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Carolina Panthers Lead the Philadelphia Eagles 14-6 at Halftime

Thanks to two rushing touchdowns, the Carolina Panthers jump out to a 14-6 lead at halftime over the Philadelphia Eagles. Brandon Croce provides some notes from the first half of the Panthers' Sunday night contest against the Eagles.

  • The Carolina Panthers wasted no time on national TV to jump out to an early lead. After the Philadelphia Eagles were forced to punt, it took the Panthers' offense only four plays to cross the goal-line for six. The team started with a nine yard run by Jonathan Stewart and he followed it up with a season-long run of 36 yards. It was Cam Newton's turn who threw a dart to Philly Brown for 25 yards and the drive was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Mike Tolbert.
  • After a strong first drive though, the Panthers offense stalled a bit for the rest of the half. On the first drive, the team went 72 yards and the next three drives the Panthers only were able to gain a total of 60 yards. This is certainly surprising considering how well Stewart ran in the first half. He gained 69 rushing yards on only eight carries, averaging over eight yards per carry. The coaching staff needs to find a way to get Stewart the ball more in the second half.
  • Both the Eagles and Panthers had turnovers in the first quarter off odd looking interceptions. On the first play of the Eagles second drive, Bradford threw a pass short to Jordan Matthews that bounced off his hands and as Colin Jones went to make the tackle end up snatching the ball. On the very next play, Newton threw another excellent pass, this time to Ted Ginn Jr, that was wrestled away by Nolan Carroll.
  • Speaking of Newton, he had a strong first half with the only real mistake coming at the end of the first half when he threw an interception trying to force a pass to Fozzy Whittaker. This interception led to a field goal by the Eagles but certainly could have been much more if it wasn't for a diving swat by Josh Norman in the end zone. He finished completing six of 11 passes for 86 passing yards and only four rushing yards. However on those four yards, he picked up a first down as well as scored a rushing touchdown.
  • Kawann Short continues to look unblockable as he had a sack, pass batted down and two tackles for a loss, in the first half. The pass rush as a whole has looked much better and Jared Allen had a strong half of football and defensive end Mario Addison had a sack of his own to end the Eagles' first drive.
  • While this defense has given up a substantial amount of yards in the first half, 172 to be exact, they have done an excellent job of keeping the Eagles off the scoreboard. Aside from the interception on the second drive, the Panthers were only able to force one three and out, which came on the Eagles final drive before halftime. This needs to be a point of emphasis for the Panthers' defense in the second half.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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