On Thursday night, the Philadelphia Eagles faced a tough matchup going on the road to face the Carolina Panthers. Both teams came into the game with records of 4-1 and looked to make the claim as one of the best teams in the NFC.
Nevertheless, it was a tough and physical game between both squads with the Eagles ultimately coming out on top. There were a lot of big plays and huge moments in the game that helped determine the outcome.
However, to make things simple, here are three takeaways from the Eagles’ fourth-straight victory:
The defense continues to dominate, despite miscues
Going into Thursday night’s game, the Eagles’ run defense was ranked second in the NFL, only giving up 62.8 yards per game. They also had eight takeaways, which put them top-10 in the league.
Against quarterback Cam Newton and the rest of the Panthers’ offense, they continued that dominance holding their running game to only 80 yards. The defense also did a good job of getting pressure on Newton as they sacked him twice and forced him to throw three interceptions.
It was imperative for the Eagles’ defense to get into Newton’s face because over the past two games, he picked opposing defenses’ apart to the tune of 671 passing yards, six touchdowns, an interception and completing 77.4 percent of his passes.
However, despite the turnovers and sacks, the Eagles’ defense also shot themselves in the foot with a couple of costly penalties to keep Carolina in the game. In the second quarter, cornerback Jalen Mills was called for a questionable defensive pass interference on wide receiver Curtis Samuel, which ended up leading to a Graham Gano field goal.
Then, later in the game, rookie defensive end Derek Barnett was hit with roughing the passer on Newton after the whistle had blown. Just like Mills’ penalty, it led to points for Carolina.
Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz are having breakout seasons
If someone had told you through the first six weeks of the season that wide receiver Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz would have four touchdowns a piece, you probably would not believe them. In fact, you would probably laugh at the person, and dismiss them from any further football conversations.
However, that has not been the case this year as both Agholor and Ertz are playing lights out. Agholor, who is building confidence each week out of the slot, had another good outing against Carolina with four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Ertz, on the other hand, really was not a huge factor in the game, but made the plays when it counted the most. The fifth-year tight end only had two receptions for 18 yards, but those two catches were touchdowns.
Both players are one of the main reasons why the Eagles’ offense has continued to be successful through six games.
Carson Wentz is the real deal
Heading into this season, a lot of fans and analysts alike were wondering how quarterback Carson Wentz was going to develop in his second season. Would he take that next step with his new weapons or would he go into a sophomore slump?
Through six games, it appears as if the former North Dakota State Bison has taken that next step. Nevertheless, despite the amount of hits and pressure the Panthers threw at Wentz, he still prevailed and made big plays when he needed to.
On Thursday night, Wentz completed 53.3 percent of his passes for 222 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Wentz now has 13 touchdowns and three interceptions on the season and it will only go up from here.
For the Eagles to continue to play well and possibly win the division, it will be on the shoulders of Wentz to play smart football and make plays.