By Cindy Davis // @XO_CindyDavis
Carolina Panthers 21 – Philadelphia Eagles 17
The Panthers managed to defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in Philadelphia in an amazing 4th quarter comeback, 21-17.
After sitting through three grueling quarters of frustrating football, the game felt hopeless and like a sure loss. Then suddenly, in the 4th quarter, the Panthers took over and the team managed to find their rhythm. Down 17 points and with their backs against the wall, the Panthers found a way to win.
Before today, the Panthers have never come back from a 4th quarter 17 point deficit to win a game. With 10:41 left on the clock, quarterback Cam Newton tossed a trick pass to wide receiver Curtis Samuel who ran it into the end zone for the first Panther points of the game.
Following the touchdown, kicker Graham Gano missed the PAT further emphasizing that nothing in this game seemed to be going right for this team. Little did viewers know that this touchdown gave the cardiac cats the momentum shift they needed.
Cam newton really just went Superman on the eagles
— Bomi Eboda (@EbodaBomi) October 21, 2018
After a big defensive stop, the Panthers managed to stop the Eagles and kept them out of field goal range. Linebacker Luke Kuechly came up with a sack and the Eagles were forced to punt the ball. Philadelphia was unable to get anything going in the 4th quarter after dominating the entire game. In addition to the Curtis Samuel touchdown, Cam Newton proceeded to throw for 2 more touchdowns going 16/22 with 201 yards just in the 4th quarter.
Scoring these final points did not always look easy. After a series of missed connections with tight end, Greg Olsen and the receiving core came one of the most nerve-racking plays of the game. The Panthers down 14-17 went for it on 4th and 10. Cam managed to connect with former Eagle WR Torrey Smith for a huge first down and way more as he was hit in the lower body while throwing. He then connected with Olsen from the 1-yard line for a Panthers touchdown, giving the Panthers the first lead of the game at 21-17.
Welcome back Mr. Reliable! pic.twitter.com/Ldp0Fli4Pr
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) October 21, 2018
The Eagles got the ball back with 1:22 left on the clock. The defense, who had struggled for 3 quarters to stop QB Carson Wentz and company began their drive with a bomb downfield intended for WR Alshon Jeffery. Then came a massive pass interference call on cornerback James Bradberry covering Jeffery. This penalty brought the Eagles from their own 30-yard line to the Panthers 22 yard line. Once again, it looked like the dream of winning this game was slipping away.
As dumbfounding as this play looked in the moment, on closer look, Bradberry had to interfere Jeffery in that situation. Jeffery had Bradberry beat and had he not made that move, it would have been a touchdown. The defense managed to step up in a big way following that play, stopping the run and nearly picking Wentz off twice.
The game-sealing play came next on 4th and 2. Wentz went to throw and defensive end Julius Peppers batted his pass down causing a fumble. The Panthers recovered the ball and won the game with 21 seconds to spare on the play clock.
This game was exhilarating in the final minutes to watch as a Panther fan, however frustrating that the Panthers could not make these types of plays until crunch time. This win was truly a team win and took execution from every guy wearing a Panther jersey on the field.
While it’s easy to dwell on the many things that went wrong in this game, in the NFL, a win is a win and the Panthers gave meaning to the saying any given Sunday. Here’s hoping they clean up their act this week with a home game vs the 4-3 Ravens.
Talk Panthers with Cindy on Twitter @XO_CindyDavis