Eagles lead Panthers 22-21 after 3rd quarter
Bryce Brown had touchdown runs of 65 and 5 yards to help the Philadelphia Eagles take a 22-21 lead over the Carolina Panthers after three quarters Monday night in a matchup of teams with the worst records in the NFC.
Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and ran for another in the third, but the struggling Eagles kept answering in their quest to snap a six-game losing streak.
Brown, filling in for injured running back LeSean McCoy, surpassed Correll Buckhalter's team rookie record of 134 yards rushing midway through the third quarter. He had 150 yards on 15 carries in his first start since his senior year in high school in 2008. But Brown also lost two fumbles, including one in Panthers' territory.
Fellow rookie Nick Foles made his second straight start for Michael Vick, who also is out with a concussion. The injury-depleted Eagles lost wide receiver DeSean Jackson (sternum) and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (tail bone) in the first half.
Newton led a 95-yard drive to open the third quarter, finishing it off with a 1-yard leap to give the Panthers a 21-15 lead. Newton hit Louis Murphy for a 55-yard gain on a second-and-11 from Carolina's 16.
Brown broke loose early in the second quarter to get Philadelphia within 14-12. Brown started up the middle, cut outside and outran the defense down the right sideline for the seventh-longest TD run by a Philadelphia rookie. The Eagles inexplicably tried a 2-point conversion and failed.
Alex Henery's 45-yard field goal gave them a 15-14 lead.
Newton, who hasn't played up to his sensational rookie season, showed no signs of a sophomore slump against Philadelphia's porous pass defense. Newton completed three passes for 47 yards on the Panthers' first drive, including a 24-yard toss over the middle to a wide-open Gary Barnidge for a 7-3 lead.
Newton connected with Brandon LaFell on a 43-yard pass to make it 14-3. LaFell was wide open on the play, taking advantage of another breakdown in coverage in the secondary.
Since Todd Bowles replaced Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator, the Eagles have allowed 13 passing touchdowns and haven't had an interception in five games.
Henery's 36-yard field goal gave Philadelphia a 3-0 lead. Henery kicked a 41-yarder to cut it to 14-6. It was his 18th straight field goal, setting a team record.
The Eagles haven't won since beating the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants to go 3-1, leaving fans and media to speculate about coach Andy Reid's job. Owner Jeffrey Lurie already has said that an 8-8 record would be ''unacceptable'' this year. The Eagles would have to finish 5-1 just to get there.
Fans known for their hostile behavior have become apathetic toward their beloved Eagles. The Linc was about one-third empty for pregame introductions and plenty of seats remained empty.
The Panthers aren't quite as bad as their 2-8 record. They have lost six games by less than a touchdown, including a 2-point loss at Atlanta and a 1-point loss at Chicago.
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