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The Worst Eagles Loss Fletcher Cox Can Remember

[CSNPhily] The worst Eagles loss Fletcher Cox can remember

Fletcher Cox didn't even hesitate. 

In his seventh year in the NFL, Cox called Sunday's 21-17 loss to the Panthers at the Linc the worst of his career. 

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"We was up 17-0 at some point," Cox said, "and they came back and kicked our a-."

The Eagles' defense was dominant for three quarters on Sunday. They entered the fourth rolling. The Eagles were up 17-0 and on the verge of pulling off a statement win to put themselves back into the top tier of the NFC. 

They made a statement alright. 

After playing shutout ball for the first 45 minutes of Sunday's game, the last 15 were a complete disaster. While the offense certainly sputtered in the fourth quarter too, the Eagles' defense allowed that three-score advantage to disappear as the Birds fell to 3-4 on the season. 

Just look at how bad this collapse was: 

"We're not going to make it more than it was," Malcolm Jenkins said. "It was a dominating three quarters and one bad one."

One really bad one. 

This is just the third time in Eagles history they've lost a game after leading by 17 or more points heading into the fourth quarter. It's just the third loss in 156 such instances. 

The Eagles are also just the third team in the last 12 years to blow a 17-point fourth quarter lead and lose. 

This wasn't a collapse. This was an all-time choke job. 

"I mean, you know going into the fourth quarter and you're up pretty big and had control of the game," Jenkins said. "To kind of just starve completely as a team was just disappointing."

The biggest play of the game and the most important play in the fourth quarter happened on 4th-and-10 with just 2:06 remaining. The Eagles' pass rush forced Cam Newton up in the pocket, but Torrey Smith got open to pick up a first down and 35 yards. That's the second time the Eagles have given up a 4th-and-long in a crucial situation this year. Good teams don't give up plays like that. 

Aside from the final kneel down, the Panthers scored on all three of their fourth-quarter drives. Those drives went for 80 yards, 87 yards and 69 yards. 

This is the first time the Eagles have given up three touchdown drives of at least 69 yards in a second half since 2012. 

"Margin of error in this league is tight, especially against a good team like the Panthers," Jenkins said. "So we have to be able to finish that game." 

The Eagles' players claimed their game plan didn't change when they were up big in this game, but it certainly looked like a different team out there in the fourth quarter.  

For three quarters on Sunday, the Eagles' defense pitched a shutout. Then one quarter made it one of the worst losses in recent memory. 

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