Are the Philadelphia Eagles truly back? Or did they just beat up on a garbage Giants team in Week 6?
The reigning Super Bowl champions have an opportunity to answer those questions with their performance against the Carolina Panthers today.
It’d be pretty frustrating to see the Eagles backslide into being the mistake-ridden group they were earlier at times this season.
On the other hand, it’d be pretty encouraging to see the Eagles beat the Panthers and advance to 4-3. Carolina isn’t a dominant team by any means but they’re a quality opponent. The Eagles getting a win over them would be a legitimate notch in their belt.
The feeling here is that the Eagles’ Week 6 win over the Giants wasn’t just about New York being bad. Philadelphia deserves credit for getting out of their own way and playing an improved brand of football.
There’s reason to believe the Eagles can continue to be successful, especially when you consider they have some advantages heading into this matchup. Extra rest is one of them; the Eagles last played 10 days ago on October 11. Home field advantage is still a significant factor with Philadelphia being 17-3 in their last 20 home games. And then there’s the fact the Eagles likely won’t be put at a historical officiating disadvantage like they were against the Panthers last season.
Carson Wentz, who has been excellent so far this season, is poised for another good game. The Panthers’ defense isn’t as good as it used to be. Carolina ranks 21st in defensive DVOA and tied for 24th in opponent yards per play. The Panthers looked especially vulnerable to tight ends in last week’s loss to Washington. Carolina has allowed the sixth most fantasy points to that position this year, so it could be another productive outing for Zach Ertz. Dallas Goedert also deserves some targets.
When it comes to the Eagles’ defense, they should able to generate pressure on Cam Newton. Being able to get to him last year ultimately forced the Panthers quarterback into throwing three interceptions. Jim Schwartz continues to need to earn his pay check as the Eagles deal with some injury issues. Treyvon Hester, who was only promoted to the roster a few weeks ago, could be starting at defensive tackle. The Eagles will also unveil their adjusted secondary configuration with first team nickel cornerback Sidney Jones missing time.
Ultimately, I think this is a good matchup for the Eagles. Newton will frustrate the defense at times with his running ability but they’ll ultimately be able to keep him in check. Carolina’s lack of explosive offense works to Schwartz’s favor. Feeding a low efficiency Christian McCaffrey over and over instead is preferable to the Panthers being aggressive and taking deep shots.
The Eagles are going to win this game and, not unlike last year’s Carolina tilt, people are going to feel good coming out of this one.
Score prediction: 31-17, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: Fletcher Cox logs a strip-sack and recovers it for a touchdown.
Bleeding Green Nation FanPulse (survey of Eagles fans): Eagles favored by 7 points
Cat Scratch Reader FanPulse (survey of Panthers fans): Eagles favored by 3 point
Leave your own predictions in the comments.
Will the Eagles beat the Panthers?
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