Panthers predictions: How Week 5 against the Eagles will unfold

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The Carolina Panthers didn’t fare too well in their second straight game in the Lone Star State last week. A Texas two-step nor a 4-0 record were in the cards, as they dropped their Week 4 battle with the Dallas Cowboys, 36-28.

Well, at least we did a little better in our outing. Although our predictions for the matchup broke even, but we did keep our percentage at a respectable 52.5 in the green.

Let’s try to up it a bit against the Philadelphia Eagles, shall we?

The Panthers score on their first drive

Philadelphia has given up opening-drive touchdowns in each of the past two games, one to Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliot and the other to Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Carolina may or may not reach that end zone, as they’ll try to settle in without star Christian McCaffrey again, but they’ll put some kind of points up.

The Eagles don’t score on theirs

Dallas really rained on Carolina’s defensive parade last week, including hitting them up for their first first-quarter touchdown this season. But the Eagles are far from what the Cowboys are on offense. The Panthers, as they often have in 2021, turn the opposition away early.

Panthers run defense allows less than 80 yards

Part of that stoutness will be courtesy of a revived rush defense. A slew of injuries and straight up poor tackling gave way to 245 rushing yards for Dallas last week. The Panthers, led by a disruptive Derrick Brown, get back to form and keep the Eagles under 80.

Brian Burns finishes with at least two sacks

The Eagles will be without both Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks. Brian Burns takes advantage while one of the league’s top right-side duos go absent on Sunday.

Sam Darnold doesn’t finish with a rushing TD

Darnold currently leads the league in rushing touchdowns. (Bet you didn’t think you’d be reading that at any point.) He won’t, however, sniff out No. 6 this week through a tough Philly interior.

Darnold doesn’t finish with 300 passing yards either

Darnold, along with Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, also leads the league in 300-yard passing games through four weeks. But this Eagles seventh-ranked pass defense is kinda stingy, not even letting Prescott (238) or Patrick Mahomes (278) to get to that mark.

But he does help DJ Moore hit 100 yards

Moore will be facing his toughest one-on-one matchup yet with cornerback Darius Slay awaiting him. DJ, though, is getting his week in and week out. He sees a healthy amount of targets (at least 11) and makes do with at least 100 receiving yards.

Zane Gonzalez hits on all of his tries

This past week, head coach Matt Rhule was more critical of the special teams’ failure to produce adequate blocking than Gonzalez’s kicking itself. Zane reciprocates the kind words and converts in all his attempts, going two-of-two on field goals and three-of-three on extra points.

Brady Christensen plays most at LT

Rhule also said the void at left tackle caused by the injury to Cameron Erving will be filled by Christensen and/or Trent Scott. The fans get their wish and the Panthers see what they have in their 2021 third-round pick. The rookie sees the most action on the blindside.

Panthers win

Philly will keep this closer than some may think. They might’ve lost three in a row, but there’s no shame to falling to San Francisco, Kansas City and Dallas. Ask the Panthers.

Anyway, Carolina wins 27-20.

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