Expert Cappers Picks
National Football League
Preview
Carolina at Philadelphia
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 21, 2018
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers envision themselves as contenders in the NFC this season, and Sunday's game between the teams at Lincoln Financial Field should provide a good litmus test to see where each stands. Carson Wentz tossed three touchdown passes in last week's 34-13 win over the New York Giants and had the same total in a 28-23 victory over the Panthers last season.

Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson has no designs on looking past Carolina, a team that has qualified for the playoffs in four of the last five seasons and posted a quality win over Cincinnati in Week 3. "That was kind of the message last year," Pederson said. "It's going to have to be a complete game if we expect to win. Yeah, it's going to be a really good test for us to see where we are in Week 7." While the Eagles evened their record with a convincing road victory last week, the Panthers are looking for a statement win on Sunday after falling to 0-2 away from the Tar Heel State with a 23-17 setback against Washington last week. "That old saying -- 'If you want to be the champs, you've got to be able to beat the champs' -- that's the truth," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. "They're a good football team. They're very well coached. ... This is a game that can tell you a lot about yourself."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -4.5. O/U: 45.5

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (3-2): Cam Newton, who threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns versus the Redskins, tossed three interceptions in his last encounter with Philadelphia. Christian McCaffrey has proven to be Newton's safety blanket out of the backfield, as the shifty back leads the team with 34 receptions this season and had 10 catches and a touchdown in last year's contest versus the Eagles. Wideout Devin Funchess found the end zone last week and has scored twice in his past three road games while former Eagle Torrey Smith also notched a touchdown against the Redskins.

ABOUT THE EAGLES (3-3): Tight end Zack Ertz has found the end zone in back-to-back contests overall and erupted for two touchdowns in his last meeting with Carolina. Nelson Agholor also scored in that contest and had a team-high 91 receiving yards against the Giants while fellow wideout Alshon Jeffery had eight catches for 74 yards and two scores last week. The ground game produced modest results in its first contest without Jay Ajayi, although Corey Clement found the end zone versus the Giants. Wendell Smallwood will vie for a touchdown in his third straight home game on Sunday.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Carolina DE Julius Peppers recorded a sack and forced fumble both last week and in the previous meeting with Philadelphia.

2. Eagles LT Jason Peters is expected to play on Sunday despite sustaining a biceps injury last week.

3. Carolina's fourth-ranked ground attack (139.4) will square off against Philadelphia's second-ranked rush defense (79.8).

PREDICTION: Panthers 27, Eagles 23
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Carolina 3-2 L1 24.2 22.8 3-0 0-2 3-2 0-0 - - 2-2
Philadelphia 3-3 W1 22.8 19.5 2-1 1-2 2-3 0-0 - - 2-2
Last Meeting
Carolina Philadelphia
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/12/17 PHI 28 CAR 23 305 80 225 310 101 209
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 53.8 239 1 3
Philadelphia C. Wentz 53.3 222 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina C. Newton 11 71 6.5 1
Philadelphia L. Blount 14 67 4.8 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina K. Benjamin 9 99 11.0 0
Philadelphia A. Jeffery 4 71 17.8 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina C. McCaffrey 1
Philadelphia Z. Ertz 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 65.9 1158 9 4
Philadelphia C. Wentz 68.4 1192 8 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina C. McCaffrey 71 349 4.9 0
Philadelphia W. Smallwood 43 201 4.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina D. Funchess 23 312 13.6 2
Philadelphia Z. Ertz 48 480 10.0 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina C. Newton 3
Philadelphia J. Ajayi 3