Work in Sports
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Steve Beuerlein rebounded from one of the worst days of his career to pass for three touchdowns as the Carolina Panthers cruised to a 33-7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Beuerlein tossed TD passes of four and 12 yards to Muhsin Muhammad in a 20-point third quarter and connected with Patrick Jeffers for a 22-yard TD strike in the final period. The veteran quarterback completed 21-of-34 overall for 281 yards.
The leader in the NFC in attempts, Beuerlein threw three interceptions and fumbled twice in a 27-20 Week Eight loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
"I think everyone feels pretty happy about today but we're nowhere near satisfied," Beuerlein said. "We could have played better than we did but there's definitely a good feeling in the locker room."
John Kasay booted three of his four field goals in the first half, when the Panthers opened a 23-0 lead. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Carolina (3-5) while the Eagles suffered their third straight defeat.
"It was a good sound win for us," Carolina coach George Seifert said. "They (Eagles) were playing good tough football but we made a play or two and got ourselves on track."
Philadelphia (2-6) avoided the shutout on a 14-yard TD run by Duce Staley with 2:21 remaining in the fourth quarter. Staley rushed for 140 yards on 17 carries, one yard shy of his career set last year against the Arizona Cardinals.
"That was a debacle," Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said. "We couldn't get anything going from the first turnover to the last series of the game. Offensively, I thought we shot ourselves in the foot. We ended up stopping ourselves, mostly by penalties. Defensively, we couldn't get off the field."
"Stats don't matter," Staley added. "I'd trade all that for a win. We played a little flat as a team."
Reid, who has spent most of the season juggling his quarterbacks, said he has not decided who will start next week against Washington. McNabb has replaced Pederson in six games this season.
"I'm not going to make a decision about the quarterback until I watch the tape," Reid said. "It wasn't a question of Doug not playing well. The offense didn't play well."
The Panthers scored 17 points off three turnovers in the first half, including Brian Kinchen's fumble recovery at the Eagles 26 on the game's first possession. Kasay booted a 38-yard field goal to give Carolina a 3-0 lead.
"This time, we benefited from some turnovers," Seifert said. "That was key."
Beuerlein completed 5-of-5 for 87 yards on the Panthers' first touchdown drive, including a 33-yard toss to Eric Metcalf and a 21-yard strike to tight end Wesley Walls that gave the Panthers a first-and-goal at the 2.
After Fred Lane lost three yards on first down, Beuerlein hit Muhammad on the next play, giving the Panthers a 10-0 lead two minutes into the second period.
Mike Minter's fumble recovery at the Carolina 40 set up the Panthers' next score as Beuerlein engineered a 13-play, 60-yard mark that consumed six minutes of the clock. Carolina took a 17-0 lead on Beuerlein's 12-yard TD toss to Muhammad with 3:14 left in the half. Muhammad finished with eight receptions for 88 yards.
On the drive, Beuerlein converted a 3rd-and-5 by scrambing for six yards.
"It was nice to pick up the first down," he said. "A lot of the guys were excited about that. Usually, when I run it's going backwards."
Philadelphia continued to sputter as McNabb fumbled on the ensuing possession, with linebacker Kevin Greene recovering at the Eagles 6. The defense held, forcing the Panthers to settle for Kasay's 28-yard field goal.
However, Carolina got the ball again before the end of the half and tacked on three more points on Kasay's 33-yard field goal with six seconds remaining.
The Panthers extended their cushion to 33-0 on Kasay's 22-yard boot 7:25 into the third period and Beuerlein's TD toss to Jeffers 28 seconds into the final quarter.
Beuerlein took the rest of the game off as Steve Bono took the snaps for the final three series in the fourth quarter.
"There are a lot of good things that happend today," Beuerlein said. "That was the first time in 20 games that I haven't taken every snap. I'm glad it was under these circumstances."
Lane paced the Panthers on the ground with 74 yards on 20 carries. Tim Biakabutuka, Carolina's leading rusher, missed his second straight game with an ankle injury.
"We have won three games and lost five," Seifert said. "I don't think we'll be talking about playoffs now. I'm just looking for our club to get better."