The Panthers travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles as 5 point underdogs. The Panthers are 0-2 so far on the road and did not cover in either of those losses. One of those losses being their last game in Washington. The Panthers came back from an early 17-0 deficit but ultimately fell short in the end losing 23-17. The Eagles are coming off a big road division win against the Giants. The Eagles were in control early and cruised to a 34-3 win. This is the second year in a row that the Panthers have played the reigning Super Bowl Champions on the road. Last year they went into Foxboro as 8.5 point underdogs and won 33-30. I’m expecting the Panthers to win this game as well.
This line seems a bit inflated with the Eagles coming off a big win in a prime time spot. So far this year the Panthers are ranked higher than the Eagles in overall efficiency than the Eagles 11 to 17. Other than their last game against the Giants the Eagles have not looked good all year. I am not ready to say they have turned the corner back into the Super Bowl team they were last year. The Panthers have a better offense than the Eagles defense has seen all year. The Eagles defense should have a tough time dealing with the Panthers 3rd ranked rushing attack. Last week against the Giants Saquon Barkley had 3 plays for over 50 yards which were in all of the Giants scoring drives (2 FGs 1 TD). This week the Eagles face an even another tough task stopping Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton. This is the best running attack the Eagles have seen this year and they will have a tough time stopping it. The Eagles offense has struggled to move the ball for most of this year and that should continue here. The Panthers defense is not great by any means, ranked 21st in overall efficiency but they are the 3rd best defense the Eagles have seen this year. The other two defenses better were the Colts and Titans and the Eagles did not cover either game. The Panthers are projected to finish higher in defense than both of those teams as well. Also the Eagles are ranked 8th in total punts this year and the list of teams above them is not flattering.
The Eagles have been very confident following their last win with Wendell Smallwood telling the press “We’re back”. To me that seems like more complacency that the came into the season with. You aren’t ‘back’ after one game against a shitty team. You’re ‘back’ when you win the Super Bowl again. I don’t think professional athletes need bulletin board material to be motivated but I think the Panthers players will definitely be aware of it and looking to prove the Eagles wrong. The Eagles will get a boost from the home field advantage but I don’t think it will be enough here. I think the Panthers keep it within a field goal if not win outright.
Carolina Panthers +5