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Eagles vs. Panthers Winners & Losers: Philadelphia demolishes Carolina at home

The Eagles clearly dig playing at home. They also fancy primetime.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are now 7-2 after owning the Panthers at home on Monday, 45-21. Philadelphia used all three phases of the game to hammer a Carolina team that seemingly lost its will to compete following the first half. Chip Kelly and Co. proved that primetime is their time, as the team continued its streak of night game dominance.


Darren Sproles: This guy is just one of the best players on the field on a weekly basis. He may be older but he consistently proves that age isn't a factor. He had a rushing touchdown and an awesome punt return score that had anyone with a pulse yelling and screaming with joy (unless you're a Carolina fan, but who cares about them?). He's an X-Factor and has been all season.

Jordan Matthews: Well, hello there... The Mark Sanchez-Jordan Matthews combo is just ridiculous. This was like playing a game of catch, as Matthews collected seven grabs for 138 yards and two scores. I am pretty sure that he will bottom out at 850 receiving yards and eight touchdowns at worse with Sanchez in the lineup. Sanchez set him up for big YAC opportunities that he didn't have with Nick Foles.

Connor Barwin: Folks like to say that Connor Barwin isn't a pass rusher. That may be the case, but he has 10.5 sacks through nine games and is the most complete linebacker that the Eagles have had since 2004. Barwin spied on Cam Newton all night and won that matchup by a mile. With 3.5 sacks, he put himself out there on primetime.

Brent Celek: Long been the forgotten man, Celek unloaded for 116 receiving yards on just five catches and luckily avoided a major ankle injury. Celek has been a key figure of this franchise for years, but this was likely his best outing  in at least two seasons, perhaps three. He also had a great block on Sproles' first score of the game.

Mark Sanchez: While he struggled a bit early, Sanchez finished with 20 completions on 37 passes for 322 passing yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.5. Outside of maybe the Washington game, this was the best performance for an Eagles quarterback this season. Sanchez looked poised in the pocket and stepped up well when faced with pressure. He made some poor throws but was decisive and went through his progressions well. He wasn't spectacular but he was definitely more than solid.

Brandon Graham: He is going to make some crazy money this off-season, no matter the scheme. He currently has 4.5 sacks and four forced fumbles (as many sacks as Trent Cole, but more forced fumbles) as a rotational player in a scheme that he doesn't fit well. Oh, and he's also improved tremendously as a run-stopper. Graham needs to get paid by the Eagles or they will lose him.

Vinny Curry: He now has five sacks on the year and two forced fumbles. He's another non-scheme fit that has excelled this year. Good for him.

Bradley Fletcher: After months of scrutiny, Fletcher had perhaps his best game as an Eagle on Monday. He had five pass breakups and a pick six. Fletcher took advantage of the slow feet of the Panthers wide receivers.

Mychal Kendricks: Once again, he made plays. He came free on a blitz and sacked Newton. He also played the run very well.

Cedric Thornton: He had a fumble recovery and looked dominant against the run. He needs to get paid now!

Special Teams: All-around terrific performance from the crew. Bryan Braman stoned Fozzy Whittaker on the first return of the game. The Panthers had one decent return but otherwise, the Eagles dominated this phase. Cody Parkey was perfect, while making his only field goal attempt and six PATs.

Billy Davis: Well done. His unit had nine sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. Five of those turnovers led to 24 points. Davis gets a lot of criticism, but he has called solid games for the majority of the season.


Run Game: While the Panthers paid for focusing too much on the run, the Eagles only ran for 38 yards with their running backs on 18 carries. LeSean McCoy scored for only the second time this season, but averaged less than two yards per carry. Sproles scored on his only run, but wasn't used moving forward. Chris Polk only had 11 yards on two carries.

Zach Ertz: Again, he was nowhere to be found. He was targeted twice and only caught one ball for 17 yards. It makes you wonder if he is going to be punished by the increase in targets to Matthews (and Celek, of course). Either way, the team is winning but we expected better from a guy that Michael Vick branded special.

[Ed. note: Panthers rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin receives honorable mention in the Losers section. See below.]

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