Eagles vs Panthers Game Preview

Philly is hitting the road with a matchup against the Panthers after a 12 point home loss in a shootout with the Kansas Chiefs. The Panthers are coming off their first loss of the season in a disappointing effort against the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams will be looking to come away with a key win to keep footing in their own respective divisions.



Carolina Panthers Injury Report:

Carolina will be without tackle Cameron Erving (neck) and linebacker Shaquans Thompson (foot). All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) is doubtful, leaving him with a slight chance to play. Edge rusher Yet Gross-Matos (ankle) is questionable and a likely game-time decision. Newly acquired corner Stephon Gilmore is still on the PUP list and also ineligible to return to action.


Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report:

There was some good news for the Eagles, as breakout star offensive tackle Jordan Mailata will play, but that was followed by some bad news as All-Pro tackle Lane Johnson was ruled out due to personal matters. Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Jason Kelce and Quez Watkins were listed on the injury report, but they were all full participants and their status for Sunday afternoon is not in doubt.


Key Matchups


Defense:

  • Darius Slay & Steven Nelson vs DJ Moore

  • Josh Sweat vs Taylor Moton

  • Javon Hargrave vs Matt Paradis

Gannon and the defense have allowed 76 points in the last two weeks, which is not a recipe for success. The biggest storyline is the inability for Fletcher Cox to find success in the Eagles new 3-4 defensive scheme. Cox is the best player on the Eagles roster, but he has had the worst start to his career. However, Javon Hargrave has put together an elite campaign in 2021, and if he starts to draw more double teams, that could free up Cox for more favorable matchups. The Eagles defense has played extremely conservative through the first few weeks of the season, which has really hurt them in recent weeks. This week will be the ultimate test to see if Gannon can respond against an experienced offense. On the back end, DJ Moore has emerged as one of the best receivers in the game. Moore is an extremely efficient route runner with great hands, but his run after the catch can terrorize a defense. Joe Brady moves DJ Moore all over the field, so it is up to Gannon to adjust and make changes to limit the Panthers best weapon on offense if McCaffrey is inactive.


Offense:

  • DeVonta Smith vs CJ Henderson and Donte Jackson

  • Jordan Mailata vs Brian Burns

  • Andre Dillard vs Haason Reddick

Jordan Mailata will be back, which is spectacular news for Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni, but he will be playing at right tackle, apposed to his usual left tackle role. The main reason that Mailata is likely playing on the opposite side of the line is so that the Eagles can get their five best lineman on the field, and Mailata has the ability to play multiple positions, allowing guys like Andre Dillard play their natural position. Jack Driscoll shut down All-Pro pass rusher Chris Jones last week, but they likely feel more comfortable with him playing right guard rather than Nate Herbig starting at that position. Last week, the Panthers defense got gashed by Zeke and the Cowboys, but we have yet to see Sirianni keep it on the ground. With the revamped offensive line, we could see the Eagles run the ball to keep the defense honest, and that would be extremely helpful in the red zone. If this young offense can get the ball to their playmakers when the field shortens, this offense could really find their stride. CJ Henderson and Donte Jackson will likely take turns trying to contain DeVonta Smith, and we may start to see some double teams if Jackson and Henderson struggle against Smith. If the Panthers double team Smith, that allows for guys like Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor to have one-on-one routes downfield, which could lead to a lot of deep shots. However, this depends on how the Panthers try to attack Hurts.




For extensive and in-depth coverage of the Eagles all season long, make sure to check out phillysportstoday.net and check out our twitter, @PHISportsToday. For more of LJ, follow his twitter @lj_nesler.

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