Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch will tell you the things he will be keeping his eyes on during that week’s game:
1. Slowing down the Panthers’ ground game: The Panthers generally go as far as their power running game takes them, and it took them pretty far last season as RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for more than 2,300 rushing yards. The Eagles finished fourth in the league against the run last season, but are missing two fairly significant components from that unit — middle linebacker Stewart Bradley and free safety Brian Dawkins.
2. Making Jake Delhomme throw: Delhomme isn’t a carry-the-load quarterback, as he proved in last year’s playoffs when he threw five interceptions against Arizona. He is at his best when he can rely on his run game to set up his play-action and doesn’t have to throw the ball a lot. In his last 32 starts, he’s thrown 30 or more passes just 13 times. The Panthers have won just four of those games.
3. Getting to know you: The Eagles’ starting five offensive linemen didn’t take a single preseason snap together. If this unit had played together before, that might not mean much. But both the LT (Jason Peters) and RG (Stacy Andrews) are new and the RT (Shawn Andrews) is playing a new position. To make matters worse, Shawn missed all of training camp and the preseason with a cranky back.