Philadelphia’s Brown fills in for McCoy, fills up stat sheet against Carolina
With the Philadelphia Eagles leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, out with a concussion for Monday night’s 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers, rookie running back Bryce Brown handled the duties by rushing for more yards against the Panthers than any other back this season.
Brown finished with 178 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, including a 65-yard touchdown run around the right end where he showed the same type of speed that led to him being the nation’s No. 1 recruit in high school.
He smashed the Eagles record of 135 rushing yards by a rookie before the end of the third quarter, and his 65-yard score was the longest by an Eagle since 2009.
Brown also had his share of rookie mistakes, as well. He fumbled twice in the third quarter, but the Panthers only got 3 points off the turnovers. He was also stopped on a key fourth-and-inches midway through the fourth in Carolina territory.
Monday wasn’t the first time a backup running back had his way with the Panthers this season. The Giants’ Andre Brown filled in for Ahmad Bradshaw in Week 3 against Carolina and rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries.
TOSSED AGAIN: On the opening coin toss, the Panthers called tails, and for the 12th time this season, they lost the toss. The Panthers are 0-11 on game-opening coin tosses and 0-12 on all tosses. Carolina lost the overtime coin toss against Tampa Bay in Week 11.
INACTIVES: There were no surprises on inactive Panthers on Monday night.
Quarterback Jimmy Clausen, wide receiver David Gettis, safety D.J. Campbell, cornerback James Dockery, linebacker Jason Williams, tackle Bruce Campbell and defensive end Antwan Applewhite were not active.
Gettis has been active only once since coming off the physically unable to perform list. He was inactive last week after Joe Adams got a second chance at punt returner, leaving him as the odd wide receiver out.
More than 2 hours before the game, Ron Rivera spent several minutes walking around midfield at Lincoln Financial Field. Rivera’s last season as an Eagles assistant was 2003, when the “Linc,” as it’s known in Philly, opened.
Also, a couple hours before kickoff, a pair of intrepid Observer reporters went looking for the infamous holding cell in the bowels of the stadium. Didn’t find it. Trust it was plenty busy by halftime.
• Graham Gano missed an extra point that kept the door open for a possible Philadelphia comeback in the fourth quarter.
Rivera said the snap was high, and the sideline explanation he got was that Gano, who was just signed last week after the Panthers waived Justin Medlock, tried to slow down his timing while placeholder Brad Nortman gathered it
“I had a pretty good game up until that last kick,” said Gano, who hit his only field goal of the game. “I’ve never missed an extra point before in my life. That was a little different. You’ve just to move on. I was hoping to get a chance to put us up by two (scores) at the end with a long field goal. But offense did a good job and we won the game.”
• Jonathan Stewart left the game in the second half with an ankle injury, but Rivera did not have any details about Stewart’s status immediately after the game.
Stewart came up seemingly favoring his right ankle after a 4-yard rush at the end of the first half. He motioned to the sideline to be substituted.
Stewart injured his right ankle in the preseason and sat out the season opener against Tampa Bay. In his stead was DeAngelo Williams, who rushed 10 times for 19 yards in the second half.
“It’s sore and we’ll see how he reacts to treatment,” Rivera said of Stewart’s ankle. “If not, I thought DeAngelo did a nice job coming in and assuming the role. He did a solid job. I think the other thing too that helps us an awful lot is really run when we have to do. That’s the part about being a balanced offense: run when you want to and run when you have to, and I think we mixed it up.”
By the numbers
4,096 Number of seasons it would take, statistically, for the Panthers to again lose 12 consecutive coin flips to start the year, which they have (11 to start games, one in OT).
1 Number of days Panthers kicker Graham Gano had No. 4, formerly worn by Panthers legend John Kasay, before wisely changing to No. 9.
11,000 Number of yards receiving (plus some) for Steve Smith, who passed the milestone in the first quarter. He’s the 27th player in NFL history to reach the mark.
11 Number of net yards on a Brad Nortman second-quarter punt with the Panthers leading 14-12. The short punt and return set up a 45-yard field goal by Philadelphia’s Alex Henery that gave the Eagles at 15-14 lead.
• “We just wanted to get the momentum back on our side like it was when we started the game, and finish the right way.” – Cam Newton on closing out the game on offense.
• “Everybody had to be accountable and execute. Execute was the key.” – Cam Newton on what he told his team in the huddle in the fourth quarter.
• “Winning’s huge. A lot of people say it cures all. We have to take the momentum we have with the short week and get ready for Kansas City.” – Ron Rivera
Staff writers Joseph Person and Jonathan Jones contributed.