Game Preview: Sanchez looks to lead Eagles to win over Panthers

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It was an unexpected turn when Mark Sanchez had to enter the game for an injured Nick Foles in Houston, but the Eagles still came away with a win led by Sanchez.

On Monday night, Sanchez gets the start. It will be the first of several for the veteran quarterback, who will fill in while Foles recovers from a broken collarbone.

Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers come in looking to get their season back on track after a disappointing first nine games following a division-winning season a year ago.

Sanchez makes his first start of the season and is joined by the usual cast – LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles in the backfield and Zach Ertz, Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews at receiver.

Maclin is coming off two incredible performances against the Cardinals and Texans. Matthews caught Sanchez' first touchdown pass in last week's win in Houston.

The Eagles are also dealing with a tough defensive loss as DeMeco Ryans is out for the season. Despite that, the Eagles are a relatively healthy group. Evan Mathis joins Jason Kelce back on the offensive line tonight and Mychal Kendricks continues in his return, now assuming a leading position in the linebacker group.

The Panthers are led by Cam Newton, who has eight touchdowns and five interceptions in the team's first nine games. Newton missed some time with injury, but is trying to help pull the Panthers out of a rough 3-5-1 start.

Newton's top targets have been Greg Olson and Kelvin Benjamin. Both receivers have five touchdowns this season. Former Eagle Jason Avant and Brenton Bersin have the other two receiving touchdowns for the Panthers this season.

Newton is also among the rushing leaders for the Panthers. The quarterback sits just six yards behind Jonathan Stewart for the team's rushing yards lead and leads the team with two rushing touchdowns. Stewart has 263 rushing yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, the Panthers are led by linebacker Luke Kuechly, defensive lineman Kawaan Short and safety Roman Harper. Kuechly leads the team with 97 tackles. Short has one sack and one fumble recovery. Harper leads the team with three interceptions.

Also aiding in the defensive efforts are Charles Johnson, A.J. Klein and Josh Norman. Johnson is tied for the team lead with four sacks, Klein has two forced fumbles and Norman four passes defended and one interception.

Game Notes

  • The Eagles are 5-3 all-time against the Carolina Panthers.
  • Both teams have faced each other twice on Monday night, splitting the matchups.
  • The Eagles have won three of the last four matches against the Panthers, falling 30-22 in 2010, but picking up wins in 2004, 2006 and 2009.
  • One of the Eagles three losses to the Panthers was a 14-3 defeat in the 2003 NFC Championship game.
  • The Eagles have seven touchdowns on defense or special teams this season, one shy of a franchise record and three shy of matching the NFL record.
  • Milestone Watch
    • LeSean McCoy needs 12 carries to pass Steve Van Buren for second-most in franchise history.
    • Jeremy Maclin needs one touchdown to move into sole possession of seventh place all-time in Eagles history with 35 career touchdowns. Maclin is also eight catches shy of moving into ninth place all-time in receptions. 
    • With one field goal of 50 yards or more, Cody Parkey will become the first Eagle in franchise history with four field goals of 50 or more yards in a single season.

Injury Report

Eagles
Out

  • QB Nick Foles (collarbone)

Probable

  • S Nate Allen (hamstring)
  • CB Nolan Carroll (groin)
  • C Jason Kelce (hernia)
  • LB Mychal Kendricks (calf)
  • WR Jeff Maehl (foot)
  • G Evan Mathis (knee)
  • WR Brad Smith (groin)

Panthers
Out

  • CB Bene' Benwikere (ankle)
  • G Trai Turner (ankle)

Probable

  • WR Corey Brown (concussion)
  • DT Dwan Edwards (knee)
  • DT Kawann Short (ankle)

Where to Watch

TV: ESPN (Broadcasters: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)
Radio: 94 WIP (Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin)
National Radio: Westwood One (Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Ross Tucker)

Kevin Durso is a contributor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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