Found September 15, 2013 on
Sports Report SoCal:
Time after time in the Chargers’ game against the Eagles, their offense faced a third down and put the ball into the hands of quarterback Philip Rivers, who lived up to the moment and came through. Rivers delivered almost every single time and the Chargers are 1-1 after Nick Novak’s field goal with seconds to play gave them a 33-30 win over the Eagles.
Rivers completed 12-of-13 passes on third downs over the course of the game, resulting in eight first downs and a touchdown with the Eagles handing the Chargers another conversion when safety Patrick Chung was flagged for holding. The last of those first downs set up Novak’s field goal as the Chargers moved the ball 51 yards in 104 seconds to win the game, spoiling Eagles Coach Chip Kelly’s home debut.
Rivers wound up throwing for 419 yards and three touchdowns to Eddie Royal, who now has five scores in the first two weeks. Antonio Gates added 124 yards on eight catches and Malcolm Floyd had 102 in the first half before leaving the game with a neck injury. The Eagles secondary was shredded all day long, with the safeties looking particularly bad, costing them a chance to go 2-0 behind an offense that percolated all afternoon.
Michael Vick threw for 428 yards and two scores and ran for another one in a very strong performance that only lacked for opportunities because of the defense. DeSean Jackson had nine catches for 191 yards and could have had even more if he and Vick hadn’t each made mistakes on a couple of deep balls when Jackson was behind the defense. Jackson also picked up a 15-yard taunting penalty after Vick’s rushing touchdown, giving the Chargers prime field position to come back for a touchdown after the Eagles grabbed a short-lived 27-23 lead.
In a nail-biter finish, the Chargers kicked a field goal in the final seconds to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30.
San Diego avoided the ignominy of losing a second consecutive game after having a double-digit lead in the second half; that would have been rough. The probability of making the playoffs drops significantly if a team starts the season 0-2 as opposed to 1-1.
How they did it and what this means
San Diego won with offense despite two turnovers in the red zone. They controlled the clock, converted on third down (10-for-15) and kept the Eagles’ fast-paced offense off the field. The Eagles tied the game at 30-30 with 1:51 remaining, but the Chargers marched down the field with ease to set up the game-winning field goal. What this means is, there won’t be a million stories explaining the phenomenon that is Chip Kelly’s offense. After setting land-speed records in Washington on Monday night, the Eagles had trouble getting into gear against the Bolts.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers targeted wide receiver Malcolm Floyd for the sixth time in the game. Floyd caught all five passes thrown his way in the first half, gaining 102 yards. On his sixth target, Floyd had the ball in his hands but had Eagles safety Nate Allen on his back. As Allen tried to make the tackle, linebacker DeMeco Ryans’ shoulder made contact with Floyd’s head and neck. Floyd was on the ground motionless for several minutes. Floyd was taken off the field on a stretcher. He suffered a neck injury and did not return.
Best Defense is a Good Offense
The Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half against Washington in Week 1. They didn’t get that opportunity against San Diego. The Chargers’ offense was methodical and efficient and controlled the clock. Philadelphia ran 30 plays in the first half; San Diego ran 34. Through the first three quarters, San Diego had the ball for more than double the amount of time the Eagles did. The drive that broke a 20-20 tie took 17 plays and more than eight minutes.
River has a Big Game
Rivers was exceptional early as he completed his first 10 passes of the game and 16-of-18 in the first half (216 yards and a touchdown). Rivers’ first-half passer rating was 135.2. Rivers had a ton of time in the pocket and consistently took advantage of a weak secondary, this is what happens when Rivers has time.
The Chargers will make another cross-country trip for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff next weekend when they play at the Tennessee Titans, although they should just stay on the east coast.
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JA Dukes is a NFL writer for footballandfutbol.com.
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