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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers Free Pick- 8/15/13

Carolina Panthers (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)

NFL Football: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm (Lincoln Financial Field)

The Line: Philadelphia Eagles -3.5 -- Over/Under: 43.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NFL Network

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers battle it out on Thursday as they play their week 2 NFL preseason game.

The Philadelphia Eagles offense looked to be in fine shape in their preseason opener against the Patriots but the Philly defense looked like they could use some work getting hit both through the air and on the ground. Michael Vick looked sharp playing as the starter at QB completing 4 of his 5 passes including a 47 yard TD pass but this week it will be Nick Foles starting after going 5 of 6 in game one. Matt Barkley and Dennis Dixon both saw plenty of action in week one and both should see less here but the Eagles have what are good problems at QB with more than enough talent to fill the available spots. LeSean McCoy wasn’t part of the equation in the backfield in week one as Mathew Tucker had 10 carries but Bryce Brown was effective averaging 4.4 yards per carry and catching two passes for 19 yards while Felix Jones averaged 3.9 yards per pop and Chris Polk didn’t impress in his four carries. Greg Salas, Clay Harbor, Jason Avant, and Nick Miller each had three catches but the best catch came on DeSean Jackson’s 47-yard catch from Vick for the Eagles first touchdown. Bradley Fletcher and Bennie Logan led the way for the Eagles defense with 5 tackles each but Patrick Chung and Casey Mathews had four tackle each as did Jake Knott while Chris McCoy had a sack and a half and Vinny Curry had a half of a sack with two tackles. The good news for the Eagles was they gained 452 yards on offense; the bad news was they allowed 442.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers Free Pick- 8/15/13

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are ready to take the next step and be a playoff team this season and if week one of the preseason was any indication they are going to have to play better. Cam Newton completed 50 percent of his passes but one was a three yard touchdown pass but Derek Anderson (53.3 % completions) and Jimmy Clausen (55.6% completions) weren’t much better. The Panther’s backfield is as talented as ever with DeAngelo Williams playing sparingly Kenjon Barner looked impressive averaging 4.1 yards per carry and catching two passes while Tauren Poole averaged just 2.9 yards per carry and caught a pass. Steve Smith caught a pass but it was really just for show as David Gettis had three catches to lead the Panthers and Armanti Edwards caught two passes. The Carolina defense had seven sacks led by Louis Nzegwu with two but Charles Johnson had one as did Chase Balckburn and Luke Keuchly had three tackles despite limited action. Thomas Davis had two tackles but the star for the Panthers was Josh Norman who had two tackles and two interceptions, one which he took 60 yards for a touchdown which was the difference in the game. The Panthers “D” allowed just 292 yards overall.

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We have a pretty decent match up here from a fans perspective as we have a stronger defense against a stronger offense and plenty of players who can contribute and who will get chances. I don’t personally play much preseason and this is one I will probably be staying away from but if you must getting better than a field goal here I am taking the points.

Carolina Panthers +3.5

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