These two teams after forgettable 2012 seasons went out and signed new coaches and installed totally revamped offensive schemes. As evidenced last week, the Eagles and their new hurry-up offense worked to perfection as LeSean McCoy rushed for over 180 yards in a 33-27 win over the Redskins.
On the very first drive it was obvious that Chip Kelly’s new look offense could work to perfection and had a costly fumble not been returned for a touchdown, Philly would have been up 7-0. This new face paced offense that Kelly has instilled into the Eagles could perhaps be the next read option or wildcat scheme in the NFL.
Look for this game to feature more passing as Matt Schaub and the Texans threw for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns against this San Diego Charger defense. As well, with all of Vick’s receivers looking as committed to this offense as Vick himself, the Eagles should sling the ball all day.
But let’s not forget about the Pittsburgh Prodigy, LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy, who on 31 carries rushed for 184 yards and a touchdown Monday Night. Look for McCoy to get a similar dose of carries, not as many as last week against the Redskins because the Chargers rush defense were able to hold both RB Arian Foster and Ben Tate under 60 yards.
All in all, the Eagles soaring offense should use the no huddle offense right out of the gate and perhaps get an early lead on these Chargers.
For the Bolts, the 31-28 Monday Night loss was heartbreaking but unfortunately not unexpected. After the Chargers intercepted Matt Schaub on the first play from scrimmage and then scored on the very next play off of a Ryan Mathews 14-yard TD pass, the Chargers never looked back. Then as they went up 28-7 in the 3rd quarter at Qualcomm Stadium, it looked as though the Chargers had actually done the improbable and pulled off a win against the Texans. Not so fast.
The Chargers pulled yet another San Diego Stumble and allowed the Texans and Matt Schaub to score 24 points in the final 1 1/2 quarters, including an 18-yard interception return touchdown by LB Brian Cushing and a 41-yard game winning field goal by Randy Bullock as time expired.
The offense and defense during the first half looked dominant as Philip Rivers was hitting all of his receivers including some clutch TD passes in the redzone to Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown.
And although Ryan Mathews did score a receiving touchdown, he was still the same low yards-per-carry Ryan Mathews from a year ago. If the Chargers are going to have any hope to win this game, they need to get Ryan Mathews a chance to prove himself on the field and show his rushing ability that we all know he does have.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennslyvannia
When: September 15, 2013, 1 PM ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
San Diego Player to Watch: Ryan Mathews
A 14-yard receiving touchdown on the Charger’s first offensive play of the season was all of Ryan Mathew’s highlights as the former Fresno State Bulldog rushed for only 33 yards despite getting 13 carries (2.5 yards-per-carry). Granted the Chargers passing game was playing lights out last Monday Night, Mathews should have performed better considering he was playing at home and with the majority of the carries. In this game vs. the Eagles, Mathews will have to step it up and prove to Charger fans that he is worth his 12th overall pick status. If Mathews can rush for at least 70 yards with a touchdown rushing or receiving, he will have convinced me that he’s still got it. If not, there could be possible repercussions to his play.
Philadelphia Player to Watch: Michael Vick
Last week against the Redskins, Vick was great, throwing for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns while adding his own 54 yards rushing to help his cause. I believe with this new look Eagles offense, Vick has been able to really control this offense and use this team’s speed and talent to his advantage. Because Vick is a running QB (one of the better ones in the League), this offense fits him perfectly. With some read options and play action passes, Vick can really hurt defenses with both his quick feet and his powerful arm. Vick’s role in this game should be crucial to the overall result of the game, as he can control the tempo of the game. He can either go no huddle and use the read option to keep the defense on its toes, or slow the game down and throw from the I formation and lull the defense asleep
Matchup to Watch: LeSean McCoy vs. Chargers Defensive Line
After the torching of the Redskins for 184 yards and a touchdown, the main key for the Chargers is stopping LeSean McCoy and the Eagles rushing offense. Dwight Freeney and mainly the Chargers line backing corps did a great job stopping the #8th ranked rushing offense last season, but this will be definitely more difficult as the Eagles will be playing at home. If the Chargers can stop LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown then the sky’s the limit.
Considering that the Eagles will be playing at home, the Chargers will already have the odds stacked against them. Last year on the road, the Chargers were 4-4, with losses to the Saints and Broncos. In short, the Bolts will be down most of the game, not by much though. I believe that the Eagles high octane offense will eventually be too much for this Charger defense and will burn them deep for a lot of points. Look for Rivers and the Chargers to make a comeback, but in the long run will fall short of a ‘W’.