The 3-1 Carolina Panthers will host the 1-3 Philadelphia Eagles in what should be a highly entertaining football game. The Panthers enter the matchup feeling the sting of their first loss of the season to the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles have lost three straight and are in desperate need of a win to turn things around.
You'll want to pay close attention to these three matchups:
Panthers' defensive line vs. Eagles' offensive line
The Panthers' defensive line has gotten off to a red hot start led by edge rushers Brian Burns and Haason Reddick. This could end up being the biggest mismatch of the game as the Eagles' offensive line has consistently struggled to give quarterback Jalen Hurts enough time to throw the ball from the pocket.
Hurts is most effective when he can get outside of the tackle box and extend plays with his legs. The Panthers deploy Burns and Reddick crashing down the edges most plays so it will be interesting to see adjustments for both teams as this game goes on. Hurts might be forced to step up and rely on his guards and center to protect him in order to make his throws.
Panthers' secondary vs. Eagles' skill players
Earlier this week Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow was asked about his primary concern facing the Eagles offense. "I'm sure they are going to try to take advantage of some things that Dallas did. They have really good skill players. They have two legit tight ends and their wideouts can really run. I coached against the quarterback in college and I know how athletic he is."
As Snow mentioned, the Eagles create a lot of mismatches running two tight end sets. This can create a lot of holes in the running game because they can be used as extra blockers. However, Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz are also exceptional pass-catchers which means the Panthers must account for them in the passing game as well. This could be a difficult task considering linebacker Shaq Thompson is out for this game with a foot injury.
Panthers' wide receivers vs. Eagles' cornerbacks
Darius Slay is the Eagles' best cornerback and should be matched up against wide receiver DJ Moore for most of the game. This would leave WR Robby Anderson up against CB Steven Nelson. We might finally see Sam Darnold lean on Anderson in this one because he has the easier matchup.
Losing TE Dan Arnold and RB Christian McCaffrey has forced Darnold to rely heavily on his talented wideouts. Moore has picked up the slack more often than not. Anderson or rookie Terrace Marshall Jr. needs to step up and give Darnold a reliable second target if the passing game is going to have success in this game.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page.