Wow, this game turned sour in a hurry for Carolina.
The Panthers defense is actually playing OK, and yet Philadelphia put up 31 straight points before a Carolina field goal finally stopped the bleeding. Jake Delhomme already has committed 3 turnovers and has been booed vociferously by the home crowd. He's picking up pretty much right where he left off from the Arizona game, and fans are angry about it. (Delhomme has now committed 9 turnovers in his last 6 quarters of play).
Most of the 31 points weren't the fault of the defense, although the most recent TD (which took Philly from 24 to 31 points) was. But it's striking how this game is a carbon copy of Arizona, where Carolina also scored first and then got trounced.
How'd the 31 straight points happen (28 of them in the second quarter for Philly)?
Carolina held Philadelphia to a field goal after Jake Delhomme threw a bad interception with Carolina leading, 7-0 (after that beautiful first drive, which looks like a mirage right now more than anything else).
Down 7-3, the Eagles put a beautiful blitz on Delhomme, and the ball squirted from his grasp after he was hit by an untouched blitzer. The Eagles picked it up, went 2 yards and boom, it was 10-7, Philly.
Then came another unsuccessful Panther drive, this one at least ending in a punt rather than another turnover. But wait -- that was just as bad. Philly's DeSean Jackson took the ensuing punt return 85 yards for a TD, and no one other than Jason Baker came within 5 yards of the speedy Jackson.
Then, down 17-7, Delhomme tried to force one into Steve Smith, who had been gesticulating about not getting the ball after a couple of routes. Instead, that got picked off, too, and run back inside the 10 by Eagles CB Sheldon Brown, who had already picked off No.17 once. Donovan McNabb immediately threw a TD pass to his TE Brent Celek and it was 24-7, Philadelphia.
Then Philly finally scored a TD the old-fashioned way, driving more than 70 yards on Carolina's defense. The TD came when McNabb threw a shovel pass to Brian Westbrook for the score.
This home crowd is sitting here stunned right now, oblivious to the beautiful weather and just about everything else as the Panthers try to get untracked. They've got lots of time to do it, but Philadelphia has taken over this game. It's halftime, the home team is down 21 points, and it will be interesting to see how many people even return to their seats to watch the second half.
8 months ago