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Rapid Reactions: A road rally for the ages


Greatest comeback in Carolina history

The Panthers pulled off the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in franchise history and matched the greatest comeback in term of total points in stunning the Eagles. Down 17-0 in the fourth quarter, Carolina came back for a 21-17 triumph. Curtis Samuel started it with a 14-yard reverse run into the end zone, then Devin Funchess tightened the gap with an 18-yard reception before tight end Greg Olsen gave Carolina the lead with a 1-yard score with 1:22 left. The defense then held in the red zone to close out a stunner.

The shocking turn of events late improved the Panthers to 4-2, just behind a 4-1 Saints team on the road against the Ravens in the late Sunday window.

Offense couldn't gain traction, yards early

The Panthers got in a hole because through three quarters, all of their drives reached at least the 40-yard line but most of them didn't go much further. And there weren't enough of them - just five drives before the Panthers finally took off in the fourth quarter.

While Philadelphia ate up large chunks of time with a pair of nine-plus minute drives (one that produced a touchdown, one a missed field goal) to limit Carolina's chances, the offense didn't respond well to what chances it had. A reverse run by wide receiver Jarius Wright that gained 34 yards late in the first half nearly matched the 46 yards the Panthers had mustered to that point.

Clearly the fourth quarter was a totally different story. After punting at the end of each of their first five drives while totaling 115 yards, the Panthers scored touchdowns on each of their final three while gaining 227 yards.

Too much from the tight ends

The Panthers defense, like most teams this year, simply didn't have an answer for Eagles tight end Zach Ertz - or his rookie backup for that matter. The duo demoralized the defense all day with third-down plays courtesy of quarterback Carson Wentz, finishing with a combined 13 catches for 181 yards. Ertz, who entered the game ranking second in the NFL for receptions regardless of position, did the most damage with nine catches for 138 yards. Rookie Dallas Goedert was the one to reach the end zone, though, with a 1-yard score late in the third quarter to extend Philly's edge to 17-0.

Fortunate to remain in range

Carolina was lucky to only be down 10-0 at halftime - opening the door for an epic rally. Aside from a quick stop by Carolina's defense to start and time running out at the end of the half, the Eagles steadily moved the ball down the field on every first-half possession. They missed a short field goal on one march and the defense forced a long field goal on another one with a pair of negative plays.

The defense was on the field a lot as the offense struggled to stay out there. The defense's out-of-the-gate stop set up Carolina to control the field position battle, and the offense did reach at least the 40 on all four first-down drives. But the first three totaled just two first downs and 17 yards, and the last one reached field goal range but got backed up by a pair of false starts.

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