Eagles Key Plays: How They Happened
The Eagles gave up three touchdowns, scored once, forced three turnovers and tallied one giveaway in their 27-16 loss to the Panthers. Here’s how it all happened.
The play: Mike Tolbert ran two yards for a touchdown to cap off the Panthers’ first drive of the game.
How it happened: Fletcher Cox does a good job of shedding his block without getting pushed back, but Tolbert powered through the Eagles’ front. Because Walter Thurmond was sealed to the outside, Tolbert had a crease and cut away from where Cox’s momentum was taking him, taking away some of the power Cox could tackle with. Jordan Hicks may have also overcommitted on the play, but it’s unclear what his run fit was.
The play: Sam Bradford’s pass to Jordan Matthews was intercepted at Philadelphia’s 21-yard line.
How it happened: Could Bradford have delivered a better throw? Yes. But he had to get rid of the ball quickly because of pressure and Matthews should be able to catch this. This was another play where all of the Eagles’ receivers were open, but they can’t execute and it leads to a costly turnover.
The play: Nolan Carroll intercepted Cam Newton’s pass intended for Ted Ginn the play after Bradford’s pick.
How it happened: This is another example of the Eagles’ defense going after the ball whenever possible. Carroll made a great play here, but also give Bill Davis some credit. The Panthers had one more blocker than pass rushers, but the Eagles’ blitz caused a miscommunication and Cedric Thornton was unblocked, forcing Newton to get rid of the ball quickly.
The play: Newton ran two yards for a touchdown near the end of the second quarter.
How it happened: This is simply a tough play to defend. Jordan Hicks did a nice job of filling the hole once he saw Newton keep it, but Mychal Kendricks was late in diagnosing it. It’s difficult to prevent Newton from getting into the end zone here, but the rookie would’ve done it if not for a risky move by Newton to stretch the ball out to the goal line.
The play: Malcolm Jenkins intercepted Newton’s pass intended for Fozzy Whittaker.
How it happened: Serious question: when was the last time an Eagles’ receiver made this good of a catch? Vinny Curry also deserves recognition after beating the right guard and pressuring Newton, even while being held. Brandon Graham got pressure off the edge, too.
The play: Tolbert caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Newton in the beginning of the third quarter.
How it happened: Jenkins did a good job of tracking the fullback in the flat after the play action while fighting past the tight end. He delivered a great hit, but he needs to wrap up to make the tackle and finish the play. The unacceptable part of this snap, however, is Byron Maxwell‘s half-hearted attempt at tackling Tolbert.
The play: Ryan Mathews ran 63 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Eagles’ deficit to eight points.
How it happened: When I saw this play live, I was curious who on the offensive line was responsible for opening up this huge hole. After watching the film, the answer is no one. The offensive line didn’t allow immediate disruption, but the Panthers’ defensive end jumped outside of Matt Tobin and Luke Kuechly overcommitted. Mathews then turned on the jets — on an apparently injured groin — and took advantage of his huge running lane.
The play: Maxwell intercepted Newton’s pass intended for Devin Funchess and returned it 22 yards to Carolina’s 18-yard line.
How it happened: It initially appeared that Maxwell was beaten on the play, but the film showed it was because Thurmond bumped him while chasing the tight end to the flat. This was a good effort by Maxwell, though, to not give up on the play and to make the diving catch.