SEATTLE -- It took one play for the Eagles defense to settle down. The only issue is that it was the longest play in Seahawks history.
On the Seahawks' first play from scrimmage, Seneca Wallace - who started at quarterback for the injured Matt Hasselbeck - connected with wide receiver Koren Robinson, who beat cornerback Lito Sheppard and broke away from free safety Brian Dawkins for a 90-yard touchdown.
"I was quite teed off," said Dawkins who tried to force Robinson out of bounds on the play.
However, that was all the Seahawks could muster as the Eagles won their third straight game, knocking off Seattle, 26-7. That's right. After that play, the Eagles defense surrendered zero points. The Seahawks only accumulated 143 yards the rest of the way. After the first drive, the Seahawks punted 11 - yes, 11 - consecutive drives. It probably would have been 12, but the game ended.
"One play. One score. You can't hang your head after that," said linebacker Omar Gaither. "We're down 7-0. Seven points is not enough to beat the Eagles."
Without Hasselbeck, the Eagles had to focus on containing the running game. Wallace is a mobile quarterback who concerned the Eagles more for his ability to move around the pocket rather than his arm. The Seahawks bolstered their ground game in the offseason with free agent acquisition Julius Jones and Pro Bowl guard Mike Wahle to pave the way. Add in Maurice Morris and the Seahawks have a nice one-two punch in the backfield.
On this day, the backs went as far as DeSean Jackson could throw Tra Thomas.
The Eagles were able to take away the ground game as Jones rushed for 41 yards on 10 carries. The team as a whole had 86 yards rushing. Morris carried the ball eight times for 43 yards. T.J. Duckett converted two short-yardage situations with his only two carries.
Unable to sustain a running attack to take the pressure off of Wallace, Seattle went three-and-out on four of its next five drives after the one-play scoring strike.
"It was real important for us to come together," defensive tackle Mike Patterson said. "That first touchdown fueled the fire."
"We did what we were supposed to do the rest of the way," Dawkins said.
Forced to try and win the game through the air, Wallace finished the game 13-of-29 for a mere 169 yards. In addition, the Eagles kept Wallace contained. He had one run for two yards and was sacked four times, twice by defensive end Darren Howard.
"We came here and did what we were supposed to do," said Howard, who now has 6.5 sacks for the year - the most for him since 2004. "We thought we should have won this game. To come here and do it was another thing. Anytime you take care of business, especially coming out of a hole, was good for us."
The Eagles were able to make the opposing tight end a non-factor as well, one of the few accomplishments that the Eagles needed to check off their to-do list this year. Second-round draft pick John Carlson tried to haul in a deep pass from Wallace with just under 10 minutes left in the game only to see it knocked away by strong safety Quintin Mikell. Carlson finished with two catches for 30 yards.
Midway through the third quarter, Wallace threw his best pass of the day. From the Eagles' 34-yard line, Wallace tried to thread the ball to Keary Colbert in the end zone. Colbert lunged out, brought in the ball only to lose it after he hit the ground. Three plays later, the Seahawks lined up in desperation staring at a fourth-and-10 only to watch Wahle commit a false start penalty and eliminate any further thought of going for the first down.
The Eagles have been one of the better teams in the league on the road, sporting a 45-23 record since the 2000 season. Now, with a three-game win streak, the Eagles return home for a showdown with the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.