NFL: NFC leaders collide as Panthers host Philly to kick off Week 6

October 12, 2017

by: Noel Zarate

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One team’s winning streak will come to an end on Thursday (Friday in the Philippines) when two titans of the National Football Conference (NFC) lock horns as the NFC South leaders Carolina Panthers host the Philadelphia Eagles—the top team of the NFC East—in this crucial NFL showdown to usher in Week 6.

The tiff will be shown LIVE at 8:15AM on TV5.

The Panthers have won two straight on the road and will be home at Bank of America Stadium for the first time since a crushing 34-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 3, hoping to bank on the unbridled support of the Charlotte fans against Philadelphia which has won its last three contests.

Carolina is coming off a 27-24 decision over division rival Detroit as 2011 top overall pick Cam Newton dominated for the second week in a row with an aerial display that saw the former Auburn star go for three touchdowns on 26 of 33 passes for 355 and a QB rating of 141.8 as the Panthers held a commanding 27-10 lead early in the fourth quarter before Lions’ playmaker Matthew Stafford led his squad to within striking distance, connecting with tight end Darren Fells—the last one coming with just over three minutes left in regulation.

But facing 3rd and 9 with under two minutes remaining, Newton lasered a 17-yard completion to Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin, allowing Carolina to run out the clock and silence the crowd at Ford Field to deal the Lions their second loss in five games.

Newton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the NFL 2015 MVP after leading the Panthers all the way to Super Bowl 50, picked apart Detroit’s secondary en route to the most yards he’s had this season and eclipsing his previous high of 316 yards on 22 of 29 against reigning champions New England in the previous week’s action.

Newton has been so busy infiltrating the opponents’ air space with his crisp passing that four different Carolina receivers have already notched over 200 yards this season as Benjamin (272), Ed Dickson (271), Devin Funchess (269—3 TDs), and Christian McCaffery (237) have helped alleviate the pressure on veteran tail end Jonathan Stewart, who has amassed 251 yards on 77 carries thus far.

The Panthers also possess the fifth best passing defense in the league as they are one of only six teams in the NFL so far who have held their foes to under two hundred passing yards so far—194.2 yards per game (YPG).

But while coach Ron Rivera (who took over just as Newton came on board in 2011) and his charges are starting to pick it up offensively (after scoring only nine points in a field goal festival win against Buffalo in Week 2 and only 13 in the Week 3 drubbing against the Saints), they will be going up against arguably one of the best overall offenses in the entire NFL.

The Eagles are third-best in the league in total offensive yards gained, third in rushing, sixth in scoring and eighth in passing and also haven’t been holding anything back on that front in their current three-game winning streak, especially after shellacking the Arizona Cardinals 34-7 just last week at home in Lincoln Financial Field.

In what has been billed as “The Battle of the Birds”, Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz threw for a career-high four touchdowns on 21 of 30 for 304 yards, including three in the opening quarter—two of which came on third down situations.

The Philadelphia receivers also got busy in the massacre as seasoned warrior Torrey Smith ran one in for 59 yards, Trey Burton scored on a 15-yarder and the biggest play of the night came when burly Nelson Agholor—on 3rd and 19 in the third quarter—who blew past the Cardinals’ Pro Bowl secondary tandem of Patrick Patterson and Tyrann Mathieu for a 72-yard strike that put the game away for good.

The Eagles have one road win in the present run as they squeaked past the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 in Week 4 and may have the arsenal to get it done once again against Carolina.

However, with both quarterbacks on a milestone pace, which offense can step up and take the victory?

The defenses will be very occupied as time of possession could be the key to which club can outlast the other in what is touted to be a high-scoring affair.

Week 6 is upon us and you can witness this game and so much more as TV5 brings you the NFL all season long.

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