Cam Newton’s big night leads Carolina Panthers in win against Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles’ injuries continue to mount
The Eagles’ mascot “Swoop” (pictured) might have to suit up next week against the Cowboys as they were bitten by the injury bug again. DeSean Jackson had an early exit in the first half after sustaining an injury to his collarbone. Jackson underwent X-rays, which were negative, but a prolonged injury could leave this offense severely inept. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox suffered a tailbone injury and never returned to action.
Most critics would say Cam Newton is having a typical sophomore slump this season. But he showed no signs of a slump in a 30-22 win against the Eagles on Monday night. Newton showed great command of his offense from the start, piloting a 72-yard scoring drive and capping it with a 24-yard strike to Gary Barnidge. And that was just the beginning. Newton completed a pass to seven different receivers and had two highlight-reel worthy runs into the end zone. The Panthers, who have the league's highest-paid backfield, continue to be led in rushing yards by their franchise quarterback. Figure that out.
Is Nick Foles the future?
Whether or not Andy Reid is relieved of his head coaching duties after the season, the Eagles must make another crucial decision. Who is the franchise quarterback? Foles, who replaced Michael Vick in the starting lineup for the second straight week, kept the Eagles within reach but had some issues recognizing the Panthers’ zone coverage. The rookie quarterback has shown some promise in his abbreviated time as the starter, but the Eagles’ brass must decide if that is enough to tab him as the future of the franchise.
Bryce Brown shows flashes of brilliance
Speaking of first-year Eagles, when Philadelphia spent the No. 229 overall pick in the 2012 Draft on Bryce Brown, it saw a raw prospect with game-breaking speed. Looks like they were right. Brown, who started Monday night because LeSean McCoy was out with a concussion, flashed that speed against the Panthers, ESPN’s Jon Gruden even referencing Houston Texans running back Arian Foster after Brown broke off an electric 65-yard score in the first half. Although Brown set an Eagle rookie record with 178 yards to go with two touchdowns, it wasn’t a perfect night as Brown committed two drive-stalling fumbles in the third quarter.
Panthers’ D shows up … for the most part
Although Carolina was gashed for 204 yards on the ground, head coach Ron Rivera had a good game plan to nullify the Eagles. Carolina’s defense which has been led by rookie Luke Kuechly, mixed up coverages and created timely turnovers. Kuechly, who leads all NFL rookies in tackles, deserves some hype for Defensive Rookie of the Year.