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Scouting Report: Chargers vs. Eagles
A Look Back At Last Week
San Diego dropped their season opener 31-28 at the hands of the Houston Texans. The Chargers led by 21-points early in the third quarter, but the final five offensive drives resulted in four three-and-outs and one pick six. The defense, meanwhile, failed to get off the field on third down, which proved to be the team’s downfall. Philip Rivers tossed four touchdowns for the fifth time in his career in the losing effort, while Eddie Royal notched his first ever multi-touchdown game. Inside linebackers Bront Bird and Donald Butler led the Chargers in tackles with 14 and 13 respectively.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Philip Rivers returns to the field following a game in which he tied a career high with four touchdown passes in the game, including two to Eddie Royal (career-high) and one each to Ryan Mathews (first-career touchdown catch) and Vincent Brown (first touchdown since 2011). The Chargers were efficient on third down, converting 7-of-14, and they were a perfect 4-of-4 on touchdowns in the red zone and 3- of-3 in goal to-go situations. They also converted their lone fourth down attempt.
On Offense for the Eagles
Everyone has been clamoring for years to see a Chip Kelly offense in the NFL, and the Eagles showed what life under their head coach would be like in their season opening win over the Washington Redskins. Running at lightning speed, the Eagles ran 77 total plays and racked up 443 yards of total offense, including 184 yards and a touchdown on the ground from running back LeSean McCoy and 104 yards and a touchdown through the air from wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Eagles 263 yards rushing was the most in the league, and were a whopping 92 yards more than the second best from Week 1.
On Defense for the Chargers
The linebackers had a strong game against the Texans, and the team will look at the unit once again to help slow down the Eagles offense. Inside linebackers Bront Bird (14 tackles) and Donald Butler (13 tackles, 0.5 sacks) paced the team in tackles, while Jarrett Johnson had a sack and a pass deflected leading to a Cam Thomas interception. Dwight Freeney (0.5 sacks) also showed why many consider him to be a future Hall-of-Famer, getting pressure on the quarterback all game long. Look for the Chargers to try to win the point of attack as they face Mike Vick and company.
On Defense for the Eagles
Defensively, the Eagles forced Washington to pass 49 times, they held them to 2-of-10 on third downs, they collected three sacks, and cornerbacks Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin both had interceptions.
The Chargers and Eagles meet for the 11th time on Sunday, and the Bolts lead the series 6-4. San Diego won the last meeting, 31-23, at home in 2009 but lost their last two games in the series played in Philadelphia (20-17 in 2005 and 24-14 in 2001). The Chargers are just 1-3 against the Eagles away from Qualcomm Stadium and their lone win in Philadelphia came in 1995 by a score of 27-21.
By the Numbers
For the year, the Chargers rank 27th in total offense (263.0 yards per game), 24th in passing (183.0 ypg), 18th in rushing (80.0 ypg) and eighth in points (28.0). The Eagles rank sixth in total offense (443.0 ypg), 25th in passing (180.0 ypg), first in rushing (263.0 ypg) and fifth in points (33.0)
Defensively, the Bolts rank 28th in total defense (449.0 ypg), 26th in passing (329.0 ypg), 25th in rushing (120.0 ypg) and 26th in points allowed (31.0). Philadelphia ranks 21st in total defense (382.0 ypg), 24th in passing (308.0 ypg), 13th in rushing (74.0 ypg) and 20th in points allowed (27.0).
Milestones on the Horizon
The Chargers have 399 all-time regular-season wins and need just one to reach 400. San Diego’s all-time regular-season record is 399-395-11.
Antonio Gates has scored 498 career points needing just two more to reach 500. He’d also pass Lance Alworth (500 points) for fifth place on the team’s career scoring list. Gates has 642 career catches and needs 21 to pass Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome (662) for fourth-most by a tight end in NFL history. Gates (8,355 career yards) currently ranks fourth all-time in receiving yards by a tight end. Two of the players ranked ahead of him are still active, including Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez, who owns the most yards by a tight end with 14,304 and Dallas’ Jason Witten, who’s third with 9,018 yards.
Ryan Mathews (2,509 career rushing yards) ranks ninth on the Chargers’ all-time rushing list. He needs 11 yards to pass Dick Post (2,519) for eighth.
Philip Rivers has started 113 consecutive games, the NFL’s second-longest streak among active quarterbacks behind Eli Manning’s 128.
Rivers and Antonio Gates have combined for 56 career touchdowns, most in NFL history for a quarterback-tight end tandem.
Rivers led the NFL in average yards per pass three times in his career (2008-10).
Nick Novak (45 career field goals) ranks sixth on the team’s all-time field goals list and he needs six more to pass George Blair (1961-64), fifth with 50.
Mike Scifres owns the NFL’s highest career percentage of punts landed inside the 20 (min. 500 attempts). Of Scifres’ 579 career punts, 227 have landed inside the 20 (39.2%). Kansas City’s Dustin Colquitt’s percentage of 38.3 is second (255 of 666).
Philip Rivers faced the Eagles for the only time in his career in 2009, leading the Chargers to a 31-23 win. That afternoon, Rivers completed a season-high 80.0 percent of his passes (20 of 25) for 231 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating that day (131.8) was his fourth-highest of the ’09 season.
Dwight Freeney earned his first-career AFC Defensive Player of the Week Award after registering a sack and three forced fumbles in his first-career start at Philadelphia.
As a Baltimore Raven in 2008, Jarret Johnson had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and 1.5 sacks in a 36-7 win over the Eagles.
Tight end John Phillips had his first-ever touchdown catch, a one-yard grab, against the Eagles in a 2009 Wild Card playoff game for Dallas.
Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy had a brief stint as a quarterback for the Eagles in the late 1990s.
Running back Ronnie Brown played for the Eagles in 2011 before joining the Chargers a year later.
Left tackle King Dunlap signed with the Chargers this season as a free agent after spending his first five NFL seasons with the Eagles. Philadelphia drafted Dunlap in the seventh round in 2008.
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Dan Dierdorf (analyst)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)
All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage after the game ends.
For a unique, one-of-a-kind look at the Chargers, be sure to tune in each week to Chargers Insider on Fox Sports San Diego. The half-hour program will be the go-to destination for fans that want behind-the-scenes coverage and unique features on the team. Chargers Insider airs each week throughout the season on Thursdays at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. PT.