2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Eagles make Panthers look like favorites

By ROB MAADDI - AP Pro Football Writer
    2012-11-25 13:25

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - With a rookie quarterback and a running back making his first start since high school, the Philadelphia Eagles will try for their first win in two months.

No wonder even the Carolina Panthers (2-8) are favored on the road.

The struggling Eagles (3-7) have lost six straight games entering Monday night's matchup against Cam Newton and the Panthers. They won't have Michael Vick or LeSean McCoy because of concussions, increasing the chances they can go O for October and November for the first time in coach Andy Reid's 14-year tenure.

Oddsmakers have listed the Panthers as 3-point favorites, a rare occurrence for a team with the worst record in the conference. Perhaps the underdog role will get the Eagles going. Nothing else has worked in a season that began with Super Bowl expectations.

``Obviously nobody wants to play the way we've been playing, nobody wants to coach the way we've been coaching,'' Reid said. ``We don't want that. We owe it to each other, we owe it to this city to play better. As long as guys own up to that, coaches and players, that's the way you get better and then you work on the things that you're not doing well. Get yourself right.''

Nick Foles will be under center, making his second start in a row for Vick. Bryce Brown, a seventh-round pick who had just 104 carries in college, takes over for McCoy.

``I expect the other guys to step up and play,'' Reid said. ``It's a great opportunity for them. That's the way you approach it and you cut it loose and you play.''

Foles, a third-round pick, has a chance to show whether he can be Philadelphia's quarterback of the future. Vick could be part of a massive offseason overhaul and fans have been calling for Foles to start since his impressive preseason.

Foles has been so-so in the past two games, compiling a passer rating of just 58.9. Like Vick, he's had the misfortune of playing behind a banged-up offensive line that's missing four of its five starters.

``I have to play within myself and understand what's coming at me, and make the best decision,'' Foles said. ``This is my second start and the third game I've played in. Hopefully as things go on, it starts slowing down. I've felt more comfortable this week at practice, so it's just trusting myself in the game and getting into a rhythm.''

The Panthers prepared all week for Vick and Foles. They learned that Vick would be out after their final practice but before their Sunday walkthrough.

``I think Nick Foles is athletic enough to give you some problems,'' Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. ``He has a good arm, makes quick decisions.''

While the Eagles are banged-up, the Panthers are close to full strength. They have no significant injuries, but are switching things up on the offensive line. Gary Williams, signed on Nov. 14, will start at right guard over Jeff Byers.

Carolina also has a new kicker, Graham Gano. He replaces Justin Medlock, who missed a 40-yard field goal in the first half of last Sunday's overtime loss to Tampa Bay.

If this game comes down to a kick at the end, Gano thrives in those situations. He tied an NFL record with three overtime field goals for the Washington Redskins in 2010.

``That's what every kicker dreams of. If you don't want that pressure, something is wrong with you,'' Gano said. ``I love those situations. I hope every game comes down to that.''

This will be a coaching reunion of sorts for Reid, Rivera and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Rivera was Philadelphia's linebackers coach under Reid from 1999-2003. McDermott spent 10 seasons with the Eagles, including his final two as the defensive coordinator in 2009-10.

``Smart. Good person. Good people skills. Good football coach,'' Reid said of Rivera. ``At that time, he knew the linebacker position well and did a good job for us here.''

McDermott had big shoes to fill in Philadelphia. He replaced Jim Johnson, a defensive guru who passed away in July 2009. The transition didn't go too smoothly and McDermott was fired after two seasons.

``It was great for him to get another opportunity, and he's doing a nice job,'' Reid said. ``They've got a defense that's creating turnovers and flying around, playing hard.''

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

A.J. GreenSep 21 11:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is active against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 21.

Anthony SpencerSep 21 11:52a

The Dallas Cowboys have declared DL Anthony Spencer, DL Davon Coleman, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, LB Justin Durant, LB Rolando McClain, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 3.

Bryce BrownSep 21 11:52a

The Buffalo Bills have declared RB Bryce Brown, TE Chris Gragg, OG Cyril Richardson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, LB Keith Rivers, LB Randell Johnson, CB Ross Cockrell inactive for Week 3.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. WR Aaron Dobson is a healthy scratch for the game.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

The New England Patriots have declared WR Aaron Dobson, CB Don Jones, RB James White, OL Josh Kline, DL Michael Buchanan, C Ryan Wendell, DE Zach Moore inactive for Week 3.

