There are no brighter lights than during Monday Night Football. The Philadelphia Eagles will be on a national stage when they take on the Carolina Panthers later tonight. Before the season, this game was supposed to feature two explosive quarterbacks with high expectations. The Carolina Panthers have struggled to win close games resulting in a 2-8 record. Meanwhile we all know the story with the Eagles. Turnovers, injuries, and a lack of effort have plagued their season leading to their lackluster 3-7 record. The Eagles know their playoff dreams are over, so they are beginning to look to the future. Michael Vick will sit out his second game due to a concussion. Vick likely could have been rushed back for the game tonight had the season not been a disaster. So instead, Nick Foles will get another opportunity to show his talents. That is a daunting task considering the offensive line has played so poorly. Hopefully Foles will be able to set up protections better and make his reads slightly quicker in his second start. Rookie Bryce Brown will start at tailback behind the rookie quarterback. LeSean McCoy is out with a concussion. Brown was the number one recruit out of high school, but a rocky college career let him slide into the seventh round. Despite his low draft status the Eagles are anxious to see if he can return to his elite status. What better opportunity than to let the young guys play since the season has lost its promise.
Expectations for the game tonight are mixed. The Eagles are home underdogs to the Panthers. Think about that, the public has lost so much confidence in the Eagles that a team with a worse record is favored to beat the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. How things have changed from potential dynast to playing a game for last place in the NFC. The home crowd will be incredibly hostile to the home team, with some fans even covering their faces with paper bags. The Panthers will see the Eagles as wounded and be smelling blood in the water. Cam Newton will be desperate to have a big game on a national stage to silence his critics. He will force a couple passes he shouldn't and struggle to move the ball against the bird's defense. The same can be expected from Nick Foles. The rookie will be under constant pressure and likely make mistakes as well. The key for the Eagles in the game will be running the football. If Bryce Brown can get going, he will take pressure off of the pass rush and in turn Nick Foles. The game will be cold and low scoring I expect.
Prediction: Panthers 21, Eagles 20. Will the Eagles be able to stop a late drive by Cam Newton? Unfortunately, no.
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