Eagles 14, Panthers 9
Michael Vick looks rejuvenated in Chip Kelly’s offense and Nick
Foles isn’t going away easy.
Both quarterbacks looked sharp and led the Philadelphia Eagles
to a touchdown drive in a 14-9 victory over Cam Newton and the
Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.
Kelly joked an injury may determine who will be Philadelphia’s
starter and he’s not close to picking one at this point. Kelly
wouldn’t even say who will take the first snap next week at
Carolina has a clear-cut starter in Newton, but he still needs
to find his rhythm in the preseason.
Here are five things we learned during Philadelphia’s victory
over the Panthers:
1. MICHAEL VICK HAS REGAINED HIS CONFIDENCE: Vick completed his
first nine passes before throwing an interception on a Hail Mary at
the end of the second quarter after the Eagles got the ball with 24
seconds left in the half. He finished 9 of 10 for 105 yards and
also ran for 20. Through two games, Vick is 13 of 15 for 199 yards,
one TD, one interception and a passer rating of 113.1.
”I’m having fun playing football,” Vick said. ”I fell in love
with the game again. I feel in rhythm all the time. The flow in the
way we prepare makes me feel I can do it all. I feel like the team
can go places.”
2. NICK FOLES BOUNCES BACK WELL FROM MISTAKES: Last week, Foles
led the Eagles to a TD drive after fumbling on his first series. He
started 6 for 6 this week before throwing an interception in the
end zone after dropping a shot-gun snap and trying to get rid of
the ball. But Foles came back and led the Eagles to a TD on his
next drive, running it in himself from the 7. Foles was 6 of 8 for
53 yards. He’s 11 of 14 for 96 yards, no TDs, one pick and a passer
rating of 65.7 in two games.
”All I can do is correct what I did wrong and improve,” Foles
said. ”I wanted to go back out there and get the ball in the end
3. CAM NEWTON AND CAROLINA’S OFFENSE HAVE WORK TO DO: Newton led
the Panthers to just a pair of field goals in the first half. He’s
11 of 23 for 128 yards, one TD and one interception in two games.
But the Panthers are missing running backs Mike Tolbert and
Jonathan Stewart. DeAngelo Williams had 39 yards on 12 carries.
”When you play a fast-strike offense, you have to score
touchdowns,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. ”Field goals are not
enough. That wasn’t good enough.”
Newton is looking forward to opening up the playbook.
”It can be very dangerous,” he said of the offense. ”It all
comes down to us executing the plays.”
4. DAVID GETTIS IS HEALTHY AND MAKING PLAYS: Gettis, who hasn’t
caught a pass since 2010, led the Panthers in catches and receiving
yards for the second straight week. He had five receptions for 82
yards, improving his chances of making the roster. Gettis started
13 games as a rookie three years ago before knee and hamstring
injuries sidelined him for most of the past two seasons.
”I think you need to just focus on making plays early in the
season and I think I was able to do that,” Gettis said. ”If all
of us are able to do that on offense, it will be a great
5. BILLY DAVIS’ DEFENSE IS COMING ALONG: After getting picked
apart by Tom Brady and surrendering a ton of yards on the ground
last week in a 31-22 loss to New England, the Eagles’ defense was
much improved. The starters played the first half and held the
Panthers to 50 yards rushing and a pair of field goals. Davis, the
new defensive coordinator, is transitioning the Eagles from a
traditional 4-3 defense to a variation of the 3-4.
”Part of stopping people is getting everybody to the ball,”
Kelly said. ”It’s a lot easier to tackle when there are people
swarming to the ball. For the most part, we played with really good
effort on that side of the ball.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: