Eagles preparing for high-powered Carolina offense

One way to slow down the Panthers' Offense is to force turnovers.

Ed Benkin
October 19, 2018 - 10:07 pm
Eagles preparing for high-powered Carolina offense

Ed Benkin | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) —  Beating the struggling Giants was a step forward for the Eagles and their defense.  The challenge will be greater on Sunday against Carolina.

The Giants are sputtering on offense and Eli Manning looks like a quarterback whose best days are behind him.  It will be a different story this Sunday with Quarterback Cam Newton and Company.  

Carolina comes to town with a record of 3-2. When the Panthers are rolling, they have plenty of options on offense.  

Eagles Defensive Lineman Chris Long is well aware of the Panthers' firepower with the mobile Newton at the helm.

"It starts with Cam," said Long. "It starts with quarterback runs and their run game in general. They've got a lot of weapons. They play together and the run game I think is central. It's not just the running backs but the quarterback run game with Cam."

Newton has thrown for 1,158 yards and also picked up 208 yards on the ground. Devin Funchess has picked up 312 yards receiving. There is also Running Back Christian McCaffrey, who has a combined 587 yards from scrimmage. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is well aware of how dangerous McCaffrey can be as both a runner and receiver.

"He's definitely an explosive player," Pederson said. "Pound for pound, tough kid. You see him run between the tackles. You see him run off tackle. You see him line up in space. He runs routes. He's a misdirection guy. He can make the first guy miss and obviously stretch the field. Our work's cut out for us defensively to make sure we tackle and get him to the ground."

One way to slow down the Panthers' Offense is to force turnovers. Carolina coughed up the football three times in their loss to the Eagles last season. All three turnovers came on interceptions against Newton. If the Carolina quarterback is on his game, he can be a game-breaker with his arm and his legs. He is even more difficult to bring down in an era were rules designed to protect the quarterback are strictly enforced.     

"It's best suited not to try and hit him up in the shoulder area," said Long. "When it's really tough is when he's in the pocket with the rules and trying to tackle someone just as big as you. They're afforded a lot of breaks because they are quarterbacks, so it's tough."    

Rookie Avante Maddox watched plenty of games involving Newton from the comfort of his own home. On Sunday, the safety will have an opportunity to line up against Newton for the first time. Maddox will get a chance to see Newton up close and personal and Maddox knows he will tougher to bring down than the average quarterback.

"He has a big body," Maddox said. "I'm studying now on what type of moves he makes. I need to make sure I'll be ready so I can give myself a chance when I go up against him."