This week, Sunday Night Football pits the Philadelphia Eagles against the Carolina Panthers. Through six weeks of play, both teams have people raising their eyebrows, but for markedly different reasons. No one is really sure what to make of the 3-3 Eagles, who have looked both competent and terrible depending on what quarter it is. The 5-0 Panthers, on the other hand, remain undefeated and are trying to shake the notion that their record is a product of a soft schedule. The point spread is currently favoring the Panthers at -3.
Sunday Night Footall: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers
Point Spread: Panthers -3 Over/under: 46 Date: Sunday, October 25 8:30pm ET Location:Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Only the Eagles could make a 27-7 win against a division rival look terrible, but that’s what they did on Monday Night Football. They’ll have a tougher task against the Panthers, who rank fifth in overall defense and might be doomed from the start. Quarterback Sam Bradford hasn’t played well as of late and running back DeMarco Murray has been a big disappointment in Philadelphia. The +3 underdog Eagles need to establish the run game early against Carolina, or they don’t stand a chance.
Philadelphia’s defense is ranked 18th in the league and could have troubles containing Cam Newton. While the Panthers haven’t exactly impressed on offense, Newton is capable of having the type of game that gives defensive coordinators nightmares. For a team like the Eagles who are up and down from week to week, it could be a big game for receiver Kelvin Benjamin who’s back from injury and running back Johnathan Stewart.
Having a top five defense in the league will go a long way against Philadelphia, who has struggled to be consistent in all phases of the game. On top of that, Bradford has shown a penchant for turning the ball over, Murray has been a shadow of the running back he was in Dallas and their best receiver Riley Cooper is unlikely to play. With a ferocious front seven and a healthy Luke Kuechly back in at linebacker, -3 favorite Carolina will have no issue bottling up the Eagles offense.
An undefeated record might assume a high-flying offense, but Carolina’s attack is anything but. Newton is putting up passable numbers, but the Panthers have struggled without Benjamin in the line up. Carolina’s excellent defense has proven to be the Panthers best offense. Newton needs only to limit mistakes and take what the Eagles defense gives him. If he can find a few seams to gain some yards on the ground, it could open up the passing lanes to get on the same page with Benjamin.
Sunday Night Football Prediction
While the Panthers haven’t exactly been tested this season, they’re better than most in the league think. Their defense is only getting better and buying time for the offense to gel. Against the Eagles, they have enough fire power and ability to stifle whatever Philadelphia throws at them. The Eagles are simply too inconsistent from week-to-week and even play-to-play to pick to win against the Panthers on their home turf.