Newton led a 95-yard drive to open the third quarter, finishing it off with a 1-yard leap to give the Panthers a 21-15 lead. Newton hit Louis Murphy for a 55-yard gain on a second-and-11 from Carolina’s 16.
“I think my best game is still to come,” Newton said. “I’m still focused on getting better each and every week.”
Carolina (3-8) went ahead 24-22 early in the fourth quarter on Graham Gano’s 23-yard field goal.
“It’s been a long time in coming,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “Lots of people contributed and made plays. Real proud of what we did and the things we did to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Bryce Brown set an Eagles‘ rookie record with 178 yards rushing, including TD runs of 65 and 5 yards. Brown, filling in for injured running back LeSean McCoy, surpassed Correll Buckhalter’s rookie mark of 134 yards rushing in his first start since his senior year at Wichita East High School in 2008. Brown also lost two fumbles, including one in Panthers‘ territory.
“The most important thing for me was for us to get the win and that didn’t happen tonight,” Brown said. “I felt like a lot of that had to do with my two turnovers. It really, really cost us.”
After Gano’s field goal put them up for good, the Panthers finally stopped Brown when it mattered most, stuffing him on a fourth-and-1 to take over on downs at their 40. Newton led them downfield, running in from the 2 to make it 30-22. Gano, signed last week, missed the extra point. But Brandon Boykin fumbled after a 44-yard kickoff return, the Panthers recovered and held the ball the final 4:29.
The Panthers have shown they’re better than their record. They have lost six games by less than a touchdown, including a 2-point loss at Atlanta and a 1-point loss at Chicago.
“It’s a huge stage, Monday Night Football, on the road,” tackle Jordan Gross said. “It was just big for us and big for the guys on the team who haven’t experienced something like this.”
For the Eagles, it was simply the latest loss in a season stuffed with them. The Linc was quiet and empty except for some boos when busted coverage led to another Carolina TD. They fled for the exits once the Panthers took over for the final time.
“He’s as competitive as anybody and he wants to win games,” Reid said. “That’s what he’s in this business for.”
NOTES: Neither Vick nor McCoy has been cleared to return to practice. The injury-depleted Eagles lost wide receiver DeSean Jackson (sternum) and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (tail bone) in the first half. … The Eagles inducted five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Troy Vincent and longtime front office executive Leo Carlin into the team’s Hall of Fame at halftime. … Brown’s 65-yard TD run was the longest for the Eagles since McCoy’s 66-yard TD vs NYG on Nov. 1, 2009. … Buckhalter had 134 yards rushing vs. Arizona on Oct. 7, 2001. … Newton led the Panthers with 52 yards rushing.
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