NFL Sunday Night Preview: Eagles vs. Panthers

October 25, 2015 •

Screenshot_2Philadelphia has a big test against Carolina on tonight.

The Philadelphia Eagles are sitting in control in the NFC East after a harrowing win over the New York Giants last week in Week 6, and tonight their prime-time clash with the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte should be an exciting match up.

The way the Eagles defeated the Giants last Monday night was a convincing one, a 27-7 win. New York had started off well, but then Philadelphia just dug in and scored 27 unanswered points. It wasn’t a game of powerful offenses as neither played well. Both teams combined to commit seven turnovers, but the deciding factor became Philadelphia’s defense, which simply outperformed the opposition’s.

Following their big win, Philadelphia made it to the top of the NFC East. Now they have a 3-3 record and a 1-2 divisional record. They started the season off though with two tough losses, so since, Coach Chip Kelly and his Eagles worked hard to salvage their season in a weaker division. Four games into their season, Philly were 1-3 and many though that Kelly would be fired. Many were speculating and getting ahead of themselves about which college program Kelly might head next year after getting the boot in Philadelphia. But he pulled off two straight wins, and now sitting atop the NFC East the view is very different. Even with their offense struggling in its first four games, sine they have averaged 472 yards in its last two games, compared to only 294 yards in its first four.

The NFC East is a weaker division in the league but it’s tight, with only New York boasting a 3-3 record. Dallas has one less win following their bye week. The Washington Redskins are right at the bottom of the division, but they are not too far behind, with a 2-4 record.

Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers are hot and firing on all cylinders with a perfect 5-0 record. They are undefeated, with a late 27-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. It was an exciting game in which Carolina actually trailed by three points late in the game. But the Seahawks made some errors and blew coverage and left Greg Olsen wide-open in the end zone, who caught a hot 26-yard pass for the go-ahead score.

Carolina is in elite company in the NFL, as only five other teams are undefeated through the first part of the 2015 regular season. The Panthers will try to avoid a loss following their big win, because the Atlanta Falcons are chasing them and not far behind in the NFC South with a strong 5-1 record.

Basically the Eagles are finally now looking like the team experts and fans expected them to be to open the season, instead of the fumbling losers they were. And they are doing it as a team, not relying on the play of one player, that being quarterback Sam Bradford who has not played well, he tossed three interceptions against the Giants and is second in the league in interceptions, over all with nine! On top of that, Bradford doesn’t know what exactly is plaguing him:

“If I knew, I would stop throwing them,” Bradford said about the interceptions he threw, after beating the Giants. “It is something that I never really had a problem with in my career. I have never thrown a lot of interceptions, so this is kind of new to me.”

On the flipside, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, has looked like an M.V.P. contender lately, especially after leading his team to victory in Seattle last week. He orchestrated two late drives after trailing by 20-7 to come back and beat them. He’s also doing it with no-name players and receivers the average NFL fan probably has never heard of, outside of tight end Greg Olsen. So he’s seriously towing the line for the Panthers.

So it can be said that the Eagles are shaping up to be the contender that is expected of them winning two straight games by at least 20 points. But still, their offense continues to struggle, and against Carolina it’s not going to get any easier against the NFL’s No.5-ranked defense. Carolina has a great record going, it’ won nine consecutive regular-season games going back to last year, and that’s why we think they’ll be able to take care of business at home tonight against an unpredictable Philadelphia team.

Carolina over Philadelphia, 28-17