By Annie Ross
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz feels that preparation for the Kansas City Chiefs game in week 2 gives them an edge tonight in Carolina:
“In some ways it was good to have some of the Kansas City stuff that we had to prepare against,” Schwartz said. “It’s not the same offense, but there are some similarities as far as jet sweeps and shovel passes and things like that. Every short week there’s going to be challenges. I think that these would be challenges even if it was coming off a bye [week] or an extra day, if it was a Monday night game and you had an extra day, just happens to be a short week.”
The Eagles forced the Chiefs into arguably their second-worst offensive performance of the season this year, though that really isn’t something to write home about considering Kansas City still put up 344 total yards and 27 points.
Cam Newton is always worth watching, but especially over these last two weeks.
Since Week 4, he has been the league’s top-rated passer, according to NFL research. It feels like he’s over the loss of Greg Olsen and is forcing himself to trust — and highlight — the rangy, big-bodied receivers Carolina’s previous GM installed just for Newton. An example? Devin Funchess is catching more passes per game (4.8) than he has in each of his first two seasons. His yards per game has more than doubled from last year’s final average.
Eagle Carson Wentz is the best third-down quarterback in the league right now and the Panthers have the second-best third-down defense in the league. If we want tangible evidence of progress, let’s see how Wentz fares in the average third-and-8 situation against one of the best defenses in the league. Then, weâll start comparing his numbers to Newton.
The Eagles are starting to feature LeGarrette Blountmore as a clock-eater while the Panthers have been getting better at extending drives through the air.