The Eagles finished with just 101 yards on 27 carries, and that was with 25 yards from Carson Wentz. They had just four rushing first downs, but were effective enough to keep the Panthers defense off-balance. LeGarrette Blount had four double-digit-yard runs and continued to be a between-the-tackles beast.
Carson Wentz followed his four-TD game against Arizona with a three-TD, no-interception performance against the Panthers. Zach Ertz had just two catches, but both were for scores. Wentz wasn’t as dominant on third down as he’s been, but did hit rookie Mack Hollins for 20 yards on a third-and-16 late in the third quarter that made his 24-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor three plays later possible.
Cam Newton got away from them a few times, running and scrambling for 71 yards on 11 carries, including a 16-yard touchdown. But the Eagles held everyone not named Newton to nine yards on 14 carries. Jonathan Stewart had minus-4 yards on 8 carries.
Don’t give up the deep ball and limit their yards after the catch. That’s what Jim Schwartz wanted and that’s what the defense gave him Thursday. They held Cam Newton, who had averaged nearly 11 yards per attempt the previous two games, to 4.6 and intercepted him three times on third down. Effectively mixing blitzes and a fierce four-man rush, they pressured Newton all night.
Jake Elliott ran his streak of consecutive field goals to 10 with 48- and 50-yarders against the Panthers. The Eagles’ coverage units weren’t as sharp as usual, giving up a 25-yard punt return to Christian McCaffrey and a 33-yard kickoff return to Curtis Samuel. Kenjon Barner had a muffed punt that Patrick Robinson alertly fell on.
Anyone who read our pre-game predictions knows I didn’t expect them to win this game. The odds are stacked against the road team in short-week games. But the Eagles ignored those odds. Their defense, which played most of the game without their middle linebacker, Jordan Hicks, turned in an exceptional performance, intercepting Cam Newton three times and shutting them down on their last possession. Carson Wentz threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions.