MNF - Panthers at Eagles
November 25, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
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The finale to the Week 12 card looked like a solid matchup when the season began. However, Carolina and Philadelphia have combined to win just five games with November coming to close, while the Eagles are without their franchise quarterback for the second straight week.
Michael Vick will sit out once again after suffering a concussion two weeks ago in a home loss to Dallas, as rookie Nick Foles will get the start under center on Monday. The former Arizona Wildcat had a starting debut to forget in a 31-6 defeat at Washington last Sunday by tossing two interceptions, including a pick on the opening Philadelphia drive. To make matters worse for the struggling Eagles, franchise tailback LeSean McCoy will also be on the sidelines on Monday night after leaving with a concussion in the Redskins loss.
All the expectations from last season failed in an 8-8 campaign, but Andy Reid's job is in jeopardy with Philadelphia limping out to a 3-7 start this season. Bettors aren't thrilled with the Eagles either, as Philadelphia has cashed just twice in 2012, with the last ATS win coming in Week 5 at Pittsburgh. At Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles own a 1-4 ATS mark, as the lone cover came in a Sunday night squeaker over the Giants in Week 4.
Carolina had high hopes in Cam Newton's second season, but the former Heisman Trophy winner has failed to jump-start this Panthers' offense. This season, the Panthers have scored 21 points or less seven times, including a 27-21 defeat to the Buccaneers in overtime last week. This loss burned Carolina the most after blowing a 21-13 lead late in regulation, as Tampa Bay scored a late touchdown in regulation (and converted the two-point conversion), then won it with another score in overtime.
The Panthers have only one victory on their record away from Bank of America Stadium, a 21-13 triumph at Washington in Week 9 as three-point underdogs. The problem for Ron Rivera's club this season is failing to close, losing six games decided by six points or less. Three of those defeats came at home when Carolina owned a lead in the second half, including last week's late meltdown against the Bucs.
These two teams are meeting up for the first time since opening week of the 2009 season, when the Eagles rolled the Panthers in Charlotte, 38-10 as short road favorites. To illustrate how long ago this game was, the starting quarterbacks that day were Donovan McNabb and Jake Delhomme, who combined to throw five interceptions. The Eagles have beaten the Panthers in three of four home matchups with Carolina, as the lone defeat came in the 2003 NFC Title game in which Delhomme led the Panthers to a 14-3 triumph.
From a totals standpoint, Carolina has split ten games, including a 2-2 mark to the 'over' in four away contests. Monday night's total is by far the lowest this season (40 ½) for the Panthers, as totals at 45 ½ or less for the Panthers are 3-1 to the 'under.' The Philadelphia defense has allowed 28 points or more in each of the last four games, but the 'over' has been cashed just twice in this span. At Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles are a profitable 4-1 to the 'over' this season.
Last week's 32-7 rout by San Francisco over Chicago snapped a four-game streak of 'unders' on Monday nights this season. The 'under' is still a fantastic play on Mondays, which is 8-4, while favorites have cashed in three of the last four weeks. The Eagles are playing in their second Monday night contest in 2012, as Philadelphia was rolled at New Orleans three weeks ago, 28-13. Carolina is featured under the Monday night lights for the first time since 2009, a 21-7 defeat at Dallas.
The Panthers are listed as three-point road favorites, sitting in the 'chalk' role for the fourth time this season (0-3 ATS). The total is set at 40 ½, as temperatures will settle in the low 40's at kickoff, which is set for 8:30 PM EST. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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