QB Newton shines as Panthers down Eagles Wright suspended for banned substance

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, Nov 27, (Agencies): The Carolina Panthers won the battle between two last-place teams by beating the Philadelphia Eagles 30-22, behind a resurgent performance from quarterback Cam Newton. Newton passed for two touchdowns and ran in two for the Panthers who halted a modest two-game losing streak. “This means a lot,” said Newton. “Now we got to get that swag back and get our confidence back and finish out the season well.” He completed 18-of-28 passes for 306 yards and had 52 yards on 15 carries as the Panthers won their third game of the season to go with eight losses. Newton had a superb rookie season last year but has had trouble repeating that success in his second National Football League season.

Carolina is last in the NFC South Division, two games adrift of the New Orleans Saints. Steve Smith finished with four catches for 60 yards while Gary Barnidge and Brandon LaFell had first-quarter touchdown catches in the victory. Smith became the 27th player of all-time in the NFL to go over 11,000 receiving yards in his career. Running back Bryce Brown set a rookie single game record for Philadelphia with 178 yards. He rushed the ball 19 times and had two touchdowns along with four catches for 11 yards. Brown was making his first career start in place of an injured LeSean McCoy, who suffered a concussion in last week’s loss to Washington. He also had two fumbles in the second half.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles made his second consecutive start in place of Michael Vick who is also recovering from a concussion. Foles completed 16-of-21 passes, but managed just 119 yards. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay cornerback Eric Wright has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Wright, who was signed by the team in the off-season, had an appeal rejected by the league. Coach Greg Schiano confirmed the suspension.

“I am extremely disappointed that the suspension was upheld at my appeal,” Wright said in a statement. “I apologize to the entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, my team mates, our great fans and my family who have stood by me through this entire process.” Earlier this season, the Buccaneers (6-5) also lost cornerback Aqib Talib, who was hit with a four-game suspension for the same offense. Talib has since been traded to the New England Patriots. Wright has 39 tackles and an interception for the Buccaneers but missed Sunday’s game against Atlanta because of an Achilles injury.

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