Akeem JordanSep 21 11:42a

The Washington Redskins have declared LB Akeem Jordan, TE Jordan Reed, DL Kedric Golston, OT Morgan Moses, QB Robert Griffin III, WR Santana Moss, CB Tracy Porter inactive for Week 3.

Brandon WattsSep 21 11:42a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared LB Brandon Watts, WR Charles X. Johnson, QB Christian Ponder, OG David Yankey, WR Rodney Smith, DL Scott Crichton, CB Shaun Prater inactive for Week 3.

Arthur JonesSep 21 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared DL Arthur Jones, LB Chris Carter, WR Da'Rick Rogers, LB Jerrell Freeman, OL Joe Reitz, C Khaled Holmes, OG Lance Louis inactive for Week 3.

Brandon ThompsonSep 21 11:42a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared DL Brandon Thompson, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, OG Kevin Zeitler, WR Marvin Jones, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Sean Porter, LB Vontaze Burfict inactive for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared RB Ben Tate, DL Eric Martin, TE Gerell Robinson, DL Ish Kitchen, WR LaRon Byrd, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson inactive for Week 3.

David HawthorneSep 21 11:42a

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB David Hawthorne, FB Erik Lorig, DL John Jenkins, SS Marcus Ball, RB Mark Ingram, WR Nick Toon, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 3.

Justin ForsettSep 21 11:39a

Forsett will start the Week 3 game for the Ravens. Bernard Pierce is out.

Bernard PierceSep 21 11:39a

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) is inactive Sunday, Sept. 21, for the Week 3 game. RB Justin Forsett will start.

Akeem AyersSep 21 11:32a

The Tennessee Titans have declared LB Akeem Ayers, OL Byron Stingily, DT DaQuan Jones, WR Kris Durham, DL Mike Martin, WR T.J. Graham, QB Zach Mettenberger inactive for Week 3.

Charles BrownSep 21 11:32a

The New York Giants have declared OT Charles Brown, DL Devon Kennard, OT James Brewer, DL Jay Bromley, LB Jon Beason, DT Kerry Wynn, WR Odell Beckham Jr. inactive for Week 3.

Arian FosterSep 21 11:32a

The Houston Texans have declared RB Arian Foster, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, DL Louis Nix, SS Shiloh Keo, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 3.

Jordan CameronSep 21 11:32a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21.

Arian FosterSep 21 11:32a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) is inactive for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. RB Alfred Blue is expected to start.

Arthur BrownSep 21 11:32a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, RB Bernard Pierce, OT Jah Reid, OG John Urschel, WR Michael Campanaro, FS Terrence Brooks, DL Timmy Jernigan inactive for Week 3.

Earl WolffSep 21 11:32a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared SS Earl Wolff, WR Josh Huff, OT Kevin Graf, OG Matt Tobin, QB Matt Barkley, LB Mychal Kendricks, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 3.

Dontrelle InmanSep 21 11:32a

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Chris Davis, WR Dontrelle Inman, DL Ricardo Mathews, RB Ryan Mathews, DT Ryan Carrethers, CB Steve Williams inactive for Week 3.

Zach ErtzSep 21 11:22a

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz has seven receptions on the season, and six of them have gone for 20 or more yards. He's second in the league in that category.

Shaun HillSep 21 11:22a

St. Louis Rams QB Austin Davis is likely to start Sunday, Sept. 21, against the Dallas Cowboys. QB Shaun Hill (thigh) is likely out.

DeSean JacksonSep 21 11:22a

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) will play Sunday, Sept. 21, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Alshon JefferySep 21 11:12a

Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is expected to play Monday, Sept. 22.

Brandon MarshallSep 21 11:12a

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (ankle) is expected to play Monday, Sept. 22.

Shane VereenSep 21 11:02a

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) is likely to play Sunday, Sept. 21.

Justin ForsettSep 21 10:32a

Updating an earlier report, Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) has a 5 percent chance to play Sunday, Sept. 21, according to a team source. RB Justin Forsett is likely to start.

Jordan CameronSep 21 10:22a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is expected to play Sunday, Sept. 21.

Vernon DavisSep 21 10:22a

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) is doubtful to play Sunday, Sept. 21, and was on crutches until Thursday, Sept. 18. TE Derek Carrier would start in his place.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 10:15a

Updating an earlier report, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) is not expecting to play Sunday, Sept. 21, but he will test his ankle on in pre-game warm-ups. [ More ]

Bernard PierceSep 21 10:15a

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) is in serious doubt to play Sunday, Sept. 21, in Week 3. He'll be a game-time decision. RB Justin Forsett would start.

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