Eagles go to 5-1

EAGLES 28, PAN­THERS 23

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

Car­son Wentz (above) threw for 222 yards and 3 touch­downs to help the Philadel­phia Eagles beat the Carolina Pan­thers 28-23 to im­prove to an NFC-best 5-1.

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. — Car­son Wentz con­tin­ues to show poise be­yond his years in his sec­ond NFL sea­son.

Wentz threw for 222 yards and three touch­downs against one of the NFL’s top de­fenses, and the Philadel­phia Eagles beat the Carolina Pan­thers 28-23 on Thurs­day night to im­prove to an NFC-best 5-1.

The Eagles turned two in­ter­cep­tions deep in Carolina ter­ri­tory into 15 points. Wentz teamed with Zach Ertz on two touch­down passes, and LaGar­rette Blount scored on a two-point con­ver­sion run for an 18-10 lead in the third quar­ter. Wentz added a 24yard scor­ing pass to Nel­son Agholor in the fourth quar­ter.

“He’s a great leader of this foot­ball team, even in his sec­ond year,” Eagles Coach Doug Ped­er­son said. “Guys re­ally re­spect the way he plays. It’s ex­cit­ing to see that.”

Cam New­ton threw three in­ter­cep­tions for Carolina (42).

The first two in­ter­cep­tions came inside Carolina’s 20, but weren’t New­ton’s fault. He was hit by Fletcher Cox as he re­leased one pass, and run­ning back Jonathan Ste­wart bob­bled an­other pass re­sult­ing in an in­ter­cep­tion. New­ton’s third in­ter­cep­tion — by Jalen Mills with 3:06 left — ended a chance for the goa­head score.

Carolina had one last shot to win, but turned it over on downs at mid­field.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing be­cause we had the op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Pan­thers Coach Ron Rivera said. “We can’t kick field goals and beat good teams. We can’t turn the ball over and not take it away.”

Pan­thers mid­dle line­backer Luke Kuechly was placed in the con­cus­sion pro­to­col af­ter his body crum­pled fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with Eagles pulling guard Brandon Brooks. Kuechly missed 9 games over the past 2 sea­sons with 2 con­cus­sions. All of the Eagles’ touch­downs came af­ter Kuechly left the game late in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Pan­thers corner­back Cap­tain Mun­ner­lyn said it won’t be easy to re­place Keuchly, adding “Luke is a big part of what we do.”

Added de­fen­sive tackle Kawann Short: “You saw a quick prayer, but then the game has to go on.”

New­ton gave the Pan­thers a 10-3 lead on his 51st ca­reer touch­down rush­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter. He kept the ball on a read op­tion and juked corner­back Ra­sul Dou­glas on the 16-yard run.

Dou­glas got re­venge on Carolina’s next pos­ses­sion, in­ter­cept­ing New­ton’s pass af­ter Cox crashed into New­ton as he was throw­ing, caus­ing the ball to float high into the air.

Af­ter a two-game ab­sence due to a calf in­jury, Cox re­turned and was a dom­i­nant force for the Eagles. Along with the tipped pass on New­ton’s in­ter­cep­tion, he also had a sack and two quar­ter­back hur­ries. “There’s no way I could sit him tonight,” Ped­er­son said. “It was too im­por­tant to him.”

If it hadn’t been for New­ton, the Pan­thers would not have had any run­ning game to speak of against the Eagles. New­ton ran for 71 yards and the touch­down, but run­ning backs Jonathan Ste­wart, Chris­tian McCaf­frey and Fozzy Whit­taker were lim­ited to 1 yard on 13 car­ries.

“We have a lot of things to look at. We re­ally do,” Rivera said of the run­ning game.

The bruis­ing Blount didn’t find the end zone for a touch­down, al­though he did score on a two-point con­ver­sion af­ter the Pan­thers de­fen­sive tackle Star Lo­tulelei jumped early on an ex­tra-point at­tempt. That prompted Ped­er­son to go for two.

AP/MIKE McCARN

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.