news. However, fantasy managers should still consider Seattle's D as a top-five fantasy play against a Giants team in Week 13 that will likely be using Colt McCoy as their starting quarterback.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Dec 1 2:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said he hasn't been assured of his job status moving forward, although he said his relationship with owner Jeffrey Lurie "is good." The Eagles lost to the Seahawks on Monday night and dropped to 3-7-1, putting them in third place in the NFL's worst division. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that Lurie is unhappy with the team and that performances like Monday's "will have him seriously assessing his coach's status." The Eagles have scored exactly 17 points in three straight games and haven't gone over 30 points all year, so the solution might be a change in play-calling. Pederson continues to say that quarterback Carson Wentz is the starter, but something might have to give if Wentz's play doesn't improve soon. A big factor has been a rotating cast on the offensive line, as Philly used their 10th different starting offensive line on Monday night.

From RotoBaller

Philadelphia Eagles Dec 1 2:40pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles released safety Will Parks on Tuesday, according to a source. Parks had signed a one-year contract with the Eagles in the offseason and was supposed to replace Malcolm Jenkins in the secondary while moving around to other positions as well. The 26-year-old missed the first five games of the season with a hamstring injury that landed him on Injured Reserve. He played a season-high 72 percent of the defensive snaps in the Monday night loss to the Seahawks but started only three of his six games played in 2020. Parks had just 13 tackles (11 solo) for the Eagles and will look to latch on with another team as secondary depth. Philly's defense has another really bad matchup in Week 13 against the high-octane Packers offense. Fantasy managers should be looking to avoid them for that game.

From RotoBaller

Derrick Henry Dec 1 1:00pm ET

The Cleveland Browns activated pass-rusher Myles Garrett from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday and placed Ronnie Harrison Jr. (shoulder) on Injured Reserve in a corresponding move. Harrison may have a chance to return later in the season or for a potential playoff run. Garrett missed the last two games after a positive COVID-19 test, but he'll return to being a must-start defensive lineman in IDP leagues against Tennessee. They'll need Garrett to try to slow down the NFL's rushing leader in running back Derrick Henry after the Titans just whooped up on the Colts in Week 12. While the return of Garrett makes Cleveland's D much better, they're better off faded for their Week 13 meeting with Tennessee.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Dec 1 11:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has seen a huge drop-off in production this year compared to his last three seasons. Wentz had a 98.3 passer rating from 2017-19 and has a 73.4 passer rating in 2020. Since 1950, he's the sixth quarterback, and only one under the age of 30, to have a passer rating more than 24 points below his combined rating over the previous three seasons. Four of the five QBs on that list retired immediately following that season. Wentz went 25-15 from 2017-19 with 81 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, and he's 3-7-1 this year with 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He was sacked a career-high 37 times in 2019, but he's already been sacked 46 times in 2020 with five games to go. It doesn't help that he doesn't have many weapons around him in the passing game. Things won't get any easier in Week 13 against the Packers. Continue to treat Wentz as a turnover-prone QB2 in superflex leagues.

From RotoBaller

Jake Elliott Dec 1 12:30am ET

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott got two chances to kick on Monday Night Football in Week 12, making a 42-yard field goal but missing an extra point. Elliott hadn't missed an extra point until after the first Eagles touchdown in this game. Despite his consistency, he hasn't been much of a fantasy kicker mostly due to his lack of opportunities. The Eagles aren't scoring many touchdowns and they are leading the league in two-point conversion attempts. Elliott should remain a decent NFL kicker, but won't be a recommended fantasy option in most weeks.

From RotoBaller

Philadelphia Eagles Dec 1 12:30am ET

The Philadelphia Eagles Defense didn't do much in a Week 12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. They allowed 23 points, recording two sacks and no turnovers. In standard scoring, that's good for just two fantasy points. While the Eagles defense was the only reason the team was even remotely in the game as the offense struggled mightily yet again, they didn't do too much to help their fantasy managers. They'll have another tough matchup against the Green Bay Packers in Week 13.

From RotoBaller

Jason Myers Dec 1 12:20am ET

Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers wasn't the top option of the week, but he finished quite well in the team's Week 12 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday. He went 3-for-3 on his field goals and he nailed both of his extra points. This is the type of game that you've been looking for out of Myers. His team's red-zone efficiency was lacking in this game, and he was rewarded appropriately. Myers should be a solid starting kicker in fantasy over the next couple weeks with matchups against the Giants in Week 13 and the winless Jets in Week 14. If you currently roster him, you might not have a better option available to you on the waiver wire.

