Cam Newton falls flat as Eagles blow out Panthers

The Philadelphia Eagles had an easy time of it on Monday night at the Linc, cruising to a 45-21 win over the outclassed Carolina Panthers. Our takeaways:

  1. So far, so good for Mark Sanchez. The quarterback threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns and didn't commit a turnover in his first start since 2012. Sanchez was extremely comfortable in Chip Kelly's up-tempo attack and played with a swagger that summoned memories of his good days with the New York Jets. He really does look like a "better version" of himself.
  1. Cam Newton isn't right. The Panthers quarterback was supposed to look more like himself as he got further away from his offseason ankle surgery. Instead, Newton looks slow, tentative, almost frail. He finished with four turnovers, including a killer pick-six that put the game out of reach in the second quarter. Connor Barwin is a very nice player, but do you think he catches Newton from behind if he's near 100 percent?
  1. Barwin is having a career year. The Eagles outside linebacker had 3.5 sacks on Monday, giving him 10.5 on the season -- all in the last six weeks. Barwin and Co. were in Newton's grill all night, piling up nine sacks. 
  1. It's amazing that two teams thought they would be better off without Darren Sproles. The elusive playmaker had an 8-yard rushing touchdown to start the scoring, then electrified the home crowd with his second punt return touchdown of the season. He made the Panthers -- and the Saints -- look bad on Monday night.
  1. Jordan Matthews enjoyed his coming out party. The Eagles rookie showed great chemistry with Sanchez, finishing with seven catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first 100-yard game of his career.
  1. The Panthers really miss Greg Hardy, especially in the pass rush department. The team that had 60 sacks a year ago had just one on Monday night. The Eagles absolutely dominated this game in the trenches.
  1. So much for Zach Ertz's breakout season. The second-year tight end continues to see his role shrink. Chip Kelly is simply more comfortable with Brent Celek because of his blocking abilities. It's something Ertz must work on going forward.
  1. The Eagles continue to get scoring plays on defense and special teams. They had two on Monday, giving them nine in 10 games. No other team has more than four. Chip Kelly's point-piling genius is apparently contagious.

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