TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 12: Carolina Panthers At Philadelphia Eagles

Panthers
Eagles
Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
Quarterback
Winner Cam Newton has struggled throughout much of his second season, but he remains a supremely talented player. However, holding onto the ball has become an issue for Newton and it’s probably one of the key reasons behind his problems. Newton has thrown 10 interceptions and he has also fumbled the ball nine times.
Nick Foles has looked completely ineffective in relief of injured Mike Vick. Foles wants to stand in the pocket, find an open receiver and step in and throw the ball hard. The Eagles’ offensive line won’t allow him to play like that. They couldn’t protect Vick and they can’t protect Foles. He lacks accuracy and confidence. That’s not a winning combination.
Offense
The Panthers want to set the tone with their ground game. Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and Newton are supposed to give the Panthers a formidable ground attack, but they have been ordinary this season. Wide receiver Steve Smith is a warrior who will battle for everything thrown his way. Greg Olsen is a solid tight end who can go downfield and stretch the defense.
Winner Offensive line issues have plagued the Eagles all season. While they have often played out in big hits on Vick and Foles, they haven’t opened big holes for the LeSean McCoy in the running game. McCoy suffered a concussion in Week 11 and he may not be able to play. Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are solid threats who can go downfield and make plays.
Defense
The Panthers had the Bucs on the ropes in Week 11, but they allowed a late TD pass and 2-point conversion that allowed them to send the game into overtime. Head coach Ron Rivera admitted his defense got fatigued in the game. Rookie Luke Kuechly leads the team with 97 tackles. Defensive end Charles Johnson has 8.5 sacks and is difficult to block.
Winner The Eagles have done a decent job on defense, ranking 12th overall in yards allowed. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans has a team-leading 77 tackles and he is almost always in the right position. The Eagles are not getting enough from defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole, who have combined for 6.0 sacks.
Special Teams
Winner The Panthers have struggled badly in all aspects of special teams. Captain Munnerlyn has plenty of speed, but he is a substandard punt returner. He is averaging 5.1 yards per return this season. Justin Medlock has attempted 10 field goals this year and has made 7 of them.
The Eagles have had difficulty covering kickoffs and punts. They are allowing 13.5 yards per punt return and 27.0 yards per kickoff return. Alex Henery has been one of the few positives for the Eagles, having been successful on 17-of-18 FG attempts.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

This is one of the saddest Monday night games in recent memory. Andy Reid has no chance of turning this situation around and he will almost certainly be gone by the end of the season. Ron Rivera will find himself in the line of fire as knee-jerk owner Jerry Richardson will blame him for the Panthers’ poor season.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl LI Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

    The Patriots and Falcons meet in Houston in a battle of the league’s number 1 scoring offense and number 1 scoring defense.

  2. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

New Podcast Network
Get The All New CBS Local App
Get KDKA Text Alerts

Listen Live