Thanksgiving seems so long ago already and Eagles fans have been relishing the chance to see their team go head-to-head with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Well, the wait is over for this marquee matchup. Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM this afternoon and if you're not able to join us at Lincoln Financial Field, we've got you covered beginning at 4 PM with our Kickoff Show featuring all of the pre-game festivities from inside the stadium. Make sure to stay with us all day long, but first here are the 5 Things You Need To Know on this gameday ...
1. Who Is An Under-The-Radar Player To Watch?
There are so many interesting matchups within this game. There's running back LeSean McCoy, on the verge of the franchise's all-time rushing record, against Seattle's top-ranked defense. How will the Eagles contain the league's top-ranked rushing attack spearheaded by running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson? Even the chess match between the head coaches, Chip Kelly and Pete Carroll, is fascinating. But in big games there is always a player or two who isn't accounted for, but makes a big impact on the game. Here's one name to keep an eye on today - tight end Zach Ertz. Here's why.
2. Seth Joyner Is The Honorary Captain
A member of the Eagles' 75th Anniversary Team and a three-time Pro Bowl selection, former linebacker Seth Joyner will serve as the team's honorary alumni captain presented by Santander. The 13-year pro who spent his first eight seasons in Philly (1986-93) is the only player in NFL history to have recorded career totals of 52 sacks and 24 interceptions, dating back to 1982 when sacks became an official stat. Sports Illustrated's 1991 NFL Player of the Year currently resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., and serves as a motivational speaker.
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4. The Birth Of Merrill's Iconic Call
The Seahawks and the Eagles have not met all that often, but as Dave Spadaro detailed in his column, the matchup between these two teams back in 1992 was the first time that the Voice of the Eagles, Merrill Reese, unearthed his signature, "It's Gooooooood."
The Eagles allowed an inferior Seahawks team to hang around much longer than expected. It took a 93-yard drive finished off by a Herschel Walker touchdown run to force overtime before Roger Ruzek's 44-yard field goal gave the Eagles an ugly win - and a legendary call.
"A game like that, with all of those penalties, you just can't get into a good tempo for the broadcast," Reese said, "and that game was so difficult. I think I was so relieved after Ruzek kicked the field goal that for the first time in my broadcasting career I said, 'It's gooooood.' It was such a tough game and I felt like, 'Thank goodness it's over.'"
5. Is Russell Wilson That Lucky?
From Tommy Lawlor's Fan-Demonium column, here is an interesting stat about Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. He has fumbled the ball nine times this season, but the Seahawks have recovered it each time. Wilson is second on the team with a career-high 679 yards rushing. He has rushed the ball 91 times, which is just five shy of his career high of last season. As much success as Wilson has had running the ball, opposing defenses have generated 31 sacks on Wilson this year. That's tied for the sixth-highest total in 2014. Since Wilson was a third-round pick of the Seahawks in 2012, Wilson has been sacked 108 times, the third-highest total in the league in that time span.