The Eagles are looking to put the “1” in “5-1” for the Carolina Panthers when the two teams clash later tonight and for a Philadelphia side who are hot on Defense and cold Offensively, there will be a few players who will need to kick it up a notch if this team are to defeat the undefeated Here are our top three Eagles players to watch out for in Sunday Night Football.
Matthews has been disappointing this season and he knows it. From his tipped Interception against the Falcons to the fumble on Monday Night, the second year receiver is almost showing teething problems a year late. Catching 36 of 56 targets but making some crucial drops along the way, Matthews is still seen as the Eagles number one receiver which is a worrying sign. We have already spoken about how Bradford needs to evaluate every option before throwing the ball which as of right now often finds its way to his first read..Jordan Matthews.
The Panthers have been very good against the pass this year with guys like Josh Norman making the Secondary a minefield. This is a game where Sam Bradford is going to need all the help he can get and the heads will turn towards Matthews to lead the charge. But after some tough yards against the Giants and signs of improvement beginning to show, this may be the game where Matthews finally takes off. Coverage will be tight and this could prove to be the toughest Defense the team have played all season, but this is a player who is not only aware of his flaws, but working intensely to correct them. Tonight could be the night Jordan Matthews finally regains confidence and has a game reminiscent of his 2014 form.
If Bradford is going to throw to Matthews more than any other receiver by quite some way then Matthews has to make plays and he simply hasn’t done that this season. A big game is needed now more than ever, especially with Agholor missing, Cooper questionable and a probable Josh Huff. The Eagles need to find a consistent receiver and a few more games like Monday could see someone like Josh Huff take on a much more prominent role.
The former Legion of Boom member has had a rollercoaster season so far. Some good plays have attracted praise whilst a burnout against Julio and a first Quarter mismatch against Odell Beckham JR have left Maxwell in purgatory with analysts still unsure if he is worth the hefty price tag.
The good news is that after some adjustments on Monday, Maxwell looked much better and his man to man coverage is some of the best the Eagles Secondary has seen for a while. Even better news is that other than Ginn and Olsen, every other Panthers receiver has under 100 receiving yards on the season. Maxwell is likely going to face number 2 & 3 receivers tonight which means that he has the best chance of asserting dominance since his arrival in Philadelphia.
The Eagles Secondary has emerged as one of the best in the league in the last few weeks and it will be down to Byron Maxwell to make sure that these inconsistent wideouts retain that reputation. A misstep here could end terribly for the Eagles corner but a dominant game, perhaps an interception and some big passes defensed? Well that could end in the game that highlights why Chip paid such a high price for the 27 year old.
There was going to be no other player at the top of this list was there? During his short stint in Philadelphia, Bradford has seen some incredible highs and concerning lows. Three picks against the Giants saw both analysts and fans alike begin to doubt Bradford’s ability to remain efficient through a full season..but tonight needs to be the game where that changes.
We know he can do it, we’ve seen him do it in both pre-season and regular-season games. Bradford has to take care of the ball, especially considering that the Panthers have picked up 8 interceptions already this season. This is a team that will be far more punishing than the Giants were on inconsistent or underthrown passes..
The former number one draft pick is fully aware of his errors as is Chip Kelly. Bradford looks more confident now than he did in game one and since that 50+pass performance against Atlanta, has come on leaps and bounds..there have been some bumps along the way but progress has been made. Tonight is the night all of the pieces need to come together.
As mentioned in our bold predictions article, the last time Bradford met an elite Defense, he threw 0 picks and led his team to their first win of the season. He now faces a Panthers Defense who have stopped Russell Wilson’s Seahawks along with four other teams this season. A large part of this teams success is going to fall on Sam Bradford tonight and a big game may see not only a convincing win, but reassurance for fans that he is the right man for this system and for this city.