Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eagles @ Panthers: WR vs. DB

Eagles WR’s: DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Jeremy Macklin
For years, the weakness of the Eagles was the lack of talent on the outside. Not anymore. DeSean Jackson caught 62 passes for 912 yards as a rookie last year. Kevin Curtis is one injury plagued season removed from a 1100 yard season. Jason Avant came thru last season as a very reliable 3rd down option. 1st round pick Jeremy Macklin should expect to touch the ball in space, where he can use his speed and quickness to make plays. This may be one of the fastest units in the NFL.


Panthers DB’s: CB Chris Gamble, CB Richard Marshall, FS Charles Godfrey, SS Chris Harris
One of the big question marks exiting the preseason is whether the secondary is ready for real games as it adjusts to Ron Meeks' defense. Cornerback Chris Gamble has struggled this preseason but is one heck of a talent and has the potential to be dominating. Richard Marshall looks to man the other corner position. 2008 3rd round pick Charles Godfrey shouldn't be bothered much by the light cover he'll wear to protect his surgically-repaired hand. Strong safety Chris Harris needs to get back to being the hard-hitting, turnover-causing force he was a year or two ago. The depth here is mostly unproven.

DW Says: The Eagles may be able to take advantage of a potential match-up mismatch here. If the O-Line can give Donovan McNabb time to throw the Eagles have no excuse not to put up some good yardage against this Carolina secondary. Advantage: Eagles

Panthers WR’s: Steve Smith, Muhsin Muhammad, Dwayne Jarrett, Kenny Moore
Steve Smith remains one of the league's game-breakers. At age 30, he should be near the peak of his career and looks ready for a big season if he stays healthy. Muhsin Muhammad showed no signs in the preseason that he has fallen off from last season and remains an amazing specimen for a man in his 14th pro season. Dwayne Jarrett and Kenny Moore will contribute from the slot


Eagles DB’s: CB Asante Samuel, CB Sheldon Brown, Macho Harris, Quintin Mikell
Asante Samuel is a big time play-maker on one side and Sheldon Brown is a solid cover guy on the other side. Macho Harris won the free safety job over Sean Jones and Quintin Demps. Quintin Mikell looks to build off of a solid first year as a starter. The secondary should be an overall strength of the Eagles but they lack experience at the FS position, where Brian Dawkins resided the last decade or so.

DW says: Steve Smith is as explosive a receiver as there is and Muhammad seems to have his best days against the Eagles. The birds corners are good but the fact that Macho Harris will be making his first NFL start at a position he did not play in college – we are giving a slight edge to Carolina.

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