Panthers Defeat Eagles, 30-22, Behind Impressive Performance from Cam Newton
Monday Night Football's Twitter account summed it up:
Turnovers remain killers for Eagles, who are -15 on season. Only Chiefs (-21) are worse. #MNF— ESPN Monday Night (@ESPNMondayNight) November 27, 2012
That was before the Eagles' third turnover of the night, too. The Eagles had their chances up until the bitter end, but consistently shooting yourself in the foot isn't going to win very many games, as the Eagles' 3-8 record proves.
This is the first time in franchise history Eagles have allowed 28 points in five straight games.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) November 27, 2012
Alex Henery's first field goal of the night gave the Eagles an early 3-0 advantage, before Newton hit Gary Barnidge less than five minutes later. Newton followed that with a long-distance strike to Brandon LaFell just a short while later to give the Panthers a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, those two scores also created a mini-milestone for Newton:
This is the 1st time in Cam Newton's career that he's thrown 2 TD passes in the 1st quarter of a game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 27, 2012
The Eagles answered in the second quarter, though, led by rookie running back Bryce Brown.
Henery tacked on three more points to cut the lead to 14-6, followed by a 65-yard scamper by Brown to make the score 14-12. Nick Foles failed to tie the game on the subsequent two-point conversion, and the score remained the same until Henery gave the Eagles a 15-14 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the half.
A seventh-round pick out of Kansas State, Brown ran well all night, giving CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman reason to say this:
O.K., so now we're finally seeing why Bryce Brown was once a 5-star recruit.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) November 27, 2012
He finished the night with 178 yards on 19 carries, snapping the Eagles' rookie single-game rushing record, according to Eagles Insider:
With that carry, Bryce Brown has snapped the #Eagles rookie single-game rushing record with 135 yards.— Eagles Insider (@EaglesInsider) November 27, 2012
However, he did fumble the ball twice in the second half. Brown was the only player who really stood out for Philadelphia, though, despite his issues with ball security.
Newton ran a one-yard score in to start the second half to give Carolina a 21-15 lead, but Brown followed that with a five-yard score of his own to put the Eagles back in front 22-21 entering the fourth quarter.
Graham Gano's field goal less than three minutes into the fourth frame put Carolina in front, 24-22, early on, but the Eagles kept pushing. Newton's second rushing score of the night put the Panthers in front 30-22 with less than five minutes remaining.
Philadelphia had a chance, but Brandon Boykin's fumble on the ensuing kickoff ended that notion.
Philadelphia has played worse this year, but critical turnovers made the difference in this one. Brown's performance was encouraging, and the offensive line only allowed one sack.
In the end, the Panthers had just enough to grab the win, extending the Eagles' misery. Newton played one of his better games of the year, throwing two touchdowns and 295 yards on 17-of-27 passing and running 54 yards and two more scores.
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