Know Your Enemy – Chargers

Posted: September 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 50 Comments »

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.

OFFENSE

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.

DEFENSE

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.

STs

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.

* * * * *

Chargers Depth Chart

Gamebook vs HOU

I’ll post a game preview on Saturday morning.

* * * * *

Some NFL notes from Week 1.

Some college notes from Week 2.

_


  • Media Mike

    Shame Te’o is out. There are few things in this world more contemptible than Notre Dame football.

    • BlindChow

      Stoutland’s crew owned Teo in the Championship game…

  • Media Mike

    Eagles win 38-27. Highlights are D-Jax 3 TD and 194 yard and Nate Allen directly whiffing on two Woodhead TDs.

    • P_P_K

      Earlier today I picked the same score. Great minds think alike.

  • Cafone

    Well supposedly one of Chip Kelly’s greatest attributes at Oregon was that he won the games that he was supposed to win. Let’s hope he can keep that going at this level.

  • OregonDucker

    “What the Chargers should expect from Chip Kelly and the Eagles Offense”:
    http://www.boltsfromtheblue.com/2013/9/12/4715194/what-the-chargers-should-expect-from-chip-kelly-and-the-eagles-offense

    I even gave some feedback. Seem like good fans from the few posts I’ve read.

    • Media Mike

      The 18 people in San Diego who follow the Chargers seem to be a good lot. Shame their team will be in LA soon.

      • dude

        the Spanos family hates LA and seems pretty stubborn. But I would not be surprised to see an NFC AND AFC team in LA within the next few years.

  • Matthew Verhoog

    Vick needs a picture of the car nNamdi ate his lunch in.

  • Flyin

    Tommy this post has given me more optimism the Eagles will win.

    52-17 Birds. Is that being too realistic?

    • A_T_G

      Really? You think we are going to slow it down in the second half again?

      • Flyin

        OD and ATG, I understand how my prediction can be viewed as being a Negadelphian. Thank you for putting me in my place, I understand I need to be more rational.

        • OregonDucker

          Glad you now see the light. It is important for fans to be more rational. Heeheee

          • Flyin

            I think the pair of sunglasses I ordered from Tommy really affected my vision to see. They are more green blockers than blublockers. Defective! I am calling the BBB!

        • TommyLawlor

          EXPOSED!!!

          • Flyin

            It’s not like the first time I’ve been got caught EXPOSED.

    • OregonDucker

      too conservative.

  • SteveH

    Tommy… I have a hole in my heart… that can only be filled with more podcasts…

    • P_P_K

      Bromance is a beautiful thing.

    • TommyLawlor

      Jimmy and I had a weird week schedule wise. We’ll see if we can crank one out Saturday.

      We’ll definitely do one or two next week.

      • Corry

        Yes please.

  • BlindChow

    Ronnie Brown looked pretty good in the few Chargers games I saw last year. Not sure what happened to him in Philly.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      he tried to throw the ball instead of run it.

      • Flyin

        Brought back memories the other night,I was thinking Vick should have run it instead of throwing the called backward pass, D TD.. Big difference on the stupidity, but still a redzone nightmare flashback..

      • BlindChow

        And on his other 40 carries?

        • TheRogerPodacter

          haha i’m not sure Ronnie Brown even got 40 carries while he was here!

          i’m guessing that he’s the kind of back that needs continuous carries to be effective. who knows.

          • BlindChow

            It looks like he’s playing the same role there as he was here:

            2011 (PHI) – 42 carries, 3.2 avg
            2012 (SD) – 46 carries, 4.8 avg

            Even in this past game, he had a 5.4 avg after 5 carries. The Texans shut Mathews down.

  • Gary

    Tommy, slightly off-topic, but I was wondering if you saw the Redskins attempt to use any of the defensive line techniques that the Jags used in the preseason which gave our o-line trouble. I assume not since they run a 3-4, meaning it will probably be the same case with the Chargers. Just curious about that.

    • Media Mike

      Herremans playing HORRIBLE vs. the Jags wasn’t really technique based and Lane is already two weeks better.
      Also; Gus Bradly >>>>>> Jim Haslet.

      • GermanEagle

        I am not sure if Bradley is so much better, especially after their loss against the Chiefs.

  • Jay

    Hey guys, maybe you have an answer for me… I work most Sundays now, so I am going to miss several games this year. I’m looking into buying NFL Game Rewind. Only problem is that you have to wait until SNF is over. Is there any other programs that don’t make you wait? Or is it a copyright law or something?
    Thanks in advance

    • RobNE

      I looked into this a few weeks ago. I believe if you are in the US, your options are DirectTV with NFL package, or NFL Rewind and wait until the next day. I went with NFL Rewind (cheap, $40 for the whole year), but that was before I thought they were SB bound (half-kidding). I think there may be other streaming options outside the US (where DirectTV likely does not care b/c not eating into their profits) but I only know that from seeing people here discuss it. If you find another option in the US, please post.

