This is not the game the NFL universe expected when the league schedule came out last April. A late November showdown on Monday Night Football between two teams with exciting quarterbacks and big expectations? Sounds great. Unfortunately, that's not how things have played out for the Eagles and Carolina Panthers, who have both fallen victim to a disappointing first 10 games of the 2012 season. The Eagles have lost six straight games and sit 3-7, while the Panthers have fared even worse at 2-8. Still, both teams press on with a chance to help turn around the narrative of their seasons. There are still six games remaining and with much still on the line, both teams will be ready to battle it out in primetime.
Last Time They Met:
September 13, 2009 – Eagles 30, Panthers 10
Game Recap: In the 2009 season opener, the Eagles thoroughly stomped the Panthers thanks to an 85-yard
|Tale Of The Tape (2012 Stats)|
|Points Scored Per Game||18.4 (27th in NFL)||16.2 (31)|
|Total Yards Per Game||334.0 (22)||361.7 (14)|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||107.9 (16)||121.6 (11)|
|Passing Yards Per Game||226.1 (18)||240.1 (15)|
|Points Allowed Per Game||24.3 (22)||25.2 (24)|
|Total Yards Allowed Per Game||350.7 (19)||340.3 (12)|
|Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game||118.4 (20)||118.3 (19)|
|Passing Yards Allowed Per Game||232.3 (17)||222.0 (13)|
|Turnover Ratio||-3 (T-18)||-14 (31)|
QB Nick Foles vs. Panthers Secondary
Rookie quarterback Nick Foles started his first NFL game last Sunday, and the results were less than ideal. Foles never had time to get comfortable behind a shaky offensive line, and his numbers tell the rest of the story. In his first start, the rookie went 21-of-46 for 204 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Foles will no doubt be looking to put that game behind him and showcase his skill on a national stage.
Through 10 games, only three teams have thrown for more than 250 yards against the Panthers - Josh Freeman of the Buccaneers did it twice. The Carolina secondary is ranked 17th against the pass, averaging just over 232 yards per game through the air. Foles has shown flashes, however brief, of the talent that earned him the Eagles’ backup job in the preseason. Now that he could start his second game, it’s up to Foles to elevate his game against a susceptible pass defense.
Eagles Front Seven vs. Panthers Running Game
Over the past few seasons, the Panthers have been known for their multi-headed running game. Running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have each enjoyed 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the Panthers. In fact, they each achieved that feat in 2009. And with the added threat of a mobile quarterback in Cam Newton, it seemed like the Panthers could become the most feared running team in the league.
In Newton’s rookie year, they were certainly close. The Panthers ranked second in rushing offense, thanks in large part to Williams and Stewart’s combined 1,597 yards and 11 touchdowns. But this year, those numbers have fallen off significantly. Newton’s 391 yards on the ground lead the team, as do his four rushing touchdowns.
The Eagles are the only team in the league yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season. That trend could very well continue Monday, but the front seven must contain the elusive trio of runners. The Eagles had difficulty containing Griffin III and Redskins running back Alfred Morris last Sunday, allowing the duo to combine for 160 yards on the ground. It will be up to the Eagles’ front seven to stay disciplined and make plays when they arise.
Leading that charge will be linebacker