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Spadaro: Plenty of noise for the Eagles to handle vs. Seattle

Shaquille Leonard
Shaquille Leonard

Week 15 has the Eagles in prime time once again in Seattle, a 6-7 team that has lost four straight games. An extra day of preparation has given the Eagles a chance to change some things up this week – they held a padded practice on Thursday, for example, instead of a walkthrough, which they have had in recent weeks.

Here is the weekly trip around the locker room as the 10-3 Eagles look to get back on the winning track ...

Shaquille Leonard: Feeling good about Eagles defense

Signed last week, linebacker Shaquille Leonard played 14 snaps against Dallas and "got my feet wet" in the Eagles' defense. If he is called upon to do more in Seattle, Leonard says he is ready.

"I'm pretty comfortable and confident in my ability," he said. "Taking it day by day, learning more and more each day, and taking it from there."

The adjustment, Leonard says, hasn't been a difficult one. "Football is football, it's just learning the terminology and the style, the way the coaches want you to play," he said. "I think that's the main difference between teams, but besides that, just tackle the guy with the football."

Seattle has an explosive passing game and productive running backs in Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet and, yes, the goal for the Eagles is to execute on third down on Monday night.

"It's a key for every defense," Leonard said. "When we are in those situations, we have to execute the defense and get off the field. This is part of football, part of what makes for a successful defense, so, yes, this is a priority for us."

Dallas Goedert: Eliminate the plays that hurt us

An answer for more consistency from the offense? Tight end Dallas Goedert points to the players.

"We've just got to make sure we don't hurt ourselves," he said. "Early in the game we've probably kicked too many field goals, we've had crucial penalties in the red zone to get us out of scoring touchdowns and limited us to three points, and then turnovers down there."

When it all comes together for the offense, the Eagles have great balance, explosiveness, and, at times this season, have scored points at a rapid pace.

This is all about consistency.

"We've got a really special offense," Goedert said. "We've got really good players on the outside, really good players on the inside, a special quarterback. We've got to continue to play to our strengths. I think if you take out the turnovers and the plays we hurt ourselves, we move the ball really good."

James Bradberry: Scouting report on Seattle wide receivers

Don't underestimate the challenge the Eagles' secondary has on Monday night: Seattle has some outstanding wide receivers. DK Metcalf is the leader at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, and a couple of games ago he torched Dallas for 6 receptions, 134 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Tyler Lockett has 65 catches, 711 yards, and 4 touchdowns, and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba averages 10 yards per grab, with 49 receptions as primarily a third-down target.

It is a very strong group, diverse in its talents.

"They're really explosive," cornerback James Bradberry said. "They all can run. The quarterbacks have done a good job of getting the ball to them and they also have a good running game and that helps the pass game. The main thing is, they're all explosive.

"They all can go vertical, and they bring in 11 (Smith-Njigba) is a bigger body and runs good routes, gets off the line of scrimmage well. Metcalf, he's a very explosive player. Powerful, huge guy."

Last week, the 49ers limited Metcalf to 2 catches for 52 yards and were able to agitate him and get him off his game. How will he respond after that very public targeting?

"Oh, I'm not sure," Bradberry said. "I hope he's not in a bad mood."

Kenneth Gainwell: Noise or not, it's important to start fast

Running back Kenny Gainwell thinks the loudest stadium he's ever played in is Lincoln Financial Field which, of course, is an amazing advantage for the Eagles. On the road? Could have been when the Eagles played at Kansas City. Monday night at Seattle, though, could be a new experience for Gainwell.

"From everything I've been told, it's really loud there, so I think we're all getting ready for that," Gainwell said. "It's definitely something we have to deal with. Everybody says it is a great environment."

The offense has its mission: Start fast. Finish strong. Sustain drives. Score touchdowns in the red zone.

"It comes down to us executing and really making sure that we don't do things that set us back," Gainwell said. "That's our focus. Do what we do and we feel like we'll be good. I think everybody is looking forward to getting back out there and playing our game."

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