On a short week, Keith Myers of 12thManRising.com was nice enough to answer us a series of questions about the upcoming Eagles and Seahawks match-up.
The Seahawks have had some recent success so I start by asking what this can be attributed to. I also get his thoughts on both Tarvaris Jackson as well as his opinion on the Eagles both before the season started and now.
Keith then gets into more detail about the match-up telling us where he thinks each team will have an advantage, who could be an x-factor for the Seahawks, and he ends by giving us a score prediction.
Also, make sure to check out the questions I answered for him by clicking here.
BirdsFan: In the last three weeks, the Seahawks beat the Ravens and Rams and blew a fourth quarter lead to the Redskins. What can this rash of success be attributed to?
12thManRising: A young team finally growing up. Contrary to what the national media would have you believe, there is a lot of talent on this team, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
BF: The Eagles were thrown into the national spotlight after the offseason signings they made. However, they’ve failed to live up to the expectations. What did you think about the self-proclaimed “Dream Team” then and what do you think of them now?
12MR: I honestly didn’t like the moves then. The Eagles seemed to go after names instead of players that filled needs. Nnamdi Asomugha might be one of the best corners in the NFL, but the Eagles were fine at corner and really needed help at safety and LB instead. Vince Young isn’t a quality backup QB; Ronny Brown was injured and not going to be an impact player; the signings didn’t make a lot of sense.
I still expected them to the better than they’ve shown so far this season. I expected the defense to struggle, but I expect Vick and the offense to be able to out score most opponents. That offense has too many weapons for anyone to be able to stop them. Vick’s injuries have clearly hurt the Eagles.
BF: Tarvaris Jackson hasn’t been the most impressive quarterback during his time in the NFL. What are your thoughts on Jackson? Is he the quarterback of the future?
12MR: Jackson isn’t the QB of the future in Seattle. He was never meant to be. Jackson’s presence in Seattle is that of a temporary stop-gap to help bridge the gap to a new QB in the next year or so. He’s actually been decent this year. More so than I think most fans outside of Seattle know. He’s also playing hurt. He has a torn pectoral mussel on his throwing side, and it is obviously causing them a tremendous amount of pain when he throws the balls. His toughness has been a pleasant surprise.
BF: With a record of 4-7, this season couldn’t have been that much fun to watch so far. What has been the biggest positive for the Seahawks this year?
12MR: The development of the young players. The Seahawks have 3 defensive backs in their first or 2nd year (Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman) that might be in the top 5 at their position in the NFL. Doug Baldwin has been a great addition at WR. The offensive line is starting to really come together and show signs that the unit will be a strength in 2012.
While 4-7 has been difficult to watch, I think most fans had tempered expectations as this team rebuilds into a contender. Seeing the development of the young players as a part of that rebuilding helps ease the pain of a losing season.
BF: On Thursday, where will the Seahawks have an advantage on offense? On defense?
12MR: The Seahawks running game will be the advantage they should be able to use. The Eagles don’t have a good run defense, and Marshawn Lynch has been huge over the the last 4 games for the Seahawks.
BF: Where will the Eagles have an advantage on offense? On defense?
12MR: The Eagles running game shouldbe their advantage as well. The Seahawks have a very stout run defense (#3 in the league in terms of yards/carry) but the strength of that unit is the big bodies up front. The Eagles tend to attack the edges and not the center of the run defense, and I expect them to have success running to the outside because of their speed.
BF: What player could be a potential x-factor for the Seahawks on Thursday?
12MR: Earl Thomas. The free safety is very fast and has tremendous range. He could easily break out with a 3 interceptions in any game if the opposing QB isn’t careful. In a game like this, Thomas could easily change the entire game with a couple timely picks.
BF: Give me a score prediction.
12MR: With Vick out, I think the Eagles offense wont be able to run away with the game. It really comes down to which defense gets the most turnovers. Vince Young is an interception waiting to happen, so I’ll take the Seahawks 23-21.