Eagles storm back in second half to down Panthers

The Philadelphia Eagles looked exactly like a 1-3 team through the opening 30 minutes of Sunday’s road game at the Carolina Panthers. Nick Sirianni’s men executed like a team with plenty of potential after halftime to pick up their second win of 2021.

Jalen Hurts rushed for two touchdowns while Jonathan Gannon’s defense intercepted Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold three times as the Eagles claimed a 21-18 comeback win over Carolina. Darius Slay registered two interceptions while Steven Nelson delivered the final blow as Philadelphia moved to 2-3 heading into a Thursday night showdown with Tampa Bay.

The Eagles didn’t have much to show for in the first half, registering only three points thanks to Jake Elliott’s 30-yard field goal in the first quarter. Zane Gonzalez registered two field goals for Matt Rhule’s offense while Darnold also connected with Tommy Tremble for a five-yard score late in the first quarter.

Carolina’s defense also intercepted Hurts in the first half and also forced a fumble from the second-year quarterback which resulted in a safety in the second quarter. Elliott’s 58-yard field goal before halftime gave the Eagles some momentum before the team really kicked things into gear in the third quarter.

Hurts’ one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter would cut the Eagles deficit to 15-13 and also cap off a six-play, 76-yard drive.

Gonzalez’s 50-yard field goal in the third quarter would later re-extend Carolina’s advantage to 18-13, but the Eagles defense dominated after that. Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, and others made some key stops down the stretch to force Carolina into three-and-outs and Hurts made them pay in the fourth quarter.

After T.J. Edwards blocked Joseph Charlton’s punt attempt deep in Carolina territory, Hurts kept a snap to himself four players later and snuck home from six yards out, before connecting with DeVonta Smith on a successful two-point conversion. Philly’s 21-18 lead would be one they did not relinquish as Nelson’s late interception on Darnold, allowed the Eagles to eventually run out the clock deep in Panthers territory.

Despite only 91 rushing yards as a team, the Eagles would walk away with needed confidence after three-consecutive defeats. Hurts finished with 228 total yards while Smith lead all receivers with 77 yards on seven catches, including his two-point grab.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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