Before the start of the 2012 NFL season, the Week 12 Monday Night Football matchup was supposed to feature two of the most exciting quarterbacks in football. Instead, it will showcase two of the NFC’s biggest disappointments.
The Philadelphia Eagles will host the Carolina Panthers in a battle of the teams with the two worst records in the conference. The Eagles are the only team out of contention in the NFC East, while the Panthers are the only club in the NFC South without a chance of making the playoffs.
The struggles of each team can be traced back to the play of their quarterbacks.
Michael Vick will miss his second straight game with a concussion. Even without the injury, Vick may have been benched for the contest. He has more turnovers than touchdowns, and there have been calls to start backup Nick Foles in his place.
In two games, Foles hasn’t been much better. The rookie from Arizona has thrown one touchdown and three interceptions. He’s also fumbled the ball three times, leading the Eagles to a 25-point loss in his only start. It was Philadelphia’s worst defeat of the year.
Cam Newton is healthy, but taken multiple steps back in his sophomore season. After setting multiple rookie records in 2011, Newton is leading the Panthers straight towards a top-five draft pick. He also has more turnovers than touchdowns, and is the head of an offense that is 27th in the NFL in scoring.
If Newton can’t have success against the Eagles, it could be a long final six games for the signal caller. Philadelphia has allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for a 143.6 quarterback rating in the past four games.
The Eagles won’t be able to rely on their All-Pro running back. LeSean McCoy will be forced to sit with a concussion, as well. McCoy is in the top 10 in rushing yards. Head coach Andy Reid has been often criticized for underutilizing his star back, leading to Philadelphia’s offensive problems.
The game is set to kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. You can watch a free live stream online at espn3.com.
Betting Line: Carolina-3, 40.5
Prediction: With a rookie quarterback that wasn’t highly-touted coming out of college, the Eagles might be the worst team in the conference. Six of the Panthers losses have come by one score, and their last defeat came in overtime. Carolina has hung in most games, and should be able to pull out a victory against a team led by Nick Foles.
Predicted Score: Carolina 20, Philadelphia 13