|Date of game: 11/10/2014
Recap: Philadelphia vs. Carolina
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Mark Sanchez made his Philadelphia debut in style, as he threw two touchdown passes and the Eagles defense did the rest in a 45-21 dismantling of the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.
Starting for the first time due to Nick Foles being down with an injury, Sanchez was 20-of-37 for 332 yards. He signed with the Eagles (7-2) in the offseason after a tumultuous run with the New York Jets.
He came in relief of Foles last week in a win over Houston and this was his first start since the final week of 2012. He sat out last season with a shoulder injury.
"When you take a step back, you appreciate it so much and you miss it so much," said Sanchez. "I told myself that if I ever got a chance again I was going to take advantage of it. This is a great system we have here and we have some great guys on the field and the coaches do a great job."
Philadelphia's defense, though, was all over Cam Newton throughout the game, totaling nine sacks, picking him off three times and causing him to fumble twice, losing one.
"We did a good job of attacking him and really going after him," said Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly. "I think everyone was feeding off the emotion of the crowd, we got rolling and had a good day."
Darren Sproles contributed two scores in the contest, one on the ground and another on a punt return to help Philadelphia win its second straight game.
Newton had a pair of touchdown passes to Kelvin Benjamin in the fourth quarter and finished the game 25-of-40 for 306 yards for the Panthers (3-6-1), who have dropped four straight since a tie against Cincinnati in Week 6.
Carolina started the game with the ball, but the second snap saw DeAngelo Williams get the ball punched out of his hands by Cedric Thornton, who recovered the ball at the Carolina 22.
Philly, though, was unable to move the ball and a 39-yard field goal from Cody Parkey gave the team a quick 3-0 lead.
Carolina's second possession ended with a turnover as well, as Newton's first pass was picked off by Cary Williams.
A 21-yard catch from Brent Celek led to an 8-yard touchdown run around the left end by Sproles for a 10-0 lead 3 1/2 minutes in.
"You can't expect to win games when you start like that," said Newton. "We put a lot of stress on our defense with back-to-back turnovers. I should have done a better job with the ball than that."
The Panthers finally got on track on their next touch, with Newton and Greg Olsen getting together for a 38-yard play to get the ball to the Philly 16. Four plays later, Jonathan Stewart punched the ball in from a yard out to make it a 10-7 game with six minutes to play in the first quarter.
Philly had to punt on its next touch, and Carolina followed suit, but it was Sproles again with a big play, as he took the punt up the middle and raced into the end zone for a 65-yard score and a 17-7 lead.
Ending the first quarter with the ball, the Eagles went on a 10-play, 91-yard drive to make it a 24-7 game. Sanchez hit Jordan Matthews with consecutive passes of 23 and 17 yards, and found the receiver again for a 13-yard score 3 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.
Newton's second interception of the game came later in the second, as Bradley Fletcher stepped in front of a pass and took it 34 yards into the end zone for a 31-7 lead going into the break.
Things didn't get any better for Newton in the second half. He fumbled the ball on a sack on the Panthers' opening possession, which led to a 1-yard touchdown run from LeSean McCoy for a 38-7 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Sanchez and Matthews got together again for an 18-yard score to polish off a 67-yard drive for a 45-7 lead.
Newton and Benjamin connected for scores of 21 and 40 yards later in the fourth to make the score a bit more respectable.Game Notes
It was Sproles' second punt return for a touchdown this season, and fifth of
his career ... Carolina defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was carted off the
field late in the third quarter with a leg injury ... The 31 points the Eagles
scored in the first half were the most they scored in a half since notching 45
points against Washington in Week 10 of the 2010 season ... Olsen had six
catches for 119 yards, while Matthews finished with 138 yards on seven catches
... The Eagles play in Green Bay next Sunday ... Carolina hosts Atlanta next
Sunday ... Philadelphia has won four of the last five meetings with Carolina.