Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

WC - Seahawks at Eagles

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The final Wild Card contest of the weekend takes place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia showcasing the lone home underdog in this round. The Eagles (9-7 SU, 7-9 ATS) owned the worst record of any of the 12 playoff teams, but by virtue of winning the NFC East crown, they are able to remain at home in the opening round.

Philadelphia didn’t look like it would head to the playoffs after getting shocked at Miami as 10 ½-point road favorites, 37-31 in Week 13. The Eagles slipped to 5-7, but finished December strong by winning their final four games, including a crucial 17-9 home triumph over the Cowboys in Week 16. Philadelphia moved into the driver’s seat of capturing the division title as the Eagles grabbed the crown in the season finale against the Giants in a 34-17 rout to clinch their third straight playoff berth under head coach Doug Pederson.

Quarterback Carson Wentz is making his playoff debut after injuries derailed the past two seasons for the second pick of the 2016 draft. Wentz is coming off a career-high 4,039 yards passing this season, which included not one wide receiver racking up more than 500 yards. Two tight ends posted above 500 yards receiving, including Zach Ertz, who put up 918 yards and six touchdowns as he looks to suit up after missing the Week 17 win at New York with a rib injury.

The Eagles are not only riding a four-game winning streak, but have covered each of their last three contests. Only two of Philadelphia’s nine victories came against playoff squads an each of those wins came on the road at Green Bay and Buffalo. In three opportunities as a home underdog, the Eagles scored a total of 36 points, while owning a 1-2 SU/ATS record with a win over Dallas and losses to New England and Seattle.

The Seahawks (11-5 SU, 7-8-1 ATS) squandered an excellent opportunity to take home the NFC West title for the first time since 2016, but couldn’t take care of its business at CenturyLink Field. Seattle headed into Week 16 tied with San Francisco at 11-3 atop the division with two home games remaining, but lost to Arizona in Week 16 as eight-point favorites, 27-13.

In spite of that unexpected defeat, Pete Carroll’s squad still had a chance to win the NFC West by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker against San Francisco, but the Seahawks didn’t pull off the season sweep of the 49ers. San Francisco jumped out to a 13-0 halftime lead, as Seattle rallied to creep within 26-21, while having an opportunity to win in the final minute. The Seahawks were within one yard of a division title, but were stuffed at the goal line on fourth down as Seattle has to travel cross-country for the playoff opener.

Quarterback Russell Wilson likely won’t win the league MVP due to the breakout season from Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, but the Seattle signal-caller racked up the second-most passing yards in his career (4,110), while throwing 31 touchdowns and a career-low five interceptions. The battered Seahawks’ backfield received some help from a familiar face as Marshawn Lynch came out of retirement to sign with Seattle and scored a one-yard touchdown in the loss to San Francisco.

Seattle excelled away from the Pacific Northwest this season by compiling a 7-1 record on the highway. The Seahawks ventured to the Eastern Time Zone five times and won all five games at Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Carolina. Granted, Seattle faced three backup quarterbacks (Mason Rudolph, Matt Schaub, and Kyle Allen), but the Seahawks topped the 28-point mark in three of those contests. Seattle handed San Francisco its first loss of the season in Week 10 as an underdog, while putting together a 2-1-1 ATS mark as a road favorite.

The Eagles have covered all five playoff games under Pederson the last two seasons, although Nick Foles was the quarterback and not Wentz. Philadelphia knocked off Atlanta and Minnesota as an underdog on its run to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in 2017, while cashing in the ‘dog role against Chicago and New Orleans last season. The last time a home team was listed as an underdog in the Wild Card round came in 2015 when a trio of clubs lost as the Bengals (+2) fell to the Steelers, 18-16, the Texans (+3) were blanked by the Chiefs, 30-0, and the Vikings (+4 ½) dropped a 10-9 decision to the Seahawks.

The Seahawks have won the past five meetings with the Eagles dating back to 2011, capped off by a 17-9 triumph at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 12 as one-point favorites. Seattle put together its best defensive effort of the season as Philadelphia was limited to a field goal until scoring its lone touchdown with 20 seconds remaining trailing, 17-3. The Eagles shot themselves in the foot multiple times by turning the ball over five times, including a pair of interceptions thrown by Wentz. In three career starts against Seattle, Wentz is 0-3, while the Eagles have scored 9, 10, and 15 points in those matchups.

Seattle thrived on the road this season, but that hasn’t been the same story in the playoffs of late. The Seahawks have lost three consecutive away contests in the postseason, including a 24-22 setback at Dallas last January. Seattle owns a 2-4 SU/ATS record as a road favorite in the playoffs with Wilson at quarterback, as the last postseason victory away from CenturyLink Field came in the 2015 Wild Card round at Minnesota.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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