Panthers vs. Eagles: Defensive preview


Who will self-destruct first?

The Carolina Panthers defense (and the Eagles' offense, for that matter) is a ticking time bomb. Early in the game they look solid, and even appear to be a unit who can dominate their competition. As time goes on, and the game gets longer, they start to sag, their form gets lazy, and ultimately the levee breaks. This is a contest to see who self-destructs first, with the Eagles relying on Nick Foles to get them through.

X-Factor: Bryce Brown

With Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy out, the Eagles offense is decimated. Brown only has 32 rushing attempts this season, but he has run quite well in limited time. In order to take some of the pressure off Nick Foles, it's likely the Eagles will lean heavily on their running back, and provided they can get their play-action offense working, there's a chance the Panthers could be in trouble.

Ultimately the Panthers are relatively healthy, and the Eagles are reeling.

Edge: Panthers

Eagles pass offense vs. Panthers pass defense

Which Nick Foles will show up on Monday night? Here are his two stat lines when he played over the last two weeks.

WK OPP RESULT Passing Rushing Fumbles
Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost

10 DAL L 23-38 22 32 68.8 219 6.8 1 1 2 11 85.3 -- -- -- -- 1 1
11 @WAS L 6-31 21 46 45.7 204 4.4 0 2 4 27 40.5 1 0 0.0 0 3 0

He's unable to push the ball down field, but his week ten game against the Cowboys was solid, all things considered-- especially for a rookie. Moving the chains is what kills the Panthers, and he can do it. However, when it's all said and done this offense is bruised.

Edge: Panthers

Eagles run offense vs. Panthers run defense

This is more or less interchangeable with Bryce Brown, because the Eagles have no other running option. McCoy is out, Vick is out-- their two leading rushers will be unavailable. The Panthers have some luck, now they need to capitalize.

Edge: Panthers

Overall outlook

If the Carolina Panthers can't take advantage of a hobbled Eagles' team without Vick or McCoy, then they're more of a lost cause than we thought. This is a game they can, and should win-- even with their struggling personnel. On a national stage the Panthers should build confidence, but they always have an innate way to look foolish on national television.

Panthers 24 - Eagles 17

Season pick record: 7-3


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