4 crucial matchups to watch during Panthers vs. Eagles in Week 5

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Haason Reddick
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Haason Reddick /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /

1 PM ET. 1-3. 54. 3-1. Panthers -4.5. 87. FOX. Sunday, October 10

What are the crucial matchups to keep a close eye on when the Carolina Panthers entertain the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5?

What. Was. That.

After a dominant first three weeks of the season, the Carolina Panthers laid an absolute egg of a second half against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. This has been a trend however and it needs to be fixed, and fast.

The Panthers have only scored once in the 3rd quarter all season. They continue to come out of the locker room flat and with no urgency or energy whatsoever, so whatever Matt Rhule is doing has to change.

If you take the third quarter out of the equation, this game would have been far closer.

How a team can take a one-point lead into the half after a solid performance on both sides and then go down by 22 is beyond me.

The most staggering stats of all, however, come from the defense. The thing that was supposed to be good.

Carolina managed no sacks or tackles for a loss the entire game and gave up more than 200 yards on the ground. A team that going into Week 4 had averaged only 46 against them.

In fact, Dallas gained 200 yards above that average and broke the threshold on their second drive.

Teams will lay eggs, it happens.

A defense can’t be the best every game but it is still concerning when you consider the quality of the opponent along the line and what the Philadelphia Eagles of all teams were able to accomplish with their pass rush in Week 3.

This is all being said without even mentioning the bowl of garbage that was the Panthers’ offensive line.

The Cowboys had only four sacks on the year, they ended the day with a total of five along with 11 quarterback hits and eight tackles for a loss. Not that we didn’t see this glaring weakness coming as the Panthers did little to address the position in the offseason.

You can’t skimp on the big guys upfront and expect to win games.

But with that mini-rant out of the way, let’s take a look at this week’s opponent, the Eagles. A team that is 1-3 on the year but has shown glimpses of being beyond that record.

Jalen Hurts hasn’t exactly balled out in Year 2 but has had some promising moments, as has rookie receiver DeVonta Smith who racked up 122 yards on seven catches in Week 4. Not to mention their tight end room is absolutely stacked and a real challenge to defend.

However, that’s the end of the good things as the rest of the offense has struggled mightily as Hurts is their leading rusher and the defense has been incredibly porous, especially in the second half of games.

But what matchups should be watched closely to see just how the Panthers bounce back after plummeting back to earth?