One team is going to step up on Sunday night and prove it. One isn’t.
The Philadelphia Eagles are widely viewed as the best team in the NFL right now at 10-1, but the Eagles have played only two teams with a winning record and their opponents have an overall record of 48-73.
Are they as good as their record indicates? Can they win a prime-time showdown on the road at deafening CenturyLink Field, one of the toughest venues for any visiting team?
The Seattle Seahawks are 7-4 and generally regarded as a team whose better days are behind them. By the way, the combined record of Seattle’s opponents this season also is 48-73.
A victory over the Eagles would show the Seahawks remain serious Super Bowl contenders. The Eagles have won nine consecutive games. They outscored their opponents by 23 points or more in five of the last seven games, scoring more than 30 points in six of those games.
That’s impressive no matter who they played.
“They are a very good football team across the board,’’ said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “It’ll be a great test. They are high-flying and doing everything well. They're on it and they've found a rhythm.”
Just how good these two teams are will play itself out over the next few weeks. The Seahawks play the Jaguars in Jacksonville next week before and big NFC West showdown with the Los Angeles Rams in Seattle.
The Eagles remain on the West Coast next week to play the Rams, a game that pits impressive young quarterbacks, and the top two picks from the 2017 draft, against each other in Jared Goff of the Rams and Carson Wentz of the Eagles.
"He's making more plays and you can tell he has a better grip of the offense,'' Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said of Wentz. "He's making really good decisions."
Even if the Eagles split the two West Coast games, they would be in excellent position at 11-2.
The Seahawks need to get to the Rams game within one game of Los Angeles (8-3 at the moment) to have a good chance at winning the division. And the Seahawks have to get their without defensive stars Cliff Avril, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman.
For now, it’s all about Sunday night in one of the best NFC matchups of the season. The Eagles believe this is their year and they can beat any team anywhere. The Seahawks believe they still have what it takes to beat the best.
So for both teams, just two words are needed: Prove it.