PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes and the Carolina Panthers took a 14-3 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles after the first quarter Monday night in a matchup of teams with the worst records in the NFC.
Playing without Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy because of concussions, the struggling Eagles are trying to snap a six-game losing streak. Rookies Nick Foles and Bryce Brown started for Vick and McCoy.
Newton, who hasn't played up to his sensational rookie season, showed no signs of a sophomore slump against Philadelphia's porous pass defense. Newton completed three passes for 47 yards on the Panthers' first drive, including a 24-yard toss over the middle to a wide-open Gary Barnidge for a 7-3 lead.
Newton connected with Brandon LaFell on a 43-yard pass to make it 14-3. LaFell was wide open on the play, taking advantage of another breakdown in coverage in the secondary.
Since Todd Bowles replaced Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator, the Eagles have allowed 13 passing touchdowns and haven't had an interception in five games.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff and moved quickly down the field before the drive stalled inside the red zone. Alex Henery's 36-yard field goal gave them a 3-0 lead. Henery has made 17 straight kicks, tying a club record he shares with David Akers.
The Eagles haven't won since beating the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants to go 3-1, putting coach Andy Reid's job in jeopardy. 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.
Fans known for their hostile behavior have become apathetic toward their beloved Eagles. The Linc was about one-third empty for pregame introductions and plenty of seats remained empty.
The Panthers aren't quite as bad as their 2-8 record. They have lost six games by less than a touchdown, including a 2-point loss at Atlanta and a 1-point loss at Chicago.
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