The Eagles head to Carolina to face an undefeated Carolina Panthers team, featuring a nine game regular season win streak, the longest in team history and the longest active streak in the NFL.

They also are one of the top defensive units in the league, Carolina is tied for the NFL lead with a +6 turnover differential. The Panthers have totaled 11 takeaways (eight interceptions, three fumble recoveries) and five giveaways (four interceptions, one fumble lost). 

A lot of talk this week as centered around the defensive units, both of which are in the top 10 in the NFL in points allowed per game - the Eagles give up just 18.3 points per game, sixth in the league, Carolina gives up 18.8, seventh best in the NFL.

Under the direction of Head Coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles dominated the Panthers last year, 45-21 on a Monday Night, sacking Carolina QB Cam Newton nine times, while WR Jordan Matthews caught seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

Overall, Sunday’s contest marks the 10th overall meeting (including playoffs) between the two teams, with the Eagles leading the series, 6-3.  The Eagles are 2-1 against the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

(Listen on 97.3 ESPN, coverage starts at 7:30pm, Kickoff at 8:30pm)

 

Sal Pal’s Keys to the Game: 

Eagles’ inactives: QB Thad Lewis, LB Kiko Alonso, CB Denzel Rice, LB DeMeco Ryans, OL Tanner Hawkinson, and DE Brandon Bair.

Pantherss’ inactives:  LB Shaq Thompson, S Dean Marlowe, RB Brandon Wegher, DT Dwan Edwards, OT Daryl Williams, WR Kevin Norwood, and TE Scott Simonson

Outside View: Former Eagles and Panther Al Wallace, ESPN 730

Panther to Watch:  Cornerback Josh Norman vs. Sam Bradford – Norman was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in September and leads the league with four interceptions this season.  Bradford is tied for second in the league with nine picks and will be without Nelson Agholor and Riley Cooper could be limited with a sore knee.

Reaction:

This game as the makings of an ugly, defensive game, the Eagles have been struggling on offense against a very good Carolina defense, Carolina lacks explosion on offense against a very good Eagles defense.

One thing that could be a factor - penalties.

The Eagles rank 31st in the league with 60 penalties for 534 yards, meanwhile Carolina ranks second in the league, just 33 penalties for 246 yards.  The more discipline team might be the team that walks out with a win.

I am a believer in Carolina, I think they are a very solid defensive team and Cam Newton is playing very good football, but I also believe in the Eagles defense right now and think they keep the game close, get a key takeaway and end up with a hard fought ugly win.

The Pick: Eagles, 17,Panthers, 14

John McMullen's Take and pick: