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Newton leads Panthers over Eagles

Published On: Nov 26 2012 11:04:56 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 27 2012 07:36:42 AM CST
Carolina Panthers helmet

NFL

PHILADELPHIA -

The Carolina Panthers struck for two long touchdown passes in the first half, and their defense came up with a crucial fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter of a 30-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Panthers (3-8) won despite a big day by Eagles rookie running back Bryce Brown, who rushed for 178 yards. However, Brown fumbled the ball away twice and he was stopped short on fourth-and-inches from the Panthers' 40-yard line late in the fourth quarter.

Carolina then scored on the second rushing touchdown of the day by quarterback Cam Newton, from 2 yards out, to send Philadelphia (3-8) to its seventh consecutive loss. It's the Eagles' longest losing streak since they lost their final seven games in 1994.

Newton completed 18 of 28 passes for 306 yards, and he ran 14 times for 52 yards.

Philadelphia led 15-14 at halftime, but the Panthers took the second-half kickoff and moved downfield, keyed by a tumbling, 55-yard catch by wide receiver Louis Murphy over cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. That set up a 1-yard touchdown dive by Newton that gave the Panthers a 21-15 lead with 9:13 left in the third quarter.

Then the Eagles got a break. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles launched a long pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin that fell incomplete, but Panthers safety Haruki Nakamura was flagged for pass interference. The 51-yard penalty gave the Eagles a first down on the Carolina 5-yard line. Brown scored on the next play to give the Eagles a 22-21 lead with 3:30 left in the third period.

Brown's second lost fumble of the game led to a 23-yard field goal by Graham Gano that gave the Panthers a 24-22 lead with 12:40 to play, and Carolina never trailed again.

The Eagles have been slow starters all season, but they scored on their first possession of the game when Alex Henery kicked a 36-yard field goal. Brown keyed the 62-yard drive with runs of 7 and 18 yards.

A breakdown by the Eagles allowed the Panthers to take a 7-3 lead. Carolina tight end Gary Barnidge split the defense and was wide open to catch a 24-yard touchdown pass from Newton with 6:12 left in the first quarter.

As bad as that mistake was, the Eagles' next miscue was even worse. The Panthers had the ball on the Philadelphia 43-yard line when wide receiver Brandon LaFell lined up in the slot and nobody covered him. LaFell was even more wide open than Barnidge when he caught Newton's pass and cruised into the end zone to give Carolina a 14-3 lead with 3:36 left in the opening period.

Another Henery field goal, this time from 41 yards, brought the Eagles within 14-6 early in the second quarter. Midway through the second quarter, a 65-yard touchdown run by Brown -- the seventh-longest scoring run by a rookie in Eagles history -- made it 14-12. Philadelphia's two-point conversion attempt failed.

The Eagles regained the lead when Henery hit his 19th consecutive field goal, this one from 45 yards. That put Philadelphia on top 15-14 at halftime.

NOTES: Eagles rookie defensive end Vinny Curry suited up for the first time. The second-round pick was inactive for the first 10 games. ... Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith caught a 14-yard pass in the first quarter to go over 11,000 yards in his career, just the 27th NFL player to do so. ... Brown made his first NFL start, subbing for LeSean McCoy (concussion). ... Henery broke the Eagles' record for consecutive field goals, which was 17, held by David Akers.