Week 5 Quick Picks: Eagles at Panthers

Photo: Bill Dickinson, used via CC BY-NC 2.0

The Eagles didn’t look half as bad as expected against the Chiefs, but in the end, the better team won. This week, the Birds head to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers, a team some thought would be a weaker opponent that has instead gotten off to a 3-1 start.

How will the game unfold? Ask and ye shall be answered; last week was a draw, so John goes first again.

John (1-2-1): I thought I evened the Quick Picks score last week, but a garbage time TD from the Eagles negated my chance at victory. This week, there’s a good chance Nick Sirianni’s game plan could do the same for his team.

Why am I so negative? I have eyes and I can already hear the postgame chatter throughout Philadelphia. The Carolina Panthers defense has yielded the second-fewest passing yards in the NFL. They are, however, giving up a less-dominant 95.0 rushing yards per game this year.

The Eagles, however, have courteously abstained from the run so far this year. To win, they need to set Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell free. It’s enough to make me feel like Sanders is in the coach’s doghouse.

This is going to be an indication if Sirianni really can adapt to this opponent. Can he run the ball down another team’s throat? Will Jonathan Gannon right the ship and shut down a resurgent Sam Darnold?

It’s hard to say. If Christian McCaffrey plays, the specter of Ezekiel Elliot’s MNF dominance looms. As it is, the Eagles have a chance to be lit up by D.J. Moore and company. I can’t see this coaching staff pulling out this kind of road win…yet. Panthers 27, Eagles 24.

Offensive Standout: Whoever starts at running back for the Panthers

Defensive Standout: Haason Reddick

Joe (2-1-1): Hey, that’s cheating! You can’t just pick a position and say, “whoever that guy is.” That defies the spirit of the game! And I’m just more annoyed I didn’t do it first. Although, I did once pick a coach as my Defensive Standout, so.

Sam Darnold has resurrected his career in Carolina, which sounds a bit dramatic to say about a guy who was a top pick just three years ago, but the stench of being a Jet will do that to you. ‘Sup, Zach Wilson?

I’m starting to wonder if John is actually Miles Sanders’ agent with the way he keeps humping that “wHy dOnT tHe eAgLeS rUn tHe bAlL??” narrative, but he has a point. Jalen Hurts needs help if this offense is going to be successful against an actual NFL defense – which the Chiefs do not have – and I don’t mean in regards to the talent around him. I mean from his coaches: Nick Sirianni et al. need to put him in a position to succeed, and behind a second-string offensive line, that usually means handoffs and quick passes to avoid third-and-longs where the defensive line can pin its ears back and tee off on the quarterback.

I don’t have any faith in them to do it, either, and I think the defense is going to crack in the second half. A 10-7 halftime score ends up much more lopsided by the end. Panthers 27, Eagles 13.

Offensive Standout: D.J. Moore

Defensive Standout: Brian Burns

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