Week 6 Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Carolina Panthers
- QuarterbackThe Eagles are clearly on the right path as far as their offense and quarterback plays is concerned. Carson Wentz is still in the learning process as he approached the midpoint of his second year, but he has already learned many of the nuances of the position, including looking off defenders and finding secondary receivers. Sharp and accurate on his short- and medium-range passes.The Panthers have picked it up quite a bit after their offensive capabilities looked limited in the early part of the season. Cam Newton has upgraded his production after a slow start, and he is hitting big throws after struggling with consistency and accuracy. Newton continues to struggle with off-the-field issues following controversial remarks about women reporters.
- OffenseThe Eagles have displayed excellent balance on offense through the early part of the season, and former Patriot LeGarrette Blount gives the team more toughness than it has had in the past. He is perhaps the premier short-yardage runner in the league. Alshon Jeffery has been an excellent fit as a No. 1 receiver, while TE Zach Ertz continues to get the job done on third downs.The Panthers drafted one of the most athletic and versatile performers in the league in rookie Christian McCaffrey. The team has not taken full advantage of his speed and skill to this point, but once it does, the Panthers will be a more dangerous team. Veteran Jonathan Stewart is a hard-nosed running back, while Devin Funchess is an improving receiver.
- DefenseThe Eagles have some work to do on defense, but the unit is improving and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is developing an aggressive group. Defensive end Brandon Graham has demonstrated that he can get around the edge and pressure the quarterback, while OLB Nigel Bradham has the talent to go sideline-to-sideline to make big plays.The defense still writes the script as far as the Panthers are concerned, and that unit has held up its end of the bargain again this season. There’s little doubt that Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis continue to dominate as one of the best LB duos in the league, while veteran defensive end Julius Peppers remains a game-changing pass rusher. Kawann Short is a run-stopping force on the defensive line.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles have taken quite a bit of pride in their special teams over the years and rookie PK Jake Elliott is off to a remarkable start and looks sensational. Donnie Jones does places the ball well and giving his coverage team a chance to make plays.The Panthers are doing a better job with their coverage teams this season, and the presence of McCaffrey gives them a big-time threat in the return game. Veteran PK Graham Gano has proven that he can hit pressure kicks.
The Eagles appear to be a team that continues to develop. However, going on the road against a hard-hitting defense is a lot to ask. If the Panthers don’t hurt themselves with turnovers, they should find a way to record a home victory.