Sunday Six Pack: Eagles at Panthers

The Eagles Week 7 game is crucial for several reasons. After getting back-to-back wins to pull them back to .500 and into first place in the NFC East, momentum is certainly on the Eagles side among the division rivals. In addition, the bye week is next week, which should have the Eagles ready to make a statement going into the break.

But the Eagles face as tough a challenge as they have seen all season. The Panthers have charged out to a 5-0 start and are one of five unbeaten teams in the NFL.

Here are the six keys to the game in our Sunday Six Pack.

Cam Newton – The Eagles roared to a 45-21 win over Carolina last November. But that was a very different game for Cam Newton. He was never really comfortable in the pocket and had no room to escape, allowing the Eagles to have their way with the Panthers offense. Don't expect the same kind of success the Eagles had last year.

Defensive Pressure – Even if the same success can't be expected, if last year is any indicator, if you pressure Newton, good things will happen. On Monday night, the Eagles pass rush created all sorts of trouble for Eli Manning. That kind of pressure can produce similar results with Newton and the Panthers.

Sam Bradford – His struggles continued in Week 6 and at this stage of the season, there are no excuses. Bradford has to be better. And he's got to do it now against an undefeated team.

DeMarco Murray – Finally, Murray appeared to be his old self against the Giants. If he comes close to replicating those results against Carolina, the Eagles can use that balanced offense that worked so well against the Giants — Bradford's errors aside — to take charge.

Jordan Matthews – Matthews has had his share of struggles in the first six games. This is a week where you would really like to see him step up and command a game by being Bradford's go-to guy. With Nelson Agholor out again, there's a good chance Matthews will get a lot of attention. He has to be ready for everything, and that includes making sure he reels in the passes he has to catch.

Secondary Steps Up – Every week, it seems like somebody in the secondary has a game worth remembering. We've seen Walter Thurmond do it. We've seen Malcolm Jenkins do it. In Week 6, it was Nolan Carroll. The Eagles will have the task of covering Greg Olsen, but they did an admirable job with Odell Beckham Jr. last week.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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