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The Eagles’ Defensive Scheme Will Leave Them Exposed to Cam Newton in Week 7

Oct 18, 2018 3:08 PM EDT
Credit:

Jeremy Brevard, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cam Newton

  • Each week we look at a potential coaching mismatch that can provide an edge for DFS players and bettors.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles' defensive scheme could leave them open against Cam Newton in Week 7.

I’ll be leveraging my experience as a fantasy analyst with a statistics background and a high school football coach to identify aspects of one matchup every week that you can take advantage of while setting your fantasy football lineups and/or placing bets on the upcoming slate.

For Week 7, we’re focusing on the Sunday matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles, with an emphasis on Philly’s defensive scheme and weaknesses.

A Great Defensive Line

Fletcher Cox has been a top-10 defensive tackle since 2015, according to Pro Football Focus, and only Aaron Donald has graded out higher than him this season. Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Michael Bennett are all inside the top-16 graded edge defenders. Both Graham and Long were in the top 20 in 2017 as well for the Eagles, while Bennett replaced Vinny Curry, who was inside of the top 30.

The Eagles have one of the best defensive lines in football.

Because of the talent on the defensive line, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz rarely blitzes. The Eagles were 26th in blitz rate in 2017, and 30th in blitz rate on first down. Even blitzing at such a low rate, Philly was eighth in overall pressure rate, according to Football Outsiders.

No Pressure

Even though the Eagles have still rated highly up front in 2018, they have generated a lot less pressure.

The Eagles’ pressure struggles are bad news against Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has massive splits against pressure this season. Newton owns a PFF grade of 91.2 when not facing pressure so far, and just a 44 grade when under pressure.

Newton is third in accuracy percentage when kept clean this season, according to PFF. He is an elite quarterback without pressure.

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