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Time of Possession, 3rd Downs Key Win
It seemed like everyone wanted to talk about the Philadelphia Eagles offense after their nationally televised game last Monday showcased their ability to get plays off -- and fast.
Facing the Chargers, they didn’t get as much of a chance as in their first game. Simply put, the Bolts dominated time of possession. The Chargers ran 29 first-half plays with less than nine seconds left on the game clock -- and in the end, it kept their quick-strike counterparts on the sideline. When all was said and done, San Diego notched 40 minutes of possession while the Eagles managed only 20 minutes.
Credit a perfectly sculpted offensive game plan for that discrepancy.
"A great win for the organization," said Head Coach Mike McCoy. "Coming on the road we knew we had a tough test. The coaches put in a great game plan for how we wanted to execute offense, defense and special teams…It was about believing in the plan and when the game was on the line that someone would make a play. There were a number of guys who did that all game long."
One of those guys was Philip Rivers, who was a key cog of that plan. First and foremost, he once again took what the defense gave him. Rivers picked up first downs by passing to Danny Woodhead out of the backfield as well as Vincent Brown, Antonio Gates, Eddie Royal and Keenan Allen. He only had 11 incompletions in 47 pass attempts.
Modest gains kept drives alive, as the Chargers converted 66 percent on third down. They also had as many first downs through the air as the Eagles had all game -- 22.
Those conversions meant the Bolts could play ball-control all day. That being said, the team played in a no-huddle, hurry up offense for the majority of the game.. On one series, Rivers hurried his team to the line on three separate occasions before letting the game clock dwindle.
"We no huddled the no huddlers," Rivers said after the game.
All the while, the Eagles offense watched on. They watched as Rivers meticulously moved up to the line and picked apart their defense, but they also watched Ryan Mathews tote the rock. The running back averaged 5.5 yards per carry and made life that much easier for McCoy.
The clock-draining attack was perhaps at its best spanning the end of the third quarter and spilling into the fourth. That's when McCoy's offense launched a 17-play drive that spanned 73 yards and lasted just under nine minutes. Overall, the Chargers offense dictated the pace of the game as they recorded 539 yards of total offense. It was the most yards gained by the offense since 1985.