Found September 12, 2013 on
Sports Report SoCal:
The San Diego Chargers hit the road for the first time in 2013, looking to even their record at 1-1 when they head to the “City of Brotherly Love” to take on the fast-paced offense Philadelphia Eagles.
San Diego dropped their season opener 31-28 at the hands of the Houston Texans, well technically out of the hands of Philip Rivers and into the hands of Brian Cushing. The Chargers led by 21-points early in the third quarter, but the final five offensive drives resulted in four three-and-outs and one pick six. The defense, meanwhile, failed to get off the field on third down, which proved to be the team’s downfall. Philip Rivers tossed four touchdowns for the fifth time in his career in the losing effort. On the positive note, Eddie Rotal notched his first ever multi-touchdown game and inside linebackers Bront Bird and Donald Butler led the Chargers in tackles with 14 and 13 respectively.
Philip Rivers returns to the field following a game in which he tied a career high with four touchdown passes in the game, including two to Eddie Royal and one each to Ryan Matthews and Vincent Brown (first touchdown since 2011). The Chargers were efficient on third down, converting 7 of 14, and they were a perfect 4 of 4 on touchdowns in the red zone and 3 of 3 in goal to-go situations; they also converted their lone fourth down attempt.
Everyone has been clamoring for years to see a Chip Kelly offense in the NFL, and the Eagles showed what life under their head coach would be like in their season opening win over the Washington Redskins. Running at lightning speed, the Eagles ran 77 total plays and racked up 443 yards of total offense, including 184 yards and a touchdown on the ground from running back LeSean McCoy and 104 yards and a touchdown through the air from wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Eagles 263 yards rushing was the most in the league, and were a whopping 92 yards more than the second best from Week 1. Although, they ran 55 plays in the first half and only 22 in the second half; I wonder why.
The linebackers for the Chargers had a strong game against the Texans, and the team will look at the unit once again to help slow down the Eagles offense. Inside linebackers Bront Bird and Donald Butler paced the team in tackles, while Jarrett Johnson had a sack and a pass deflected leading to a Cam Thomas interception. Dwight Freeney also showed why many consider him to be a future Hall-of-Famer, getting pressure on the quarterback all game long and bringing back memories of the Freeney from Indianapolis. Look for the Chargers to try to win the point of attack as they face Mike Vick and company.
Defensively for the Eagles, they forced Washington to pass 49 times, they held them to 2 of 10 on third downs, they collected three sacks, and cornerbacks Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin both had interceptions.
The Chargers and Eagles meet for the 11th time on Sunday, and the Bolts lead the series 6-4. San Diego won the last meeting, 31-23, at home in 2009 but lost their last two games in the series played in Philadelphia. The Chargers are just 1-3 against the Eagles away from Qualcomm Stadium and their lone win in Philadelphia came in 1995 by a score of 27-21.
Overall, this Eagles offense is fast-paced and the defense continues to take advantage of offenses that can’t keep up. I don’t think Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense have the talent to keep up with Chip Kelly and the 90 plays the Eagles will run on Sunday. The Eagles’ high-tempo offense will be a nightmare for San Diego’s defense. And their pass rush will definitely keep Philip Rivers up at night. However, Philip Rivers should be able to go deep on the Eagles secondary, but he won’t have time because this Eagles defense might be better than we all think this season.
This is a short week for both team but at least Philly is at home playing against a team that has to travel across the country. The Chargers are a shell of their former great selves, while the Eagles are the next big thing in the NFL. San Diego will be overwhelmed by the speed of Philadelphia’s offense and by its new 3-4 defensive front. It’s going to take the NFL a little while to adjust to Chip Kelly’s offense, and the Chargers have too many holes on defense. The Chargers will be able to score, but the Eagles should get just enough stops to get the win.
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JA Dukes is a NFL writer for footballandfutbol.com.
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