Cardinals offensive snap counts vs. Eagles; Jared Veldheer misses only 4 plays

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Both teams are at 4-1 this season, making this game the most exciting match up Thursday Night Football has seen this season.

Beating the Eagles would be another quality win for the Panthers, who sit atop what might be the best division in the NFC. Both teams now lead their respective divisions and are vying for control of the NFC. The Eagles come flying in with growing confidence after a dominating performance in whipping the Arizona Cardinals 34-7.

The Eagles own a three-game winning streak, but that came against three teams who are a combined 3-12 this season. For the Carolina Panthers, they have won back to back games after their awful loss to New Orleans.

It feels so good after five games for the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers that they're both in the right frame of mind for a short week of preparation before their next game. After trading up in last April's NFL Draft to select quarterback Carson Wentz, the team acquired Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith this offseason to go with incumbent tight end Zach Ertz and receiver Nelson Agholor. After a slow start to the season, Newton has been as hot as any quarterback in the National Football League the past two games in wins over the Patriots and Lions.

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It's just that for all the success Carolina has had in limiting those explosive offenses for three quarters, Worley said defensive coordinator Steve Wilks agrees that the passivity late hasn't worked recently.

Newton blistered a 10-yard touchdown strike to Devin Funchess last week in Detroit, then later dropped a 31-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin in a spot where only Benjamin could catch it. McCaffrey has been the pass catching back, while Stewart leads with 251 yards on the ground.

Ultimately it might fall in the hands of Carson Wentz, the Eagles' second year quarterback that has always been hailed as the future of the franchise. In consecutive weeks, Carolina allowed Brees and Brady to combine for 527 passing yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions while completing well over 70 percent of their passes. Philadelphia now has the NFL's 6 best scoring offense, 3 best total offense, 9 best passing offense and the 5 best running game. Ellington has played the most snaps in each and every game this season. Through five games, the Eagles' opponent passer rating when they send five or more rushers is 58.0.

Schwartz has called blitzes more often this season, and the Eagles will use them selectively on Thursday to put Newton on a clock. The Carolina Panthers defense is better than people are giving them credit for. The young quarterback is going to have a tough time getting the ball down the field this game.

Michigan State breaks the Big House's heart again
Meanwhile, Harbaugh, Michigan's chosen son, has lost four games in his five tries against one of his alma mater's biggest rivals. MI could be looking at the possibility of John O'Korn being the team's starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.

The Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games at home in October. Former Eagles coach Chip Kelly once said the only way they could simulate Newton in practice was by borrowing a power forward from the Sixers.

Two of the top teams in the NFC square off in this week's Thursday nighter, as the Carolina Panthers welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to Bank of America Stadium.

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