Match date: 13 Oct 2017
| Sport: NFL
| Competition: NFL Football
| Stake: 8/10
| Pick: Carolina -3.5
| Match result:
23-28 - Lost
Carolina have started the season well, winning 4 of their 5 games. So far they have won 23-3 at San Francisco (0-5), won 9-3 at home over Buffalo (3-2), lost 34-13 at home to New Orleans (2-2), won 33-30 at New England (3-2) and won 27-24 at Detroit (3-2). Their quarterback Newton has been impressive in his last two games, as he threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns (and one interception) against New England and threw for 355 yards and 3 TDs against Detroit. Like him to do well here once again, as the Eagles secondary has allowed some yardage and TDs. Philadelphia allowed 240 yards and 1 TD at Washington (and got one interception); allowed 251 yards and 1 TD at Kansas; allowed 366 yards and 3 TDs to winless NY Giants (but got two interceptions); allowed 347 yards and 2 TDs to the LA Chargers an and allowed 291 yards and 1 TD to Arizona.
Now they face another good QB which is going to make it difficult for them to stop him, as he has the ability to use his feet to extend the play. Expect Newton to get another 300+ yards and 3 TDs here, as the running game is going to have some problems breaching the Eagles defensive line, as they have only once allowed 100+ rushing yards in their game (and that is to Kansas who got 112 yards). Both Buffalo and Detroit who have good rush defences limited Carolina to under 100 yards in their respective games, so it is through the air that Carolina will look to score points
Philadelphia have also gone 4-1 to start the season as they won 30-17 at Washington (2-2); lost 27-20 at Kansas (5-0); won 27-24 over the New York Giants (0-5); won 26-24 at the LA Chargers (1-4) and won 34-7 over Arizona (2-3). Their QB Wentz has also done well, as he has 10 TDs and just 3 interceptions so far based on a 62% completion rate. Wentz threw for 307 yards and 2 TDs (and one interception) against Washington; threw for 333 yards and 2 TDs (and one interception) at Kansas; threw for 176 yards and 1 TD against the NY Giants, as the rushing game had 193 yards and 2 TDs; threw for 242 yards and 1 TD against the LA Chargers as once again they balanced their offence with 214 rushing yards and 1 TD; and then threw for 304 yards and 4 TDs (and one interception) against Arizona.
However he faces a pretty solid Carolina secondary that has contained their opponents. They limited San Francisco to 193 passing yards and got one interception) and allowed just 125 passing yards to Buffalo - both teams are run first teams. However against New Orleans, they limited QB Brees to 220 yards and 3 TDs; allowed 307 passing yards and 2 TDs to Brady and the New England Patriots; and allowed 229 yards and 2 TDs to Detroit. So in their last three games, against some very good QBs, they have averaged 252 passing yards which is pretty good, though they have given up 7 TDs.
Of the teams the Eagles have played, only Washington (where they got only 58 rushing yards) and Kansas (where they got 107 yards) are considered to be teams that can stop the run - the other three teams have problems in stopping the run. Besides New Orleans who ran for 149 yards and 1 TD, all of the other four teams that Carolina have played against have ran for 80 yards or less. Like Carolina to limit the Eagles run game to less than 100 yards.
With both team expected to be able to stop the run of the opposing team, then it will come down to the play of the quarterbacks. The Philly secondary is suspect and believe that Newton has the ability here to make some plays where he can drive deep into the Eagles territory. Carolina's secondary has done well against some very good QBs, and while Wentz too will make some plays, believe that Newton will come out of this better of the two. With Fletcher Cox looking unlikely to play, then Philly are missing an important part of their defensive line to put pressure on Newton, while the absence of Lane Johnson, the right tackle for the Eagles, means that Carolina defensive ends Peppers and Johnson have more opportunities to get to Wentz