Who's trending up and who's trending down following the Eagles' 21-17 loss to the Panthers?
Jeff McLane breaks it down:
DOWN — Schwartz's unit held the Panthers to just 106 total yards and zero points through almost three quarters. But it coughed up a 17-point lead in brutal fashion. Whatever Schwartz called, it didn't work. He needed to be more aggressive and wasn't.
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DOWN — Since Pederson likes to golf, here's a phrase that about sums up Sunday's loss to the Panthers: "Drive for show, putt for dough." The Eagles dominated for three quarters but turtled up in the fourth. The defense choked, but Pederson's offensive play-calling was timid down the stretch.
DOWN — Quarterbacks are often judged based on their success rate on game-winning drives. Wentz was great for 3 1/2 quarters. But he made several poor decisions on the Eagles' last three possessions, and on the final series, he forced a third-down pass to Alshon Jeffery in the end zone and held the ball too long on fourth down.
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UP — Newton deserves his share of credit for the Panthers comeback. The quarterback had completed just 8 of 15 passes for 59 yards late in the third quarter. But he connected on 17 of 24 attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns on Carolina's final three drives.
>> Panthers 21, Eagles 17: Birds collapse in fourth quarter, cough up 17-point lead
UP — The Eagles tight end caught 9 of 11 targeted passes for 138 yards. It was his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. He made one great catch after another. To no fault of his own, Wentz targeted him only once on the Eagles' final two possessions.
DOWN — Darby covered well for a stretch, but he avoided a Newton block on Jarius Wright's 34-yard end around and he bit on a Devin Funchess double move that resulted in a touchdown. Mills had a few positive plays, but he slipped on Torrey Smith's fourth-down conversion and his tackle attempt afterward was lame.
DOWN — Christian McCaffrey is a tough assignment. And the Panthers run a lot of misdirection that can test the most disciplined of linebackers. But Hicks and Bradham failed to make stops when it mattered most.
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UP — The Eagles defensive end was disruptive in the first half. Bennett recorded his third sack in the last four games, forced another tackle for loss and had a couple of hits on Newton.
SIDEWAYS — The pass rush brought the heat without much of a blitz. Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Bennett pressured Newton and kept the Panthers from throwing downfield. But the D-line was quiet in the fourth. Were they gassed?
UP — The receiver scored the Eagles' first touchdown on a double move. He caught a back-shoulder pass. He broke a tackle and picked up yards after the catch. And he even drew a 48-yard pass-interference penalty on the final drive. But it was all for naught.
SIDEWAYS — Peters (biceps) and Johnson (ankle) played through injury yet again. They helped keep Wentz clean for most of the game. But the O-line wasn't consistent enough.
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DOWN — Can we ditch some of the short passing concepts to Agholor? In four out of seven games this season, the slot receiver has averaged six yards or fewer per catch. He had six grabs against the Panthers but gained only 20 yards (3.3 average).
DOWN — The Panthers safety chose Sunday, of all times, to confront Malcolm Jenkins about their differences over the Players Coalition. Afterward, he called the Eagles safety a coward, among other insults. Jenkins took the high road. Reid wasn't much better on the field.
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