Panthers
Eagles
24 - 27 Final
  for this game

Delhomme's fourth-quarter mistakes doom Panthers

Dec 5, 2006 - 5:33 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Jake Delhomme made all the big mistakes to do in the Carolina Panthers.

Delhomme threw a pair of costly fourth-quarter interceptions as the Panthers continued their disappointing season with a 27-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Considered the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl at the start of the season, the Panthers (6-6) have lost five games this season when leading in the fourth quarter. They fell two games behind New Orleans in the South.

"It's going to be a test of our character," Panthers coach John Fox said. "We have four games left and a lot can happen in those four games. Time will tell."

Delhomme had played his best game of the season and threw a touchdown pass in each of the first three quarters. However, he made two critical miscues in the final period, allowing the Eagles to erase a 21-14 deficit.

With pressure in his face, Delhomme was intercepted by Pro Bowl free safety Brian Dawkins, who broke off a 38-yard return to the Carolina 37 with 7:15 remaining.

"We had a play-action and Nick (Goings) was either gonna run a basic (pattern), which is 10 yards across the field, or stay down the seam," Delhomme said. "I thought he was gonna stay down the seam and in the act of throwing, he broke it in. ... I thought we made eye contact and as I was letting it go I saw him break across, but I had already made my (throwing) motion."

Dawkins' pick led to David Akers' 25-yard field goal with 3:13 remaining, which gave the Eagles a 27-24 lead.

"Without seeing the tape, I don't know how much pressure he had and how much the receiver was at fault," Fox said. "It was at an inopportune time without a doubt and it set up the go-ahead field goal for them."

Delhomme attempted to direct the game-winning drive as he led the Panthers to the Eagles 7. But on 1st-and-goal, Delhomme's lob into the right corner of the end zone intended for Keyshawn Johnson was intercepted by Lito Sheppard, who was able to get both of his feet in bounds, with 25 seconds remaining.

The play stood after a replay. The 6-4 Johnson, who was outfought for position by the 5-10 Sheppard, showed his frustration by throwing his helmet.

"I saw their signal (between Delhomme and Johnson)," Sheppard said. "They might need to come up with a dummy signal (or) do something else. ... Hey, it worked."

"The throw was fine," Johnson said. "It's just that (Sheppard) pushed me. He kind of pushed me to get himself leverage. ... So when he got the leverage, he fell back and I couldn't get all the way up. When I went to jump, he pushed and ... that's what it was."

In last Sunday's 17-13 loss at Washington, Delhomme also threw a costly fourth-quarter interception. On Monday night, he completed 22-of-37 passes for 269 yards.

The victory was just the second in the last six games for the Eagles (6-6), who vaulted themselves into the thick of the NFC wild card race.

"I know we felt like our back was to the wall," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "You can go two ways on that. You can fold with the pressure or you can step up. I was proud of our guys for stepping up."

While Delhomme failed to come through, so did the Panthers' defense, which had no answer for Jeff Garcia, who was making his second start in place of Donovan McNabb, who is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL in his right knee.

Garcia shredded the Panthers' porous secondary, completing 21-of-39 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. The veteran was well protected by his offensive line, specifically right tackle Jon Runyan, who rendered Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers invisible.

"I think this team certainly persevered tonight," Garcia said. "I think with the way we started early in the game, we were a bit erratic and not settled down. But we got into a groove in the second half and played very good football as a team."

Garcia's 40-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Brown with 9:26 remaining had pulled the Eagles into a 24-24 tie.

"I know what kind of quarterback he is," Brown said. "He's efficient. He's gonna take his time. He's gonna read the defense. He's gonna check down if he has to. ... He's the kind of quarterback that's just gonna keep the ball moving."

Carolina, which allowed 402 total yards, has surrendered 100 points in the fourth quarter this season.

Delhomme connected with Steve Smith for a nine-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and found Johnson for a one-yard TD on a lob into the right corner with four seconds left in the opening half, helping the Panthers grab a 14-7 advantage.

After Garcia found Donte Stallworth for a 30-yard TD pass with 8:49 left in the third quarter, the Panthers immediately answered.

Delhomme found speedy rookie DeAngelo Williams with a screen pass to the left side. The rookie raced 35 yards for a TD, giving the Panthers a 21-14 lead with 5:08 to go in the third quarter.

Williams rushed for 74 yards on 17 carries and had seven receptions for 101 yards. He saw virtually all the work in the Carolina backfield in place of DeShaun Foster, who missed the game with an elbow injury.

Stallworth had four catches for 111 yards, including a one-handed 41-yard catch in the second quarter that set up Garcia's eight-yard TD pass to Brian Westbrook that tied the game at 7-7.

"Jeff managed the game well," Stallworth said. "We knew he can get the job done. He's a great communicator and he's gonna put us in a position to make plays. He trusts us when he throws the ball."

Westbrook rushed for 68 yards on 16 carries. He also contributed six receptions for 56 yards.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 7 7 7 3 24
    PHILADELPHIA 0 7 7 13 27 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - TD, STEVE SMITH 9 YD PASS FROM JAKE
    DELHOMME (JOHN KASAY KICK), 7:58.
    Drive: 7 plays, 63 yards in 3:34.
    Key plays: Jake Delhomme 41-yard
    pass to D'Angelo Williams to
    Philadelphia 12.

    Dec 4 11:57 PM


  • NFL
    FG PHI
    DAVID AKERS 25 YD
    CAROLINA 24
    PHILADELPHIA 27 3:13 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 11:42 PM


  • NFL
    TD PHI
    REGGIE BROWN 40 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    CAROLINA 24
    PHILADELPHIA 24 9:26 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 11:29 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 45 YD
    CAROLINA 24
    PHILADELPHIA 17 11:08 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 11:24 PM


  • NFL
    FG PHI
    DAVID AKERS 28 YD
    CAROLINA 21
    PHILADELPHIA 17 14:12 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 11:13 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 7 7 7 21
    PHILADELPHIA 0 7 7 14 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - TD, STEVE SMITH 9 YD PASS FROM JAKE
    DELHOMME (JOHN KASAY KICK), 7:58.
    Drive: 7 plays, 63 yards in 3:34.
    Key plays: Jake Delhomme 41-yard
    pass to D'Angelo Williams to
    Philadelph

    Dec 4 11:07 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    DEANGELO WILLIAMS 35 YD PASS FROM JAKE DELHOMME
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 21
    PHILADELPHIA 14 5:08 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 10:57 PM


  • NFL
    TD PHI
    DONTE' STALLWORTH 30 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    CAROLINA 14
    PHILADELPHIA 14 8:49 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 10:42 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 7 7 14
    PHILADELPHIA 0 7 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - TD, 9 YD PASS FROM STEVE SMITH (JOHN
    KASAY KICK), 7:58. Drive: 7 plays,
    63 yards in 3:34. Key plays: Jake
    Delhomme 41-yard pass to D'Angelo
    Williams to Philadelphia 12
    CAROLINA 7-

    Dec 4 10:16 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    KEYSHAWN JOHNSON 1 YD PASS FROM JAKE DELHOMME
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 14
    PHILADELPHIA 7 0:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 10:14 PM


  • NFL
    TD PHI
    BRIAN WESTBROOK 8 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    CAROLINA 7
    PHILADELPHIA 7 2:12 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 9:52 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 7 7
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - TD, 9 YD PASS FROM STEVE SMITH (JOHN
    KASAY KICK), 7:58. Drive: 7 plays,
    63 yards in 3:34. Key plays: Jake
    Delhomme 41-yard pass to D'Angelo
    Williams to Philadelphia 12
    CAROLIN

    Dec 4 9:17 PM


  • NFL
    CAROLINA 7
    PHILADELPHIA 0 7:02 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Panthers vs. EaglesDec 4 9:00 PM