Tonight the lowly Philadelphia Eagles will take on another underachieving team with the Cam Newton led Carolina Panthers facing them on Monday Night Football. Lincoln Financial Field will play host to what is not expected to be a very happy Eagles Nation. The Eagles will be looking to avoid they’re 7th straight loss and move to 4-7 on the year while the Panthers (and their head coach Ron Rivera…former Eagles linebackers coach from 1999-2003) are looking to get their 3rd victory of the season. Here is the HighPhive.net’s staff predictions on tonight’s game:
Let’s face it. The Eagles have no business winning a football game. They’re a team with more problems than most of us probably care to count. They’ve lost six straight and could very well go the rest of the season without winning a game (a scenario many fans would welcome, as it would surely make them the worst team in the NFC and possibly the NFL, which opens the door for a high draft pick). Speaking of draft picks, tonight’s game has a lot on the line in terms of 2013 draft position. At 3-7, the Eagles are just one game behind the Panthers for worst record in the NFC. A loss tonight would make both teams 3-8, with Carolina having the head-to-head tiebreaker. Because of that and because so many among us wish for this team to lose out and obtain the highest draft position possible, the Eagles will find a way to win this year’s NFC toilet bowl.
Philadelphia Eagles 16, Carolina Panthers 14
There’s no place like Monday Night Football to show off this embarrassment of an Eagles football team. Amidst the Jon Gruden in Philadelphia rumors, there is a game to be played. The Carolina Panthers come into Philadelphia having an equally bad season with a 2-8 record. Not many expected both teams to struggle to have a .500 season, but they are and it has been borderline unwatchable. The Panthers rank in the bottom half of the league against both the pass and run. I’m not sure the Eagles will be able to take advantage of Carolina’s deficiencies with a soon-to-be combined 3 starts between QB Nick Foles and RB Bryce Brown. If the Eagles continue to play undisciplined and tackle-free defense, Cam Newton can have a game similar to his success last season. Unfortunately for the Eagles, I see that happening.
Carolina Panthers 31, Philadelphia Eagles 24
The Eagles’ saving grace this week is that they’re playing a team that stinks as bad as they do. The Panthers, however, have kept most of their defeats close. In a game between struggling rookie and struggling sophomore, I’ll take the second year guy. I mean, this secondary is historically bad.
Carolina Panthers 27, Philadelphia Eagles 10
Tonight’s Monday Night Football game is reminiscent of when two nerds in school decide to meet in the parking lot after the last bell and duke it out over who gets to take the female president of the science club to prom. Colorful analogy, huh? Well, it’s relevant. The Eagles are like the big chubby nerd, the one who, by pure weight and size, should be able to pummel his scrawny, four-eyed opponent (the Panthers). However, the skinny geek is quick on his feet and may be able to duck and dodge a few punches, ultimately tiring out the beast and winning in a surprising upset. Either way, this match up won’t be that exciting, but everyone is still going to watch.
For both teams, this game is a must win, blah blah blah. Both coaches are on the hot seat, yada yada yada. Basically, what it comes down to is two disappointing teams, one who is a gross under-achiever (the Eagles) and one who is kind of who we thought they were (the Panthers). Cam Newton is undoubtedly in the throes of his sophomore slump, but it’s not entirely his fault. He has no protection, and no solid weapons on offense. What could save the Panthers is their running game, which they will have to focus on tonight if they hope to beat out the Eagles. If Cam is forced to try to win with his passing game, chances are, he won’t.
The Eagles on the other hand, are without star running back LeSean McCoy, and without starting quarterback Michael Vick. Rookie QB Nick Foles isn’t necessarily the second coming on Joe Montana, but I still think he is doing a decent job; as decent as anybody could behind that makeshift O-Line and horrendous offensive scheme. (By the way, did anyone notice the audible he called last week against the ‘Skins? Not too shabby). Bryce Brown isn’t a bad running back either, and we’ve seen a few big time rushes from him this season. But it must be noted that he is a rookie who hasn’t started a game since 2009…in high school. What the offense is going to have to focus on is short, quick passes, and drive down the middle. The Panthers defense is pretty bad, but if the Eagles are pushed to the outside, there is a good chance they will be intercepted.
The Eagles defense far outshines the Panthers defense, on paper. But week after week the Wide-9 scheme has shown its flaws, and it will be up to the offense to win this game, on either side. Unfortunately.
Carolina Panthers 23, Philadelphia Eagles 21Tags: Bryce Brown, Carolina Panthers, Jon Gruden, LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, NFL, Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles, prediction, Ron Rivera