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Game Recap: Eagles Squander 17-Point Lead, Fall To Panthers

The Eagles failed to protect a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter and fell to the Carolina Panthers, 21-17, at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

The Eagles led 17-0 in the fourth quarter before three consecutive touchdown drives by the Panthers propelled them to victory.

Trailing 17-14, the Panthers took the ball at their 31-yard line with 2:17 to play and drove into the red zone. On third-and-goal from the 1, quarterback Cam Newton found tight end Greg Olsen for the go-ahead score with 1:22 remaining.

On the first play of the Eagles’ next possession, quarterback Carson Wentz went deep to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The ball fell haplessly to the ground, but cornerback James Bradberry was penalized for interfering with Jeffery, moving the ball to the Panthers’ 22-yard line.

The Eagles survived a near-interception on third down, but Wentz was sacked on fourth-and-2 with 21 seconds left, ending the Eagles’ hopes of a second straight win.

Wentz completed 30 of 37 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. The offense had just 58 yards rushing with 32 coming from running back Wendell Smallwood.

Tight end Zach Ertz dominated the day on offense with nine receptions for 138 yards. Jeffery added seven receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Dallas Goedert caught his second career touchdown and had 43 yards on four receptions.

Jeffery made his presence felt early in the game. His first reception converted a fourth-and-5 with an impressive toe-drag snag at the Carolina 25-yard line with 5:19 left in the first quarter.

On the next drive, Jeffery made a catch just shy of the 20, shook off two defenders, and sprinted to the 9-yard line for a 20-yard reception. Two plays later, Wentz found Jeffery open in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.

Wentz went right back to Jeffery on the first play of the next drive and trusted him in single coverage. Jeffery fought off his defender and made a leaping catch for 29 yards along the sideline. After a similar pass to Ertz for 27 yards put the Eagles in field-goal range, kicker Jake Elliott’s 46-yarder made it 10-0 with 6:36 left in the first half.

The Eagles added their third score after a 17-play, 94-yard drive that took 9:22 off the clock and had a fourth-down conversion in the red zone. Wentz’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Goedert gave the Eagles a17-0 lead with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Eagles had held the Panthers’ offense in check through the first three quarters. The Panthers had no third-down conversions in the first half and their first five possessions ended in punts.

But in the fourth quarter, the Panthers had 226 yards to the Eagles’ 22. Newton completed 16 of 22 passes for 201 yards in the fourth alone.

The first score came on a broken reverse play as wide receiver Curtis Samuel, preparing to throw, ran 14-yards into the end zone after his target was covered, making the score 17-7 with 10:48 to play. After the Eagles were stopped in six plays, the Panthers scored on an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Devin Funchess, who was wide open in the end zone with 4:13 left.

The Eagles' offense went three and out and allowed the Panthers one last drive. Newton found Olsen for the game-winning score with 1:26 left to play.

The Eagles fall to 3-4 with the loss and will now get ready to travel to London and take on the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

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