EAGLES DEFEAT THE CAROLINA PANTHERS 45-21.
The Eagles entered this game with a bounce back win in Houston the previous week but had some major losses. The Eagles lost offensive lineman Todd Herramans, quarterback Nick Foles, and linebacker Demeco Ryans. With such big pieces missing usually most fans would be worried, but the feeling was more nervous excitement to see how Mark Sanchez would play. The injuries turned out to not be a factor in this game as the Eagles came out guns blazing to get an early lead and get the victory.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez played well as he completed 20 out of 37 passes for 332 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. This is was Sanchez’s first start since the 2012 season with the New York Jets (the same season that he was apart of the infamous and hilarious butt fumble). This game was very impressive for Sanchez as he never had a game of over 265 passing yards without an interception with the Jets. Sanchez also seemed to have a certain chemistry with guys like wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who he constantly threw to in the preseason, and tight end Brent Celek.
Running back and special teams ace Darren Sproles made his presence felt in the win. Sproles had only 1 carry for 8 yards but it was a walk in 8 yard touchdown, and a 65 yard punt return for a touchdown. Sproles lived up to the nickname I gave him which is “The Sparkplug”. Sproles is a guy who can just turn the momentum in a split second.
Tight end Brent Celek became the Brent Celek of old as he had a stellar game. Celek had 5 receptions for 116 yards with an average of 23.2 yards per reception. If Celek produces like this and Zach Ertz produces as well, the Eagles have a pretty good tandem of tight ends.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews had a breakout game in the win. Matthews had 7 receptions for 138 yards, with an average of 19.7 yards per reception, and 2 touchdowns. “I felt like Jeremy Maclin,” Matthews joked after the game as Maclin was a few feet away and smiled at the comment. Matthews played like Maclin and has played just a level under Maclin, who has played great so far this year. Matthews now has 39 catches for 451 yards, and 5 touchdown. He is on pace for 69 catches, 801 yards, and 10 touchdowns which is pretty damn impressive.
The Eagles defense really fueled this victory with the 5 turnovers they forced in the win. The Eagles sacked the Panthers quarterback Cam Netwon 9 sacks, picked him off 3 times, and made him fumble once. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks made 8 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 tackle for loss. Fellow linebacker Connor Barwin made 8 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 3 tackles for loss. The defensive backs played their best game of the year as Bradley Fletcher, Malcolm Jenkiins, Cary Williams, and Nate Allen combined for 12 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Linebacker Brandon Graham summed up the how well the defense played as he said, “We just had to take the middle away from him. That’s what we did, took the middle away from him, went after him. Man, we had so much fun out there, I can’t even tell you.”
The win pushed the Eagles record to 7-2 and are in first place in the NFC East as the Eagles lead the Dallas Cowboys by a half game.This game sends the Eagles with confidence up to Green Bay as they take on Packers.
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