Riding the high of a 34-7 blowout victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the Eagles will have to get up for their second game in just 5 days. The Eagles will travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers in a Thursday Night Football game featuring two 4-1 teams atop the NFC. Here is the crew’s predictions for the game.
Tyler Edgerton (4-1)
When examining this game, everything is in the Panthers favor. Cam Newton is rolling. The Panthers are the home team. The Eagles will be without Lane Johnson (and we know how that went last year). What both these 4-1 teams have done well during their respective winning streaks is jump out to a lead on their opponents, and wear them down in the second half. The Eagles and Panthers rank 1&2 in 3rd down efficiency AND time of possession this year in the NFL. So where do the Eagles have an advantage? Turnovers.
Philadelphia has a +2 turnover margin good enough for top 10 on the short season, while Carolina ranks 28th (-4). That said, the size and physicality of the Panthers WRs on the outside pose a serious threat. However, if the secondary forces Cam and the offense to become one-dimensional like they have to opponents all year, the defensive front will feast on Newton. Something about the way Wentz has taken control of the offense in year two leads me to believe he’s going to get it done in a tough spot. Eagles storm back and do just enough to squeak by Carolina en route to 5-1.
Final Prediction: Eagles 19, Panthers 17
John Purificato (5-0)
The Eagles had the most impressive team win of the season, thrashing the Cardinals in all fascist of the game but it came at a cost. The Eagles will be without Lane Johnson, as they head down to play the 4-1 Panthers. The Panthers are playing their best football due to Cam Newton going back to his 2015 MVP form. The Panthers have a lot of weapons. Christian McCaffery is still carving out his role in the offense, but Devon Funchess is an emerging WR who has 3 TDs in the last 2 games to go alongside Kelvin Benjamin.
On defense, the Panthers are a team that will stuff the run, and forces the opponent to beat them through the air. This game is a hard one to predict. The Eagles are playing so well, and Fletcher Cox is most likely making his return after 2 weeks on the bench. This will be a fight between two good football teams. However, with the loss of Lane Johnson, the short week, and playing away from the Linc, I think the Eagles come back to earth, and lose a close game with the Panthers scoring a late touchdown to widen the final score margin.
Final Prediction: Eagles 22, Panthers 31
Brett Santos (0-5)
The Panthers have played great football this season behind a rejuvenated Cam Newton. It has been mostly the air attack for the Panthers that has propelled them to a 4-1 record. This will be a very different test compared to last week where the Eagles will go against the big-bodied receivers of Carolina, a great dual-threat running back in rookie Christian McCaffery, and a tight end in Ed Dickson that just gashed the Lions for 175 yards. This is the most talented offense the Eagles have faced yet and will be a huge test for the defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Panthers defense has been fairly inconsistent. After giving up a total of six points in their first two games, the Panthers defense has allowed 24 or more points in the last three contests. The Eagles have potential to once again explode on offense and score a lot of points which they will have to do if they want to win this game. After two big weeks running the football, Lagarette Blount will see his fair share of carries again, and the Eagles will roll with his momentum and have another good game. Nelson Agholor is looking as confident as he ever which will also carry over to this game. If Wentz throws the ball the way he did against a solid Arizona secondary, I believe the Eagles will pull this game out in a high scoring affair.
Final Prediction: Eagles 35, Panthers 24
Matthew Scott (4-1)
After a solid 4-1 start, the Eagles are in a much better position to win then they were last season. In Carson Wentz’s second season he is progressing mightily and is the bright spot of many on this Eagles team so far. That being said, after the good start, going in to play Carolina in the battle of 4-1 teams will be tough. My gut feeling on this game isn’t a good one. I believe the Eagles will have a tough time utilizing the run game after great offensive line play the last few weeks. I see Cam Newton having a big game and if the Eagles want to win they need to contain him. It will be a low scoring game but in the end, I’m going with the Panthers over the Eagles in a close one.
Final Prediction: Eagles 13, Panthers 17
Tylar Pomroy (3-2)
The electrifying win against Arizona took the Eagles full steam ahead towards becoming a threat throughout the league. Last week at the Linc was the first game of the season that the Eagles looked like the dominant side for the entire game. What neither team can truly prepare for is the extremely short amount of time each has been given for this mid-week matchup. Both the Eagles and Panthers won last Sunday but the short practice week is sure to show on both the offensive and defensive ends.
A win against Carolina will cement the Eagles as an NFC contender moving forward. Wentz has looked more and more accurate as each week goes by, and it seems as if Pederson is slowly learning from past play-calling mistakes. The defense, as injury-riddled as ever, has been so much better than anyone could have predicted but Carolina will be the true test of dominance. The Panthers can put on a show if they utilize rookie Christian McCaffrey – a running back that Nigel Bradham has been watching closely.
Final Prediction: Eagles 26, Panthers 23