From RotoBaller

Travis Fulgham Dec 1 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham doubled his production from the past two weeks in Week 12. That wasn't a good thing though, as Fulgham had gone two straight games with one catch for eight yards. In Week 12, he made two catches for 16 yards. Progress! He was only targeted twice, as almost all Eagles pass catchers struggled to separate from the objectively bad Seahawks Defense. Fulgham came on strong seemingly out of nowhere this season, but quickly reminded everyone why he was in the nowhere he came from. He hasn't put up more than two fantasy points since Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Seattle Seahawks Dec 1 12:20am ET

The Seattle Seahawks Defense hasn't been the best group this season, but they've been playing well of late, especially in the team's Week 12 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday. They harassed the Eagles offense all night long and they had a great stat line going until they gave up a late score to allow 16 total points. They finished the game with six sacks and they were also able to come away with an interception on the night. They'll see the New York Giants and the New York Jets in consecutive weeks in Weeks 13 and 14. If you tend to stream defenses, they might be the move for you in the next two weeks in deeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Dec 1 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery made his first two catches of the year on Monday Night Football in Week 12. Jeffery made the two catches, gaining 15 yards on four total targets. Like all of the other Eagles, Jeffery had a hard time getting open despite playing against a historically bad Seahawks Defense. A former WR1, Jeffery has shown nothing to make anyone believe he's even close to the fantasy radar at this point in his career.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Reagor Dec 1 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor was second on the team in targets on Monday Night Football with seven. He only made three catches, gaining 11 total yards. Even though he's known for his speed and the Seahawks are known for their terrible defense, Reagor was unable to get open or gain any separation in another ugly game for the Eagles offense. Reagor still has plenty of long-term upside, but he's looking like he won't be much of a difference maker in his rookie year.

From RotoBaller

Greg Ward Dec 1 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward made just one catch in Week 12, gaining three yards. Ward was targeted three times, but his only grab came on a screen pass that was quickly blown up by the Seahawks suddenly decent defense. Ward has been used for short passes and quick screens and hasn't run too many significant routes lately, making him a very low-upside fantasy player regardless of matchup or format.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Dec 1 12:10am ET

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett was unable to get much going in the team's Week 12 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. He caught three of his four targets for 23 yards on the night. Lockett was one of the most consistent players earlier in the season, but that has begun to fade as the team's ceiling has lowered in the last month. Over the next few weeks, you'll be hoping for bounce-back performances in very solid matchups against the Giants and Jets in Weeks 13 and 14, respectively. The matchups bode well for that happening and he should be due for some big outings down the stretch for his fantasy managers.

From RotoBaller

Boston Scott Dec 1 12:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott ran the ball twice for seven yards and caught the ball five times for 40 yards through the air. The Eagles were unable to do anything on the ground (and barely anything on offense in general), but Scott soundly outplayed starter Miles Sanders (six runs for 15 yards, two catches for seven). Scott ended up tied for third on the team with his six passing game targets. If Sanders gets going, Scott probably sees the field a bit less, but Scott has shown plenty of times that he's able to hold his own on an NFL field. He's an extremely valuable backup and worth a bench spot on most fantasy rosters.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Dec 1 12:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert led the Eagles in all receiving categories on Monday Night Football. He caught seven passes, gaining 75 yards and scoring a touchdown. He was targeted 10 times, three more than any other Eagles player. Goedert's score came on a three-yard pass near the end of the first half. He was clearly quarterback Carson Wentz's favorite target and looked like the only Eagles pass catcher who was able to get any separation at all against a bad Seahawks secondary. Goedert will continue to be a TE1 even when Zach Ertz (ankle) returns to the lineup.

From RotoBaller

Richard Rodgers Dec 1 12:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers accidentally caught a touchdown at the end of Week 12's Monday Night Football contest against the Seattle Seahawks. Quarterback Carson Wentz threw a deep Hail Mary into the end zone with less than a minute to go in the game. It ricocheted off a receiver's hands and landed in Rodgers' hands in the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown. Rodgers has maintained some semblance of fantasy value, scoring touchdowns in each of the past two weeks, but with Zach Ertz (ankle) expected back next week, Rodgers will fall back to third on the tight end depth chart.

From RotoBaller

Russell Wilson Dec 1 12:00am ET

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a good matchup in Week 12, but he didn't do a ton with it against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. He completed 22 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a score. He also had five carries for 13 yards. The Seahawks focused a ton on balance in this game, as they had 33 dropbacks compared to 29 runs. After the torrid pace he was on to start the season, Wilson has cooled off tremendously over the last month. Heading into the fantasy playoffs, he has a great matchup against the winless Jets in Week 14. If you have Wilson on your roster, you're not benching him. He gets a great matchup against the Giants in Week 13.

From RotoBaller