The Philadelphia Eagles blew out the Carolina Panthers Monday night in a dominant 45-21 win.
Eagles running back Darren Sproles scored the first two touchdowns of the game for the Eagles, first running it in from eight yards, and then returning a 65-yard punt for a touchdown.
They were Sproles’ fifth and sixth touchdowns of the season, the latter being his second punt return touchdown on the year.
According to Sproles, the Eagles’ coaching staff told him he’d be able to score as they prepared for the game:
“During the week, the coaches were telling me I should get one this week,” Sproles said of his punt return. “Because [the Panthers] leave the middle wide open. So we had a middle return called and it hit.”
Sure enough, the Panthers’ defence did just what the Eagles expected. Sproles caught the ball at the Eagles’ 35-yard line and was able to run straight down the middle of the field for over 25 yards before having to avoid a defender.
ESPN colour commentator Jay Gruden was incredulous after the play, saying “Why you would punt the ball to Darren Sproles in the middle of the field — I have no idea.”
Sproles was also surprised by the lack of Panthers’ defence on his first running touchdown. The Eagles used misdirection to fool the Panthers, and Sproles ran it in without any contact from the defence. Sproles said, “When I came back to the
side, everybody was over to the right. I’m like, ‘Man, what happened?'”
The Eagles are now 7-2 and 4th in the NFL in points per game.
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