At the start of Monday night’s Panthers-Eagles game in Philadelphia, the silence was striking: The Philly fans didn’t seem to be able to rouse themselves to cheer for a game between two bad teams. But it wasn’t silent for long.
Instead, the silence was replaced by loud boos for the Eagles’ defense, as the Panthers easily marched down the field and scored touchdowns on their first two possessions. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton hit Gary Barnidge for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the first possession and hit Brandon Lafell for a 43-yard touchdown pass on the second.
In the ESPN booth, Jon Gruden — the former coach who has been rumored to be a candidate to replace Andy Reid when Reid is inevitably fired after the season — was shaking his head at how incompetent the Eagles’ defense looked.
“I’ve never seen more wide open receivers,” Gruden said. “No one covers LaFell. . . . This is the easiest touchdown . . . inexcusable breakdown. . . . It’s been the story of Philadelphia this fall: Somebody didn’t communicate, somebody didn’t do what they were supposed to do.”
At the end of the first quarter it’s 14-3 Panthers. And we see once again that firing Juan Castillo didn’t fix all the problems with the Eagles’ defense.