Elliott’s suspension reinstated by court
Philadelphia are NFC’s first five-game winners
>> NORTH CAROLINA: Quarterback Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes as the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Carolina Panthers 28-23 in a match-up of NFC division leaders at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday.
Philadelphia (5-1) won t heir fourth game in a row and became the NFC’s first five-game winners as Wentz was 16-of-30 for 222 yards and no interceptions.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Panthers (4-2) needed to go 69 yards in 2:03 minutes without a timeout. They reached the Philadelphia 48 before a failed fourth-and-one pass.
Trailing by five earlier, Carolina regained possession at their 23-yard line with 5:49 minutes left. Courtesy of a fourth-down pickup, the Panthers reached the Philadelphia 41.
Three plays later, Jalen Mills intercepted Cam Newton’s pass with 3:06 minutes to play, but the Eagles ended up punting again.
Philadelphia scored on two drives of less than 20 yards after Carolina turnovers, then drove 75 yards with Wentz throwing 24 yards to Nelson Agholor on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Eagles’ lead grew to 28-16.
The Panthers scored with 8:04 minutes remaining on Newton’s one-yard pass to running back Christian McCaffrey.
Newton finished 28-of-52 for 239 yards with one touchdown pass and three interceptions.
Patrick Robinson’s interception of a pass that running back Jonathan Stewart dropped gave Philadelphia the ball at the Panthers 17-yard line less than a minute into the second half.
Two plays later, tight end Zach Ertz caught a 17-yard touchdown pass. A Carolina penalty on the extra-point kick resulted in the Eagles going for a two-point conversion, with LeGarrette Blount running in for an 18-10 lead.
A 20-yard field goal by Graham Gano less than three minutes later cut the Panthers’ deficit to 18-13. Jake Elliott’s 48-yard field goal boosted the lead to 21-13 before Gano’s 46-yard boot cut the gap to five points again.
The Panthers lost linebacker Luke Kuechly, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, in the second quarter. He was placed in the concussion protocol.
Newton ran 16 yards untouched for a touchdown, giving Carolina a 10-3 lead with 10:34 minutes left in the second quarter. Rasul Douglas’ interception of a pass that Newton threw while he was being hit set up the Eagles at the Carolina 12-yard line.
It took seven plays — including a fourth-down conversion — for Philadelphia to score, with Wentz hitting Ertz on a one-yard pass play.
Philadelphia outgained the Panthers 123-28 in the first quarter. The Eagles opened the scoring on Elliott’s 50-yard field goal. Gano tied it later in the first quarter with a 39-yarder.
The Eagles drove into Carolina territory on the game’s first possession, but were thwarted by Wentz’s fumble. It marked only the second game this year Philadelphia did not score on their opening possession.
Meanwhile, the wildfires ravaging Northern California could affect tomorrow’s scheduled NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.
“We continue to monitor air quality conditions in the Bay Area and are in close communication with both the Raiders and Chargers, as well as local authorities,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. “At this point, the game remains scheduled for Sunday in Oakland.”
At least 27 people have died in blazes that have burned 191,437 acres and gusting winds on Thursday were hampering fire-fighting efforts.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, left, looks to pass against the Panthers.