After seemingly getting back on track last Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, the Eagles will look to climb over the .500 mark when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. The Panthers, who are 1-4 all-time in regular season games played in Philadelphia, are looking for their first road victory of the season, and they will have their work cut out for them if they hope to get it. The Eagles are 17-4 at home, including the postseason, under Doug Pederson and look to avoid back-to-back home losses for the first time since late in the 2016 season.
Panthers at Eagles (-5), Over/Under 45
Everybody knows the Panthers want to run the ball, and they have been successful doing so this season. They come into this game with the NFL’s No. 4 rushing offense (139.4 yards per game) and averaging 5.0 yards per carry. That rushing attack will be tested this week when it goes up against an Eagles defense that’s allowing the NFL’s second-fewest rush yards per game (79.8). While Carolina doesn’t necessarily have a favorable matchup in the ground game, running back Christian McCaffrey figures to pose issues for an Eagles defense that is 20th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings. McCaffrey has amassed 349 yards rushing on 4.9 yards per carry, while also hauling in 34 catches for 238 yards. One other thing to keep an eye on—Jim Schwartz’s unit has been susceptible to allowing chunk plays in the passing game all season long, but Cam Newton enters this contest having only completed two passes that have traveled 20 yards or longer downfield. In fact, Newton is only averaging 6.5 yards per pass attempt, which is 25th in the NFL. The Eagles’ ability to control Carolina’s short to intermediate passing game will likely dictate its ability to get off the field on third downs. The Panthers offense is 21st in the NFL in third down conversion percentage (37.93%), while the Eagles defense has thrived on third downs, limiting opponents to only a 29.49% conversion rate.
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On the other side of the ball, Carson Wentz has been excellent since returning to the lineup in Week 4. He’s completing 68.4% of his passes, while throwing for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns against only one interception. He should have plenty of opportunities to make plays against what has been an inconsistent Carolina defense that has allowed a 65.34% completion percentage and 7.3 yards per pass attempt this season. The Philadelphia ground attack has been moderately successful despite a slew of injuries when Doug Peterson elects to run the football. The Eagles are No. 18 in the NFL in yards per rush (4.2), and No. 14 in yards per game (110.3), and they, too, have a favorable matchup against a Panthers defense that is allowing 4.6 yards per carry this season.
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