The Eagles home opener is this Sunday when San Diego comes to town.
The Chargers led the Texans on Monday night, 28-7. They blew the lead and lost. Unlike the Eagles, the Chargers didn’t play sharp football to build that lead. They were solid, but nothing special. They did make key plays, going 5 of 8 on 3rd downs and 3-3 in the Red Zone in the 1st half. That got them to 21-7 and they scored early in the 3rd quarter to grow the lead.
Houston came alive after that. The Chargers only ran for 7 yards in the 2nd half. They only had 90 total yards after halftime. Not good.
I re-watched the game and wasn’t very impressed. The Chargers don’t do anything special schematically and they lack the talent to just go out there and beat you based on execution on a consistent basis.
That isn’t to say the Chargers are bad. The players are adjusting to new coaches and schemes. It is too early to judge them in any sort of definitive basis.
Philip Rivers remains a dangerous QB, when he’s got a clean pocket. Rivers is still accurate and has a good arm. He can make all the throws and puts good touch on his passes. He made some very impressive throws in the season opener.
The problem is that he doesn’t always have a good pocket to throw from. The Chargers OL is a work in progress, and one that simply lacks talent. All you need to know is that King Dunlap is their LT. He’s the same player we saw last year. Can be an effective pass protector, but is an awful run blocker. Got beat in pass pro a few times and had one holding call that I saw. The RT is rookie D.J. Fluker, who I think is more natural at OG. He has very long arms, but isn’t a gifted pass blocker. The interior OL are solid. I like RG Jeromey Clary the best.
Ryan Mathews was 13-33 last week, but didn’t exactly have a lot of running room. He is a talented back. Ronnie Brown is an effective backup.
The pass catchers are pedestrian. Eddie Royal is dangerous as a slot receiver and caught 2 TDs last week. Malcolm Floyd is huge and can be effective on balls that are up in the air. Vincent Brown caught a TD on a short crossing route. He could develop into a nice player. Antonio Gates is 237 years old. He still has his moments, but is a descending player. He did have a 34-yard catch last week.
The Chargers look like a passing team right now. They don’t have a top OL. They don’t have a stud RB. Rivers remains the key to the offense. Coach Mike McCoy loves to run the ball, but he needs the players to do a better job of blocking and running if the Chargers hope to have some balance on offense.
The DL has some talent. NT Cam Thomas picked off a pass vs the Texans. DE Corey Liguet is a quick, athletic player. DE Kendall Reyes is a good athlete with the speed to chase plays from the backside. Backup NT Kwame Geathers (Clifton’s brother) is useless. Get him in the game and then run up the middle. He won’t be an issue.
OLB Jarrett Johnson has his moments. His tip led to the INT last week. He is a good run defender and can be an effective pass rusher. He also had a sack last week. Dwight Freeney is the other OLB. He can still explode off the football. There was one play where he exploded off the ball and hit LT Duane Brown hard, sending him flying to the ground. That was impressive. Freeney played well vs the Texans. I didn’t expect him to look that good.
Manti Te’o is reportedly out. Bront Bird replaced him last week. I was not impressed by him at all. He led the team with 14 tackles, but many were downfield. Donald Butler is the other ILB. I do like him. He had 13 tackles and is a talented player. He’s on the field in the Nickel and Dime units.
I haven’t studied the secondary enough to know the players well. Safety Eric Weddle is the only player I’d love to add to the Eagles. He has great instincts and is just one of those guys that’s around the ball a lot. Derek Cox and Shareece Wright are the CBs.
Mike Scifres is a good Punter.
Nick Novak was 18-20 on FGs last year.
Eddie Royal is a dangerous PR.
Fozzy Whitaker had a 42-yd KOR last week.
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I’ll post a game preview on Saturday morning.
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