Here's my game prediction as it appeared in this morning's Herald, as well as some others.
At varying points this offseason, this has been viewed as a matchup of two of the NFC’s top teams as well as a game between teams searching for direction.
Both sides have issues, that’s clear.
The Eagles are beaten up in their defensive front seven and their offensive line. The Panthers haven’t passed consistently in the preseason, and haven’t stopped much of anyone.
But none of that matters today.
Today, we should see a game between offenses that can go, each in their own way. The key’s going to be which team is able to fix the defense well enough, quickly enough to present a moderate obstacle.
For all the personnel issues, the Eagles are also dealing with the death of long-time defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, who lost a lengthy battle with cancer this summer. Call it a hunch, but if the Philly defenders are going to come out inspired early this season, it should be today as they remember their late boss.
Not sure how much defense it will take to win this game, but the thinking here is the Eagles will come up with just enough.
Prediction: Eagles 31, Panthers 27
(But wait, get this, the Philly writers are equally pessimistic, from the Daily News' esteemed Les Bowen)
I THINK there's a good chance the Eagles will be a better team than the Panthers by the end of the season. ... Nationally, I see a lot of people picking the Eagles to win. Am I just too close to these day-to-day struggles, or are they too far away?
Prediction: Panthers 33, Eagles 31.