Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Pick & Analysis
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Carolina Panthers (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS)
When: October 21, 2018, 4:25 PM EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
BY: Rick Wise
Point Spread: CAR +4.5/PHI -4.5
Takeaways From Week 6
Carolina fell to 3-2 and second place in the NFC South after a 23-17 loss to the Washington Redskins Sunday that saw the Panthers commit three turnovers on their first four drives. As a result, they fell behind 17-0 early on and came up just short of the comeback bid.
The Panthers need their running game back. Coming into the game, they led the NFL with 154 rushing yards per outing but somehow lost their way against the Skins. Cam Newton not only led the team with 43 rushing yards, he also had the most carries with 9. That’s not a good a trend (Newton’s led the team in rushing in 3 of their 5 games) for a variety of reasons, Newton’s health being chief among them. Moreover, Christian McCaffrey was drafted for this very reason and his three games with 10 or fewer carries is just misusing of a guy that could and should be shouldering the load on the ground.
Carolina finally found their way to the quarterback. Coming into the game with Washington, they’d only posted nine sacks. Mario Addison, Shaq Thompson and Julius Peppers combined to sack Alex Smith three times with six quarterback hits.
The Eagles, meanwhile, put an end to their two-game skid Thursday with a commanding 34-13 victory over the New York Giants in a game that featured Carson Wentz’s most sound performance of the season. He finished 26-of-36 for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The loss of running back Jay Ajayi to an ACL tear last week seemed to signal danger for the Philly ground game. But Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement combined to make it a non-issue. Smallwood carried 18 times for 51 yards while Clement had 43 yards on 11 carries. With Ajayi out for the season, a running back by committee situation like this one would be just what the doctor ordered.
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Sluggish offensive output had been a concern for the Eagles heading into the Giants game. They’d scored 23 points or less in each of their first five games, a number they surpassed in the first two quarters against New York.
These two have met 11 times dating back to 1996 and the Eagles lead the series 7-4. In the last 8 meetings going back to 2004, Philadelphia has had the upper hand 5-3.
For Carolina, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game are WR Damiere Byrd (ankle), LB Jared Norris (toe), DE Marquis Haynes (undisclosed), LB Andre Smith (hamstring)
For Philadelphia, listed as questionable for Sunday are RB Darren Sproles hamstring), DT Haloti Ngata (calf), S Corey Graham (hamstring), and LB Natha Gerry (ankle)
When the Panthers Have the Ball
It’s of paramount importance that Carolina get its running game back on track but it’s unlikely to happen against Philly, who bring the NFL’s 2nd-ranked rushing defense allowing just 79.8 yards a game on the ground. Considering the Birds sit on the opposite end of the spectrum against the pass, where they rank 23rd in the league in conceding 273 yards per contest, it should be a pass heavy day for Newton with upwards of 38 passing attempts.
When the Eagles Have the Ball
Carson Wentz is getting better each time out and that should continue against a middle of the road Panther defense that ranks 15th in the NFL against the pass. Carolina is equally average against the run, ranking 15th in the league at 102.4 yards per outing so look for Philly to employ a balanced attack until they figure out what works best against this unit.
- Carolina is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games
- The total has gone OVER in 9 of Carolina’s last 13 games
- Carolina is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
- Carolina is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Carolina’s last 6 games on the road
- Carolina is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Philadelphia
- Carolina is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing Philadelphia
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina’s last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
- Carolina is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
- Carolina is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
- Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
- Philadelphia is 18-5 SU in its last 23 games
- Philadelphia is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games at home
- Philadelphia is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Philadelphia’s last 8 games at home
- Philadelphia is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Carolina
- Philadelphia is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Carolina
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Philadelphia’s last 6 games when playing Carolina
- Philadelphia is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Carolina
- Philadelphia is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Carolina
The temperature for this one is expected to hit 50 degrees with 47 percent humidity under partly cloudy skies with 14 mph winds.
Rick Wise’s Pick
Things are getting critical for Carolina. Following the game against the Eagles, dates with the Ravens and Steelers are right around the corner so they can ill-afford to drop this one in addition to one or both of those matchups. They’ll come out fired up but the thing is, Wentz is getting close to hitting his stride and with Smallwood and Clement filling in nicely for an injured Jay Ajayi, this team is about to start looking like the team that just beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Look for the Eagles to cover and the points to go over.