Ea­gles clash with Carolina in key test

Car­son Wentz throws 3 TD passes, Ea­gles hold on to beat Pan­thers, 28-23

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Steve Reed

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. » Car­son Wentz threw for 222 yards and three touch­downs to help 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, with touch­down passes to Zach Ertz, and LaGar­rette Blount’s 2-point con­ver­sion to take an 18-10 lead in the third quar­ter. Wentz added a 24yard scor­ing pass to Nel­son Agholor in the fourth quar­ter.

Wertz com­pleted 16 of 29 passes.

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 go-ahead score.

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

Pan­thers mid­dle line­backer Luke Kuechly was placed into the con­cus­sion pro­to­col af­ter his body 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.

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 get 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. NO RUN­NING GAME » 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. PEP­PERS’ MILE­STONE » Julius Pep­pers needed one sack to be­come the fifth player to reach 150 since they be­came an of­fi­cial statis­tic in 1982. The 37-year-old Pep­pers didn’t waste any time reach­ing it, sack­ing Wentz on the first drive of the game and forc­ing a fum­ble. LINEUP CHANGE » Pan­thers cor­ner­back Daryl Wor­ley was benched in the first half for Kevin Sey­mour. IN­JURIES » Ea­gles: Line­backer Jor­dan Hicks left the game early with an an­kle in­jury. De­fen­sive end Bran­don Gra­ham briefly left with a shoul­der in­jury.

Pan­thers: Aside from Kuechly’s in­jury, Whittaker was carted to the locker room in the first quar­ter with a right an­kle in­jury and did not re­turn. UP NEXT » Ea­gles: Host the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins on “Mon­day Night Foot­ball” on Oct. 23

Pan­thers: At the Chicago Bears on Oct. 22.

CHUCK BUR­TON - AP

Philadel­phia Ea­gles’ Jalen Mills (31) re­acts af­ter the Ea­gles stopped the Carolina Pan­thers on fourth down late in the sec­ond half of an NFL foot­ball game in Char­lotte, N.C., Thurs­day.

MIKE MCCARN - AP

The Philadel­phia Ea­gles’ Zach Ertz (86) catches a touch­down pass as the Carolina Pan­thers’ Mike Adams (29) de­fends in the sec­ond half of an NFL foot­ball game in Char­lotte, N.C.

MIKE MCCARN — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Carolina Pan­thers’ Kelvin Ben­jamin (13) catches a pass as the Philadel­phia Ea­gles’ Ra­sul Dou­glas (32) de­fends in the first half of an NFL foot­ball game in Char­lotte, N.C., Thurs­day.

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