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NFL Preview - Carolina (2-8) at Philadelphia (3-7)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The matchup between the lowly Carolina Panthers and the hapless Philadelphia Eagles could serve as the sequel to "Dead Man Walking."

"Dead Men Walking" starts filming in South Philadelphia on Monday night when a hostile home crowd awaits the embattled Andy Reid, who will trot out his 3-7 Eagles against his old assistant, the equally troubled Ron Rivera, and his 2-8 Panthers.

"You go play," Reid said when asked what it will be like to play in front of an angry mob. "You make positive things happen as coaches and players. Make plays, make positive plays. Fans like that. That's what they want to see. I've always said they're on the same page with all of us. When we're stinking up they understand that. When we're doing well they understand that too."

All you really need to know about this game is both head coaches will likely be looking for work in just over a month.

Reid's 14-year tenure in Philadelphia hit rock bottom in Landover back on Nov. 18 when Robert Griffin III threw for 200 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on 14-of-15 efficiency, while rushing for 84 more as the Washington Redskins dispatched of the reeling Birds by a 31-6 margin.

Making his first NFL start in place of the concussed Michael Vick, Nick Foles finished a dreadful 21-of-46 for 204 yards and two interceptions for Philadelphia, which has lost six in a row for the first time under Reid and for the first time since dropping seven straight to end the 1994 season.

A pair of Alex Henery field goals accounted for all of Philadelphia's offense against the 'Skins. LeSean McCoy, meanwhile, registered 67 yards on six receptions and 45 rushing yards on 15 carries before leaving late after absorbing a hit to the helmet.

"I know we're letting the fans down and the city down," Reid said. "I completely understand that. I completely understand how they feel on this. I feel it from the football team, our coaches and players. There are no excuses for it."

National observers, who aren't around Reid on a daily basis, often wonder why Philadelphia turned on a coach who has been so successful. But, the veteran mentor has always struggled with the public relations aspect of his job, upsetting the Philly faithful time and time again with his arrogance and trademarked "I've got to do a better job" shtick.

The hubris was turned to 10 against Washington when Reid refused to admit his mistake of leaving McCoy in the game late. Perhaps the Eagles' best player, McCoy suffered a concussion when he was drilled by Washington safety Madieu Williams with just 1:45 remaining in what was already a settled game.

"We were trying to catch up and win the game," Reid said when asked why McCoy was kept in so late in a blowout loss.

Repeated calls for Reid's resignation during the week consumed the Philadelphia market but the veteran mentor, who still has one year left on his contract after this season, wasn't about to leave millions on the table and made it clear he won't walk away

"I think that'd be a cop-out," Reid said of resigning. "That's not how I see things. That's not the way I'm wired. We're going to keep battling and do it as a team. I'm not going to tell the guys one thing and then do the other."

Things really aren't any better in Charlotte as the Panthers continued their dismal season in Week 11, faltering late and blowing an 11-point lead in the final five minutes of regulation before falling to Tampa Bay in overtime when Josh Freeman found Dallas Clark down the left sideline for the deciding touchdown in a 27-21 Bucs win.

Cam Newton finished 16-for-29 passing for 252 yards and a touchdown while Brandon LaFell caught five passes for 93 yards and a score for the Panthers, losers in two straight and seven of their last eight.

"This is as bad as it gets. We had every opportunity to win," said Rivera. "When you have an opportunity to close it out with a four-minute offense you can't take negative plays and unfortunately we did. You have an opportunity to stop them and for whatever reason you don't recognize the formation and don't make the play."

Rivera, who was Reid's linebackers coach in Philadelphia from 1999-2003, admitted this week he didn't know if he would keep his job after the season based on recent conversations with team owner Jerry Richardson.

"It's tough when you lose (because) things aren't as good as they are when you win, obviously," said Rivera, who is 8-18 as Carolina's coach. "Food doesn't taste right. It's difficult to communicate with people looking them in the eye and talking to them."

The Eagles lead the all-time series with Carolina 5-2 and the Panthers have lost all three meetings since winning at Philadelphia in the 2004 NFC Championship Game.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Vick and McCoy have already been ruled out on Monday night, taking the Eagles two biggest offensive playmakers off the field.

Foles remains the starter at quarterback and Bryce Brown, a talented but very raw rookie running back, should get his first starting assignment since his senior year of high school back in Kansas in 2009.

Add that to the fact Philadelphia has been missing All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters (Achilles) all season and has subsequently lost center Jason Kelce and right tackle Todd Herremans to injury and you'll understand just how difficult it's become to move the ball on a consistent basis in Philly.

"It looks like he's more comfortable in the offense every week," Reid said when talking about Brown. "He's doing a nice job in pass protection. That wasn't his thing when he first came here. He's doing better there. Better recognition of the blitzes. Then he's a patient runner and then when he goes, he goes and he goes hard. He's a big body. A physical player."

Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott also once worked as Reid's defensive chief before being replaced after the 2010 season.

"Sean is doing a nice job (with Carolina)," Reid said. "Their defense is actually a very good defense. They've got two good defensive ends (Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy), two veteran defensive tackles (Ron Edwards and Dwan Edwards) that are big, strong, physical guys. Their linebackers are young guys who can run around [with] very good quickness. Safeties are solid and the corners are solid. They're good football players."

Six of the Panthers' eight losses this season have been by six points or less, and Rivera's club has led in the fourth quarter of four of those games, including last week's setback to Tampa Bay.

Carolina hasn't been able to finish and a lot of that can be traced to the sophomore slump on Newton, who has thrown for nine touchdowns and rushed for four after combining for 35 TDs as a rookie last season.

Newton will never get a better chance to turn things around. He will be facing an Eagles pass defense which has surrendered 11 touchdown passes and recorded no interceptions over the past four weeks. In fact, opposition QBs have rung up a gaudy 143.6 passer rating against Philadelphia over that span.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Despite its poor record Carolina has been much more competitive than the Eagles, who have been outscored 127-59 in four losses since their bye week.

"I don't know how it can get much worse," Eagles tight end Brent Celek said of his team's troubles. "It makes me sick."

Unfortunately for Celek it can get worse and it probably will on national television Monday night.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Panthers 20, Eagles 17

11/26 09:03:11 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
Final
LAL 94
DEN 101
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
 
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
Final
NE 65
MAN 51
Final
COLST 75
MERC 62
Final
MISS 80
NARZ 74
Final
WASH 76
PAC 69
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Final
CHAR 58
MIAMI 77
Final
GAELS 72
UCI 69
Final
ILLST 64
ODU 45
Final
UCLA 77
LBSU 63
Final
SEAT 62
MONT 66
 
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
1:30pm Today
WEBER
NEV
 
2:30pm Today
FRES
EVAN
 
2:30pm Today
KYST
PURD
 
4:00pm Today
LSU
CLEM
 
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
DILL
 
4:30pm Today
CHIST
UGST
 
4:30pm Today
DET
MDES
 
5:00pm Tonight
ARZ
MIZZ
 
5:30pm Tonight
INDST
PEAY
 
6:00pm Tonight
FLGC
MAR
 
6:00pm Tonight
LALAF
UWMIL
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
GWEBB
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
ARST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WINT
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
APP
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
XAV
MURST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
NICST
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
SCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
VILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WCU
 
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
CLAYST
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
PEPP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
KU
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
USF
HAW
 
8:30pm Tonight
OKST
ORST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAM
PITT
 
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
 
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
 
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
 
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
Final
ANA 2
ARI 1
Final
VAN 4
CHI 1
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
Final
NYG 28
DAL 31
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NYJ
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL