Noon, Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
TV/radio: Ch. 9, KFAN-FM 100.3
ABOUT THE PANTHERS
• The Panthers (3-2) blew a 15-3 lead against the Eagles as a late blocked punt led to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts' go-ahead touchdown run. The 21-18 loss was Carolina's second straight defeat after starting 3-0.
• Running back Christian McCaffrey has been ruled out for a third straight game. Rookie Chuba Hubbard will get another start after finishing with 134 yards on 29 touches against Philadelphia. Former Vikings offensive lineman Pat Elflein, who signed with Carolina this offseason, could play after he was designated to return from injured reserve.
• A young and fast Panthers defense, bolstered by three straight first-round picks, has limited opponents to 4.8 yards per play — the NFL's stingiest outside of Buffalo. But Carolina will be without cornerbacks Jaycee Horn, the rookie eighth-overall pick is on injured reserve, and All-Pro veteran Stephon Gilmore, who remains on the PUP list after his recent trade from New England.
• Linebacker Haason Reddick leads the blitz-happy Panthers with 6½ sacks, second in the league behind the Browns' Myles Garrett. Only the Buccaneers have blitzed more than Carolina defensive coordinator Phil Snow, who followed head coach Matt Rhule from Baylor to the NFL.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT | QB Sam Darnold
• The third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft by the Jets, Darnold was traded from New York to Carolina this offseason. He threw three interceptions against the Eagles. After the third, receiver Robby Anderson was seen shouting at an assistant coach on the sideline for what he said afterward was about his thoughts on the play call, according to the Charlotte Observer.
• Darnold hasn't been considered a running threat, but he leads all passers with five rushing touchdowns and ranks seventh with 10 first downs on the ground. The overall production — just 62 yards on 22 runs — isn't much, but his legs are making a difference in games.
• Darnold on not having McCaffrey the past two games: "Whether they put a safety or linebacker on him, it's tough to get the right person guarding Christian. It's usually a mismatch. So, yeah, in that regard whenever you have 22 out there, it makes life a little easier."
• Darnold on navigating pressure as he's taken eight sacks in two losses: "I got to stay aggressive, but at the same time understand if it's not there, get the ball down to the back or tight ends, or whoever is down there. You want to still have that, I guess, sniper mentality to take a shot if it's there. But if not, just live to see another down."
COACH SPEAK | Matt Rhule
• Rhule is in his second season as Panthers head coach with an 8-13 record in the regular season and no playoff appearances. The former Baylor and Temple head coach is a former Penn St. linebacker who began his coaching career as a defensive assistant.
• He's led a defensive-focused rebuild in Carolina. The Panthers' first eight draft picks have been defensive players since his arrival. Six of their 11 defensive starters last week were acquired within the past two years, including defensive linemen DaQuan Jones, Morgan Fox and Derrick Brown.
• Rhule on Anderson's sideline outburst: "Guys have emotion, as long as they don't cross the line. It's a game of emotion. I think probably 30 years ago, 40 years ago before there was cameras everywhere, people got emotional on the sideline during games."
• Rhule on the defense having their "best practice" of his tenure this week: "To me, when you have an edge, usually you're a lot better. To not have played our best game this past Sunday, you hope you have an edge when you come out to practice."