Thomas Davis: Eagles game is fight for No. 1 seed

By Nick Shook
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It’s Week 6. There’s plenty of time for plenty of things to change in the NFL.

Just don’t tell that to Thomas Davis.

The Panthers linebacker is appropriately amped for his team’s Thursday game against the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles, who are soaring after dismantling the Arizona Cardinals last week and own a 4-1 record that matches Carolina’s mark after five contests. The game’s implications, though, might be a bit larger to him than they are in reality.

“It’s really cool to be a part of a competitive game,” Davis said Tuesday of the upcoming matchup. “As a team you want to face a team when they’re at their best and I feel that’s what Philly is right now. They’re playing some really good football and like you said this is a fight essentially [for] the No. 1 seed right now in the NFC and we understand that and I’m pretty sure they understand that. So we’ve got to make sure we go out and protect our home.”

Again, it is Week 6. There are 11 more weeks afterthis one to decide playoff seeding, which we are incredibly far from determining (though projecting is always a fun way to pass the time). Carolina also has to play in-division powerhouse Atlanta twice, and the seemingly always-contending Green Bay Packers once before season’s end. Simply put, ‘lotta ballgame left.

We’ll give Davis some credit here, though. The Panthers are playing winning football — the defense is third-best in the NFL in yards allowed per game at 274 and ninth in points allowed per game at 18.8 — and stringing together solid performances no matter the venue, with their 27-24 win over Detroit serving as the latest example. Carolina is also getting timely contributions from unexpected sources (see: Ed Dickson). That all bodes well for the future.

Plus, he wasn’t all that lost in the clouds. We got the classic “one game at a time” line soon after.

“For us it’s all about taking it one game at a time,” Davis said. “We haven’t made the playoffs yet, no team has this early in the season. So we have to make sure that we’re focusing that week that we’re playing and focusing on winning that game and that’s the mindset that we take as a football team. We’ve got to win this week.”

It’s a good approach, and a great start for the Panthers in a division that’s sure to remain competitive through December.

Catch Thursday Night Football’s tilt between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers on CBS, NFL Network and streaming on Amazon Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET.

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