Carolina visited the Eagles Thursday night in the second week of preseason football. The matchup was an interesting one. It was rumored Chip Kelly could have been considered for the Panthers coaching job at the end of last season had Rivera been fired. But that did not happen and Panther fans can only dream about how explosive the offense could have been with Cam and his cohorts in the Chip Kelly system. But that is a story for another day. The Panthers got a good test facing the Eagles fast paced attack. They really got to see what kind of shape they’re in. With Kelly’s attacking, fast break offense the Panthers got winded early.
The defense seemed to be on the field all night. It really was surprising to me the speed of Kelly’s offense. They just ran play after play. The Panthers offense did little to help the defense by only converting four of fourteen third downs. The Eagles ran the ball effectively amassing one hundred sixty six yards on only thirty two carries, that is good for a 5.3 yard average. Meanwhile Carolina ran the ball twenty five times for a measly 2.9 yard average. Truth be told Philly’s offense was more than efficient in this game. They will certainly be fun to watch. The Eagles offense tallied over 400 yards of offense while the Panthers managed a paltry 278 total yards. The game could have been decided by a larger margin if not for the Eagles two turnovers. One came in the redzone on a ball that should have never left Nick Foles hand. It was subsequently picked off by Josh Thomas in the back of the endzone. The Panthers defensive line did not pressure neither Vick nor Foles who combined were 15/18 for 158 yards. Neither were they very effective slowing down LeSean “Shady” McCoy who ran very effectively, to the tune of almost 6 yards per carry. I believe he will excel in this new offense.
The good coming out of this game for Carolina is the continued resurgence of David Gettis. He is having a really good preseason and is making a very strong case for himself to be considered for the #2 receiving spot opposite Steve Smith. It is only preseason so too much can’t be read into these games. The offensive line play was sub par. I can only hope to improve our line by making a pitch for former Panther Travelle Wharton. The offense managed to get a couple of drives together but they sputtered out as we moved into the opposing side of the field. In this league field goals are nice but touchdowns win games. I understand it is the preseason and coordinators like to keep hings pretty vanilla as not to reveal too much of the offensive or defensive playbooks. Fans would like to see their teams come out excited and fired up, ready to play. This was not the case for Panther fans. The team seemed rather emotionless. This may be due to the grind of training camp . With week 3 of the preseason coming up fans should see a more inspired team as Carolina visits Charm City and takes on the defending Super Bowl Champs.
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