The Eagles hosted the Carolina Panthers in a Monday Night Football matchup ...
The Eagles have accommodated quarterback Mark Sanchez nicely in his first regular season start since December 30, 2012.
Thanks to four forced turnovers, an interception return for a score by cornerback Bradley Fletcher and a 65-yard punt return by Darren Sproles for a touchdown, the Eagles took the pressure off Sanchez en route to a 31-7 halftime lead. It is the most points scored in a first half by an Eagles team since, fittingly enough, the 2010 Monday night win in Washington when the Eagles put up 45.
Sanchez aided his cause by completing 10 of 21 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown, good enough for a 93.8 passer rating.
The Panthers turned the ball over on their first two possessions. First, linebacker Casey Matthews, starting for the injured DeMeco Ryans, forced a DeAngelo Williams fumble that was recovered by defensive end Cedric Thornton. After Cody Parkey notched his 13th-straight field goal to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's first pass attempt of the game was intercepted by cornerback Cary Williams. Sproles scored the first of his two touchdowns with a wide open run for 8 yards.
Carolina answered with its best offensive drive, an 11-play, 80-yard effort, that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Stewart.
After that play, however, it was all Eagles ignited by Sproles' touchdown. Sproles caught the ball from punter Brad Nortman at the Eagles' 35-yard line, ran up the middle across midfield and cut past the punter toward the end zone.
Sanchez engineered a 91-yard touchdown drive of his own that resulted in an 11-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jordan Matthews.
Since the offense and special teams got in on the scoring fun, the defense did not want to be left out. Newton threw a pass along the right sideline intended for former Eagle Jason Avant, but Fletcher jumped in front of it and took it back 34 yards for the touchdown.
It was the Eagles' ninth return touchdown of the season. No other team has more than four.