Panthers-Eagles “Water Cooler” Debate: A Peek Behind the SportsIntel Curtain

I get asked pretty regularly why Chris, Danny, and I decided to start In a day and age where everyday people routinely chase fame and fortune on the internet it’s easy to assume that we are out to make some money, but that is honestly not our goal. It started because we talk about sports in the office every single day. You can read our bios if you have questions about our team affiliations, but that only tells part of the story. We love this stuff and would be having these conversations, cultivating these opinions, and (respectfully) arguing about these things whether we had an online forum or not.

On the morning of Friday the 13th, we found ourselves a little disjointed. Thursday Night Football had featured two 4-1 teams as the Eagles traveled to Charlotte to play he Panthers. As devotees to SportsIntel know, I was at the Nats playoff game and did not watch a minute of the Eagles 28-23 win on Thursday night. Chris (who published a pick for the game) hadn’t been able to watch, but was well ahead of me on catching up through box-scores and post-game reports. And Danny had watched the whole thing as it unfolded. From these three disparate perspectives we couldn’t possibly get into a heated debate about the game, right?!!?

WRONG. What follows is only the portion of the conversation that was easily recoverable from our instant messenger. We talked about it at length in the office before deciding to spare our coworkers the breadth of our disruption. But seeing this unfold on chat, I realized that this was the real foundation of SportsIntel so I wanted to share it. It’s been lightly edited for the sake of content and, in this particular interaction, I am not active because I was out till 2am watching baseball and nothing to contribute. Danny and Chris, take it away!

Chris: When you have a highly rated offense going against a highly rated defense, over time the offense gets the benefit of a doubt in today’s league. The odds of the Eagles putting more points on the board are greater than the Panthers defense keeping them out of the end zone all night. Luke gave them the best chance to do that, but I don’t think the Eagles picked on his replacement. Zach Ertz ended it with two touchdowns but he was only targeted twice for 18 yards. It’s not like they took advantage of that slot. At least not from the footage I’ve seen.
Let me know if that makes sense, coach!

Danny: It makes sense, but Luke’s role goes beyond matchups since he is responsible for calling the defense and audible-ing out of bad match ups. Odds are Luke changes the call on the Eagles last TD that left Nelson Aguilar covered by Shaq Thompson. Its also unlikely, Luke blows his coverage assignment on 3rd and long to the same play twice.

Chris: You make a good point. He does have a far greater impact with his communication on defense. It really sucks for the Panthers.

Chris: Against the Pats the Panthers had some success rushing the ball. Against the Lions Dickson played well above his level. I just don’t think this Panthers offense is good enough to beat quality teams. If their defense doesn’t keep offenses sub-20, they won’t win. The 30 bomb game against the Pats is obviously an exception because the pats have been atrocious on defense. The browns could score on that squad… maybe.

Danny: I guess, I’m not ready to call Philly a good team. They have beat several bad teams in close games and last year we saw the same situation, where the Eagles got off to a hot start and then cooled off. They beat the Giants and Chargers by a combined 5 points. Before this game their signature win was at the Redskins, which is another team that fails to impress.

Chris: Wentz was a rookie last year though. I think he’s a different man.

Danny: You may be right, time will tell, but there are also several instances of QBs looking worse after a couple of years. I think the jury is largely still out on him.

Chris: All valid. Time will tell.

Danny: I think Dak Prescott is a good example of someone who, it appears in some ways, may have been figured out. I think it will also be interesting to see how Deshaun Watson fares as defenses have more film to study. I think we can say that we’ve seen the QBs like Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, and Russell Wilson play well early and appear to be on the cusp of elite and then come back to earth. But I should be honest; I’m not a big believer in QBs. I don’t think Seattle, Baltimore, Detroit, etc should have paid their QBs so much money. These teams have leveraged the team onto the back of a single player. There are probably only two QBs who I would pay that kind of money to in today’s game. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. I think there is an argument to be made for Matt Stafford though.

Chris: Agreed. Kid’s a talent.

Danny: Stafford has legit talent, not sure I would put him with Rodgers and Brady though. He’s in that Matt Ryan Category at the moment. Also Peyton Manning and Breeze once belonged in that category, but not at the end of their careers. To be honest Brady may be on his way out of that category, but I’m not ready to put a stamp on that.

To my fellow founders: Thanks for letting me post this private conversation. To our readers: I hope you can feel the passion that goes into SportsIntel. We love this stuff and hope that very same passion is at least a little contagious.