Eagles' Offense Sputters in Carolina

The defense played better than last week, but Jalen Hurts and the offense could manage just 88 yards in the first two quarters, and Philly trailed 15-6 at the break
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CHARLOTTE – It happened again.

The Eagles had another touchdown taken away due to a penalty, their fourth in two games and fifth of the season.

The latest was a fourth-and-goal throw from the 2-yard line to DeVonta Smith in the opening quarter of the Eagles’ Week 5 game against the Caroline Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. It was taken away when Greg Ward was called for offensive pass interference.

The Eagles' offense couldn’t do much at all against Carolina and trailed 15-6 at halftime, thanks to field goals of 30 and 58 yards from Jake Elliott.

Elliott's 58-yarder came as time expired in the second quarter. His career-long is 61 yards against the New York Giants in 2017. It's the third-longest field goal in team history, behind his 61-yarder and a 59-yarder made by Tony Franklin against Dallas in 1979.

The only reason the Eagles had the fourth-and-goal opportunity was because cornerback Darius Slay intercepted Sam Darnold and returned it 15 yards to the Panthers’ 10.

On the Eagles' first play from there, a bubble screen to Quez Watkins lost five yards and it was an uphill battle from there before settling for a 30-yard field goal from Jake Elliott to even th4 score at 3-3 with 6:47 to play in the first quarter.

It was the 21st interception of Slay’s career, and his second in one-plus seasons with the Eagles.

That may have been one of just two bright spots for the Eagles in the first half.

The other was Javon Hargrave, who notched his sixth sack of the season. His career-high is 6.5. He is the first Eagles player to record six-plus sacks through five games since Jason Babin had seven games in 2011.

Josh Sweat also had a sack on third down after the Panthers had gained the red zone forcing a 43-yard field goal from Zane Gonzalez that opened Carolina’s lead to 13-3.

Other than that, the offense did very little, trying an assortment of screen passes that went nowhere.

The offense even gave Carolina two points when Jason Kelce’s snap with 2:26 to play in the second quarter went over Jalen Hurts’ head into the end zone and eventually out the back of the end zone to make it 15-3.

The defense allowed 61 yards rushing and 79 passing to Darnold, who threw a 5-yard TD pass to wide-open tight end Tommy Tremble that made the score 10-3 with 3:09 to go in the first quarter.

Linebacker Alex Singleton committed a face mask penalty on Carolina’s first offensive possession which ended with a 48-yard field goal and committed an unnecessary roughness penalty on the drive that Sweat stopped with his sack.

Other than Elliot, even the special teams were anything but.

Arryn Siposs had a 16-yard punt that allowed the Panthers to set up at Philly’s 40 and led to a field goal and Jalen Reagor chose to return two kickoffs despite being several yards deep in the end zone. Neither return reached the 25.

Jalen Hurts was 15-for-24 for 74 yards.

DeVonte Smith had three catches for 34 yards; Jalen Reagor had three receptions for 24 yards.

The Eagles ran the ball just five times for 14 yards to end the first half with just 88 yards of total offense. Last week against Kansas City, they had 461 yards of offense for the game.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.