Panthers beat struggling Eagles

Last updated 18:31 27/11/2012
Cam Newton
Reuters
SCORE: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates his touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more to lead the Panthers to a 30-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in a matchup of two struggling NFL teams.

Bryce Brown set a Philadelphia rookie record with 178 yards rushing, including TD runs of 65 and 5 yards, but the Eagles (3-8) still lost their seventh straight game. Brown, making his first start since he was at high school in 2008, filled in for injured running back LeSean McCoy.

While he surpassed Correll Buckhalter's rookie mark, he also lost two fumbles, including one in Panthers' territory.

Fellow Eagles rookie Nick Foles was so-so in his second straight start as quarterback, replacing Michael Vick, who also sat out with a concussion.

Foles was 16 of 21 for 119 yards. Newton, who so far this year hadn't played up to his sensational rookie season, thrived against Philadelphia's porous pass defence.

He finished 18 of 28 for 306 yards. Newton had a 24-yard TD toss over the middle to a wide-open Gary Barnidge for a 7-3 lead.

He connected with a wide-open Brandon LaFell on a 43-yard pass to make it 14-3 later in the first quarter. The failed marking on LaFell was a continuation of a worrying pattern.

In five games since Todd Bowles replaced Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator, the Eagles have allowed 13 passing touchdowns and haven't had an interception.

Newton led a 95-yard drive to open the third quarter, hitting Louis Murphy for a 55-yard gain on a second-and-11 from Carolina's 16. Newton finished it off with a 1-yard leap to give the Panthers a 21-15 lead.

The hosts recovered the lead 22-21 when a 51-yard pass interference call on Haruki Nakamura on Foles' deep pass to Jeremy Maclin put Philadelphia at the Panthers 5. Brown ran in for the go-ahead score.

Carolina (3-8) again went ahead 24-22 early in the fourth quarter on Graham Gano's 23-yard field goal. Then the Panthers finally stopped Brown when it mattered most, on a fourth-and-1 to take over on downs at their 40-yard line.

Newton led them downfield, running in from the 2 to make it 30-22. Gano, signed last week, missed the extra point.

But Brandon Boykin fumbled after a 44-yard kickoff return, the Panthers recovered and held the ball the final 4:29.

The Eagles' seven-game skid had heightened speculation about coach Andy Reid's job. Owner Jeffrey Lurie already has said that an 8-8 record would be ''unacceptable'' this year. The Eagles would have to finish 5-1 just to get there.

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The injury-depleted Eagles lost wide receiver DeSean Jackson (sternum) and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (pelvis) in the first half.

- AP

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