The previously unbeaten Carolina Panthers came back down to earth on Sunday after losing to the Cowboys 36-28. The Panthers’ defense, which hadn’t given up more than 14-points in a game in 2021, looked very vulnerable against Dak Prescott and company. This game was the Panthers’ first big defensive test of the season after playing the Jets, Texans, and Giants, and it’s fair to say they did not earn a passing grade.
Now the Panthers look ahead to Week 5 and a Philadelphia Eagles team that needs a win. According to NFL betting lines from BetMGM, the line for the Eagles at Panthers is Panthers (-3).
Can Sam Darnold get Carolina back on track against the Eagles at home, or will Philadelphia get a much-needed win on the road? Read on to find out more about this pivotal Week 5 NFC matchup.
The Eagles Pass Defense Played Uncharacteristically in Week 4
The 1-3 Eagles are coming off a 42-30 loss to the Chiefs in which Jalen Hurts played admirably. The Eagles defense, however, couldn’t figure out how to slow down Tyreek Hill.
Hill scored three touchdowns and racked up 186 yards on 11 catches. The Eagles came into Week 4 allowing only 181.7 passing yards per game, a mark that Hill surpassed on his own. Will the Eagles stop Sam Darnold in Week 5, or did the Chiefs expose Philadelphia’s pass defense?
Kansas City can make any defense look bad, so the Eagles might not be too concerned about this outlier game for the pass defense.
Philadelphia may be concerned, however, about their run defense. The Eagles gave up 7th most rush yards per game coming into Week 4, then gave up over 200 yards against Kansas City. Carolina certainly has the talent to take advantage of the Eagles’ run defense.
The Panthers Should Be Able To Exploit the Eagles Run Defense
While the Panthers’ defense failed to stop the Cowboys in Week 4, the offense couldn’t keep up with Dallas without Carolina’s best player, Christian McCaffrey. Backup running back Chuba Hubbard filled in on Sunday, running for 57 yards on 13 carries. With 4.3 yards-per-carry, Carolina needs to get the ball to him more than 13 times against Philadelphia.
The Panthers’ offense runs through McCaffrey, so expectations need to be tempered for this offense until he returns. However, with Hubbard carrying the ball, the Panthers have to think they can exploit the Eagles’ run defense. Can the Panthers’ defense play like it did the first three games?
Looking at the Lines for Eagles at Panthers
When going through the NFL Week 5 lines, the three-and-a-half point spread for this game looks interesting. Carolina is returning home, and they could get their best player back on the field. On the other hand, the Eagles struggle to stop the run, and that’s what Carolina does best.
I think it’s worth waiting to bet on this game until the Panthers provide some more clarity on McCaffrey’s status for Week 5.
Do you think Philly can get a much-needed victory in Week 5, or do you think the Panthers will come out ready to prove that last week’s loss was a fluke? If you’re looking for a Pennsylvania sports betting site that offers the security and ease-of-use bettors deserve, sign up for BetMGM today.