Panthers vs. Eagles: Halftime Update

It was an ugly first half for the Carolina Panthers who fell behind 31-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles. These are a few of my thoughts and observations from the first half.

  • Entering this game, if Panthers fans were told the defense would hold Jeremy Maclin to under 50 yards receiving and LeSean McCoy to fewer than 25 rushing yards I am sure they would have liked their chances. Unfortunately, three turnovers (one fumble, two interceptions) and a punt return by Darren Sproles allowed the Eagles to jump out to a big lead.

 

  • The Panthers offense once again is under-utilizing their two best players right now: running back Jonathan Stewart and tight end Greg Olsen. For the second straight week, Stewart and DeAngelo Williams evenly split the carries but Stewart ( seven carries, 30 rushing yards) has almost doubled Williams (9 carries, 19 yards) on the ground. 

 

  • In the passing game, if I was Cam Newton I would be throwing the ball to Greg Olsen every down until the Eagles show they can stop him. Olsen has had his most productive game since Green Bay with four receptions for 72 yards.

 

  • Cam Newton rough streak continues throwing three interceptions in the first half, one of which was returned for a touchdown. It is hard to tell exactly what the problem is because Newton doesn’t look to be on the same page with any of his wide receivers, except Olsen. This is not something you would expect in Week 10 and after the Panthers are coming off 10 days to prepare for this game.

 

  • The score would look like the Panthers defense has been just as bad as the offense but except for one drive in the second quarter, they have played pretty well. They have held the rushing attack to only 22 yards and 2.4 yards per carry. The secondary has been getting beaten regularly (Sanchez has 182 passing yards) but it hasn’t really hurt them.


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