Wentz, Eagles improve to 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 LeGarrette Blount scored on a two-point conversion run for an 18-10 lead in the third quarter. Wentz added a 24-yard 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 (4-2).
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 a pick. 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 into the concussion protocol after he crumpled following a collision with Eagles pulling guard Brandon Brooks.
Kuechly missed nine games over the past two seasons with two concussions. All of the Eagles’ touchdowns came after Kuechly left the game late in the second quarter.
NELSON AGHOLOR celebrates a fourth-quarter Eagles touchdown with Alshon Jeffery.