Tolbert roars as Panthers get first ever 6-0 start to season

Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:03am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Fullback Mike Tolbert scored two touchdowns, and the Carolina Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-16 Sunday night to get off to the best start in franchise history.

The Panthers, who played their first home game in nearly a month, are 6-0 for the first time. Their previous best season-opening winning streak lasted five games in 2003.

The Eagles (3-4) had a two-game winning streak end. Trailing by eight late in the game, the Eagles punted with 7:07 remaining and then turned the ball over on downs with 1:56 left.

Tolbert scored on a 2-yard run to open the scoring and added a 2-yard reception on the first possession of the second half. On his second scoring play, he bounced off a would-be tackler and regained his balance before bullying his way to the end zone.

Philadelphia got within 21-13 after running back Ryan Mathews' 63-yard touchdown run with 9:32 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles pulled closer after cornerback Byron Maxwell grabbed the team's third interception of the night and returned it 22 yards to the Carolina 18. Philadelphia settled for kicker Caleb Sturgis' third field goal, a 24-yarder.

Sturgis missed from 50 yards early in the fourth quarter.

Carolina kicker Graham Gano booted a 35-yard field goal with 9:04 left, pushing the edge to 24-16. His 29-yarder with 19 seconds to play clinched the outcome.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 14 of 24 passes for 197 yards and one touchdown, but he was picked off three times.   Continued...

Oct 25, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (35) celebrates with quarterback Cam Newton (1) after running for a touchdown in the third quarter. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports