Eagles use blocked punt to stun Panthers, 21-18
For most of Sunday’s game, Philadelphia’s offense looked listless. The club had another touchdown wiped off the board due to penalty, after three such instances last week.
But quarterback Jalen Hurts started heating up late in the third quarter. And then the Eagles blocked a punt to set up a late go-ahead touchdown.
And that’s how the Eagles somehow beat the Panthers 21-18.
With four minutes left in the game, linebacker T.J. Edwards got his arm on Joseph Charlton’s punt and linebacker Shaun Bradley fell on the loose ball at Carolina’s 26.
Hurts fired one to tight end Dallas Goedert to get Philadelphia down to the 6-yard line. A play later, Hurts took a read-option into the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown. Hurts then recovered a bad snap and rolled to his right, hitting DeVonta Smith for a two-point conversion.
The Panthers had another shot at scoring, but cornerback Steven Nelson ended that pretty quickly with an interception on the left sideline — quarterback Sam Darnold’s third pick of the day.
Philadelphia kept the game in question longer than it should have by going out of bounds on run plays. But Hurts kept an option on third-and-1 at the Carolina 9 and got a first down to effectively end the game.
Hurts finished 22-of-37 passing for 198 yards with an interception. He also had a pair of touchdowns on nine carries for 30 yards. DeVonta Smith finished as the game’s leading receiver, catching seven passes for 77 yards.
Philadelphia’s defense also got after Darnold well, sacking him three times and racking up a total of eight quarterback hits. Cornerback Darius Slay picked off Darnold twice before Nelson got the third interception.
It’s a particularly bad loss for the Panthers, who were in control for most of the game. Starting in place of the injured Christian McCaffrey, Chuba Hubbard had 101 yards on 24 carries. Darnold ended the game 21-of-37 passing for 177 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
At 2-3, the Eagles play the Buccaneers on Thursday in Week Six.
The Panthers have lost two in a row to fall to 3-2 and have the Vikings at home next Sunday.