Philadelphia and Carolina face off on Monday Night Football in a game that the Panthers desperately need and the Eagles will have a new starting quarterback. 4 weeks ago the Panthers were sitting at 3-2 and looking like a team that could surprise people much like it had done the year before. They then played the Bengals to a 37-37 tie and proceeded to lose their next 3 games in which the team combined to score 36 points. The offense lost both starting wide receivers in the offseason. Steve Smith has shined as The Ravens number one receiver and Brandon Lafell looks like he is the top outside receiver for Tom Brady in New England. The Panthers did not attempt to resign either player and it appears to be a poor personnel decision. They went up against a Saints team last week that is not having a strong season on defense and only managed to score 10 points in their 28-10 loss. After playing on Thursday night last week they will have had 10 days to prepare and rest up for this game. The Eagles on the other hands have been one of the best teams in the NFL from game 1. They find themselves at 6-2 with a commanding lead in the NFC East. After losing a close and competitive game to the Cardinals 2 weeks ago the Eagles rebounded with an all around team win over the Texans last week. Eagles starting quarterback Nick Foles was knocked out of the game after throwing a touchdown and an interception and replaced by Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was far from perfect and in typical Sanchez form he threw two interceptions, but he also threw two touchdowns while going 15-22 for 202 yards. He showed that he knows the offensive system and that he is capable of leading the team for however long that Foles is out. LeSean McCoy also continued his rebound from a slow start to the season with 24 carries for 217 yards.
The Eagles offense is fast paced and somewhat innovative in that regard, however the major misconception is that it is a passing offense that is built on long throws down the field. In fact it is a running offense that looks to create running lanes for its running backs with its multiple spread formations. The reemergence of McCoy and the return of veteran Darren Sproles will help boost the unit overall. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has had an All pro type season with 790 yards and 8 touchdowns already. He is moving into the elite receiver discussion.
The Panters will have a much better chance of improving if their overall health improves. Offensive lineman Byron Bell, Amini Silatolu and Trai Turner all missed last weeks game with various injuries and could return this week. The team will likely have its running back duo of Jonathan Stewart and Deangelo Williams together for the first time and that can only benefit the offense as a whole.
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