After last weeks impressive debut the Eagles host the San Diego Chargers for their home opener.
The Chargers were supposed to be a huge under dog in their week one match-up with the Texans. Phillip Rivers was able to lead the Chargers out to a 21 point lead in the fourth quarter. However the Texans were able to make a comeback and won 31-28.
Philip Rivers leads the way for the Chargers along with TE Antonio Gates. Other than that they don’t have any big named WR but they have a decent one in Malcom Flyod and potential filled rookie in Keenan Allen. The running game has been non-existent since Ladainian Tomlinson left. Ryan Mathews was supposed to be his heir apparent but hasn’t stay healthy nor has he performed. The Chargers liked to chuck the ball down field a lot under old coach Norv Turner but as we saw in week 1 they are trying to be a more balanced offense having a 29-to-19 pass/run ratio. One thing worth noting is that Philip Rivers has the worst fourth quarter QBR in the league since last year. He’s thrown 13 interceptions along with that 7.7 QBR going back to week one of last season.
On defense they have two good pass rushers coming off the edge in Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson to give Peters and Lane Johnson a handful. Manti Te’o and Donald Butler man the middle of the 3-4. Te’o is a rookie who so far has impressed after many thought he was exposed in the National Championship game against Alabama. In the secondary Eric Weddle is their best player and probably the only good one, other than that they are pretty much on par with the Eagles in terms of secondary talent.
The key for the Chargers defense and for any team playing the Eagles and this offense is winning at the point of attack. The Chargers d-line, which has some really big bodies up front, will have to consistently shed their blocks and keep their gap responsibilities in order to contain the Eagles. I know that sounds cliché but against this style it is more important than ever. Look back to the games in which Oregon lost under Chip Kelly. They lost to in order from 2012 to 2010- Stanford, USC, and Auburn. Stanford and Auburn were disruptive up front and shut down Kelly’s record setting offense. USC was able to force some mistakes and out score Kelly.
The key for the Eagles will be to shut down the poor Chargers run game and then to blitz Rivers a lot, keeping Rivers out of rhythm, getting hits on him as well as posing in different formations to try and confuse him. Rivers is known to make mistakes and throw interceptions frequently.
For offense it will be just to keep on doing what they were doing. They will need to execute better than they did last week but all in all they should be fine as along as they win at the point of attack. If they are able to do that it should be a field day for this Eagles offense.