Now the Philadelphia Eagles can go back to being underdogs again.
After embracing that role last year and overcoming huge odds to win their first Super Bowl, the Eagles have not lived up to expectations as defending champions.
Philadelphia on Sunday blew a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter and lost 21-17 to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.
“Pressure’s off, so we can go play, have fun and just relax,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “A lot of football ahead, too. Anything’s possible, anything can happen.”
Pressed on the topic, Pederson said: “I think no one has really given us a chance, anyway. Whether we’re putting pressure on ourselves to perform, to play, whatever it is, live up to a certain expectation ... I think sometimes we force issues. We try to press just a little bit.”
Despite their struggles, the Eagles (3-4) are in the National Football Conference East mix.
They will quickly try to forget about their disappointing loss and focus on a trip to London to face the equally struggling Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4).
“We put high expectations on ourselves every week,” Carson Wentz said. “My approach will never change, win or lose, on to the next week and that’s the way I’m approaching it.”
For Newton and the Panthers it was a statement game.
The Panthers (4-2) were dominated for the first three quarters, but rallied for an impressive win on the road in a hostile environment.
It was the biggest comeback in franchise history.
“This is a confidence-booster for us,” Newton said.
Newton tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 1 minute, 22 seconds left and Julius Peppers sacked Wentz, forcing a fumble on fourth down from the Panthers 14 to seal the victory.
After Carolina took the lead, the Eagles started at their 30. A 48-yard pass interference penalty on James Bradberry against Alshon Jeffery put the ball at the Carolina 22.
Eric Reid appeared to intercept Wentz’s overthrown pass, but the play was overturned on a video review.
Wentz threw incomplete to Jeffery in the end zone on third-and-two and was stripped on the next play.
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Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
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