    • Anders

      Only option is either: use proxy server and buy NFL game pass (costs around $200)
      DirectTv or what ever it is called for sunday ticket
      Illegal streams and record it.

      • RobNE

        Anders – NFL game pass is only available outside the US. If I can get around that, please let me know how.

        • Anders

          proxy server. They go by IP.

    • P_P_K

      What? You haven’t quit that job!
      Just kidding, bro. There are a bunch of streaming sites that come from other countries. I’m not sure how lega they are but I’ve, cough cough, been told they work well.

      • GEagle

        Thise Euro streaming sites saved me life at times…I usually ONY stream redzone channel these days while I watch the game on my TV

    • GEagle

      Torrents!!!

  • Obed Torres

    I kept looking to see if this week’s know your enemy was written by austinfan. Think he may hacked your account Tommy.

  • austinfan

    This game is a key litmus test, at home, against an inferior opponent traveling across country, playing at 10 AM their time with no time to prepare. You must win these sorts of games decisively to be a winning franchise.

    Rivers may be a good QB when protected, but he was sacked 49 times last year and may reach that number this year if he’s still vertical. Dunlap is pretty good against speed rushers with his long arms, but put a powerful guy like Cox over him . . . Rinehart is a journeyman who wouldn’t start for most teams, Hardwick is a solid veteran but 32, Clary is a slow RT who is probably better suited to RT, and Fluker is a slow RT who is probably better suited to RG. I think they’ll be ok straight up, but lack foot speed to pick up blitzes and lack athleticism to make second level blocks against the run. Blitz pickup by Matthews may be huge because the Eagle secondary is vulnerable.

    SD lacks playmakers at the skill positions, Floyd has been a solid #2 his career, but at 32 is past his heyday, and Gates is really past his heyday. Royal, Brown, whatever. Without a lot of vertical speed, it’s easier for the safeties to help the CBs this week.

    Big athletic front three (ok, Thomas is big, Luiget and Reyes are athletic), Bulter at ILB, Weddle at SS, then the talent runs out. And the depth is worse, so if Chip can establish a fast pace, these guys will have their tongues hanging out by the 2nd Q.

  • GermanEagle

    The first three games of this season is a prime example of not who you play, but WHEN you play them. When the schedule came out everybody was convinced that playing 3 games wihin 11 days will be a big challenge, however after game 1 it may already be clear that the Eagles might have caught a break:
    - season opener against the Redskins when RGIII played for the first time in ages and as a result looked more than rusty.
    - home opener against a West Coast team that blew a 21 point lead in a heartbreaker, travelling all across the country, with kickoff at “breakfast” felt time.
    - second consecutive home game against the Chiefs who will have to travel on a short week and most likely will be coming off an emotional and hard fought battle with the Dallas Cowboys.
    I am not saying that the Eagles will be 3-0 by next Friday, however the chances of a more than promising start to Chip Kelly’s first season in the NFL may not be bad.

    • P_P_K

      I have been saying the Eagles will be 3-0. SD is a winnable game, stay focused team and get ‘er done. KC is at a disadvantage on the short week because they have to play in our house. Also, I don’t discount the factor of Andy’s former players wanting to show their ex-boss what they are capable of under a new coach who knows how to turn the horses loose.

      • GermanEagle

        PPK,
        Good point re turning the horses loose against AR. I bet Shady & Co cannot wait to unleash the running horse…

      • GEagle

        3-0 it is!!!! It’s going down….I think these players enjoyed a taste of what working hard under a leader like the Chippah can do for them!!!

    • deg0ey

      I like the way Brent broke the schedule down at EaglesRewind and assigned the number of wins we’d need at different stages to be able to finish 9-7. His sections/requirements were as follows:

      @WAS, SD, KC – 2 wins
      @DEN, @NYG, @TB – 1 win
      DAL, NYG, @OAK, @GB, WAS – 2 wins
      BYE
      ARI, DET, @MIN, CHI, @DAL – 4 wins

      I think his projections are mostly accurate for how many wins the Eagles can take in each category, but carrying an extra win or two into the bye is a reasonable possibility and would certainly make the final stretch a little more comfortable.

      EDIT: I should probably post the link too http://eaglesrewind.com/2013/08/20/charting-the-course-to-9-wins-laying-out-the-schedule/

      • GermanEagle

        I agree that breaking down the schedule into sections makes sense. However I don’t want to look too far ahead. Always one game at a time. Or as Chipper likes to call it: win the day!

  • deg0ey

    “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.”

    That’s gotta be the most dismissive I’ve ever seen Tommy be about a player. Love it.

    The Chargers D is not good, especially against the run. Let’s call it a 48 – 18 final score.

    • GEagle

      Yeah, Tom got me fired up as well with that!!!! 42-20

  • GEagle

    Im really unfamiliar with the Chargers, so appreciate all intel regarding this game

  • GEagle

    Vinny Curry is gonna light Rivers up!!!

    Have a feeling the 3TE package is unveiled