Nick Foles will get the start for the Philadelphia Eagles as they host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 2 of the NFL preseason.
Last week Philadelphia got into a shootout with New England, losing 31-22. Foles went 4-for-4 for 43 yards, and incumbent starter Michael Vick completed four of his five passes for 94 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown strike to DeSean Jackson.
Seeking more help at the No. 2 receiver spot that would have been Riley Cooper’s, Greg Salas and Clay Harbor made some noise with each making three catches. Salas totaled 54 yards and a score, and Harbor had 47 yards.
The Eagle defense let up 442 yards of total offense, including 8.0 yards per rush, but most of that came from LeGarrette Blount’s 51 yard touchdown scamper. The Philly Inquirer pointed to holes in the Eagles front line, especially between linebacker Trent Cole and defensive end Fletcher Cox.
A knee injury kept top running back LeSean McCoy out against the Patriots, but he has since returned to practice and fans could finally see the versatile rusher in new head coach Chip Kelly’s schemes.
Oddly enough, what concerns Carolina this week is not Philadelphia’s plays, but the pace they set.
“They always try to hit you with something quick, gas you and when you get tired they try to do something different,” Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said to the Charlotte Observer. “They just try to keep doing the same ol’ plays until they wear you down, until your D-linemen get tired, you relax in the back end. Then they hit you with a home run.”
The Panthers put together a 24-17 victory over Chicago, though Cam Newton did not look like he worked much on his accuracy during the offseason. Newton went 3-for-6 for 16 yards, with one touchdown and one pick.
Rookie rusher Kenjon Barner, an early Heisman candidate at Oregon under Kelly last year and sixth round draft choice for Carolina, rushed for 37 yards and a score on nine touches. Another solid performance could help him steal some carries from DeAngelo Williams, though Barner will have to take better care of the ball after losing one of two Carolina fumbles.
Second-year cornerback Josh Norman negated those turnovers with two interceptions, including one returned 60 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. The Panthers had the 13th ranked pass defense last season, but could jump if Norman continues his solid play.
The game kicks-off at 7:30 p.m. ET and a live online stream is available by subscription on the NFL’s official site here.
Philadelphia can watch on WPVI-TV ABC 6, and the Carolina market can watch WCCB-TV CW 18.
Betting Odds: Philadelphia is favored by 3 points.
Over/Under: 43.5 points
Prediction: Philadelphia 31, Carolina 24