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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
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
DET
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
3:05pm Today
LOS
CWS
 
3:05pm Today
CLE
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
3:05pm Today
SFG
OAK
 
3:05pm Today
SEA
SDP
 
3:05pm Today
MIL
WMIL
 
3:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
UMIN
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
Final
ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
Final
DEN 106
MIL 95
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHO
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MEM
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
UMO 70
AKR 63
 
Final
NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
Final
BST 60
EMICH 67
 
Final
BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
Final
BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
Final
UGA 64
KENT 72
Final
NW 82
MICH 78
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
Final
UF 66
TEXAM 62
Final
KU 76
WVU 69
Final
CREI 72
VILL 76
12:00pm Today
PBY
LONG
 
2:00pm Today
GWEBB
CAMP
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCA
LIB
 
6:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USB
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
FORD
DUQ
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNH
HART
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJOE
LAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
Terriers
LIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
GTDNS
MAINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
ND
 
7:00pm Tonight
SHU
PROV
 
7:00pm Tonight
BRY
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
SEMIZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
MNTER
RFLSH
 
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
TENN
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
UCF
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
UMBC
 
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
WAGN
 
7:30pm Tonight
UMASS
RICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
YALE
HOW
 
8:00pm Tonight
PITT
MIAMI
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSU
PURD
 
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
BONA
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
 
9:00pm Tonight
TULSA
CIN
 
9:00pm Tonight
VANDY
MSST
 
9:00pm Tonight
EILL
SIUE
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
STJ
 
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
TCU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UCLA
USC
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
UTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
 
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
 
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
 
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
Final
NJD 3
NAS 1
Final
CLB 3
WAS 5
Final
TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
Final
ARI 1
ANA 4
Final
VAN 2
SJS 6
Final
EDM 2
LOS 5
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
DET
NYR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
 
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT