The Los Angeles Chargers (0-3) host the Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) in a rare AFC-NFC showdown. Kickoff from StubHub Center is set for 1:05 p.m. PDT.
A Look Back at Last Week
Three first half interceptions put the Bolts behind the eight ball, and the Chargers were never able to recover as they fell to the Chiefs, 24-10. Melvin Gordon found the end zone for the third-straight game late in the first quarter, but it was the only time the offense would find the end zone for the rest of the afternoon. Meanwhile, the defense performed admirably against the NFL’s second-leading offense. Melvin Ingram led the way, recording a career-high 3.0 sacks. The Bolts got to Alex Smith five times, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough as L.A. fell to 0-3.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Philip Rivers looks to bounce back from one of the worst performances of his career. Despite his struggles in Week 3, number 17 ranks fifth in the NFL in completions. Overall, he’s 73-of-112 (65.2%) for 760 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions for an 81.7 passer rating. His top target is Keenan Allen, whose 19 catches are tied for ninth-most in the league. Meanwhile, Travis Benjamin is fresh off his first 100-yard receiving performance since Week 5 of 2016, catching five passes for 105 yards in Week 3. Finally, Melvin Gordon has three total TDs (two rushing, one receiving). He’s carried the rock 44 times for 146 yards while ranking second on the team with 12 catches for 90 yards.
On Offense for the Eagles
Last year’s second-overall pick Carson Wentz is off to a fine start in his second season. The quarterback has completed 72 of 116 passes (62.1%) for 816 yards, five touchdowns and two picks for a 90.3 passer rating. Tight end Zach Ertz has emerged as his number one weapon as his 21 catches are tied for the third-most in the NFL. Those 21 receptions have gone for 245 yards and one TD, with a season-long of 53-yards. Meanwhile, Alshon Jeffrey (14 catches – 186 yards – 1 TD, Torrey Smith (9-125-0) and Nelson Agholor (9-115-2) form a potent trio of options at wide receiver. Philly’s ground attack suffered a blow when Darren Sproles was lost for the year in Week 3. The Eagles use a committee approach in the backfield, led by LeGarrette Blount who has 26 carries for 113 yards and a TD on the season. Wendell Smallwood (15-61) and Corey Clement (6-22-1) will also see plenty of opportunities.
On Defense for the Chargers
The dynamic duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa have more than lived up to the billing early in the year. Ingram ranks second in the NFL with 5.5 sacks, which is more than halfway to his career-high for a single season of 10.5 set in 2015, while Bosa has 2.5. Linebacker Jatavis Brown leads the NFL with 36 tackles, while Trevor Williams is entrenched as the starting cornerback opposite Casey Hayward after Jason Verrett was placed on the Reserve/Injured list a week ago.
On Defense for the Eagles
Cornerback Jalen Mills leads Philadelphia with 23 tackles, and is one of three players to record an interception on the season. Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins has also been effective, ranking second with 16 tackles. Up front, defensive linemen Brandon Graham (2.5 sacks) and Fletcher Cox (2.0) have proven to be a handful for opposing quarterbacks.
The Chargers hold a 7-4 series advantage over the Eagles. The Bolts have won the previous two matchups, and have put 30 or more points on the board in each of those wins.
By the Numbers
The Chargers rank 18th in total offense (315.3 yards per game), 11th in passing (244.7 ypg), 27th in rushing (70.7 ypg) and 26th in points (16.0). The Eagles rank ninth in total offense (372.0 ypg), 10th in passing (252.7 ypg), ninth in rushing (119.3 ypg) and 10th in points (25.7).
Defensively, the Bolts rank 13th in total defense (322.7 ypg), fifth in passing (176.0 ypg), 31st in rushing (146.7 ypg) and 18th in points allowed (22.3). Philadelphia ranks 21st in total defense (341.0 ypg), 25th in passing (266.0 ypg), sixth in rushing (75.0 ypg) and 20th in points allowed (22.7).
Milestones on the Horizon
Philip Rivers has 46,593 career passing yards, 11th all-time. He needs 411 yards to pass Fran Tarkenton for 10th all-time.
Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have combined for 85 touchdowns during their careers, tied for second-most all-time between a quarterback and receiver/tight end. With one more, Rivers and Gates will break a tie for second with Steve Young and Jerry Rice.
Melvin Gordon has 1,784 career rushing yards. He’ll need 467 to push his way into the team’s all-time Top 10. Currently, Gary Anderson is 10th with 2,250.
Melvin Gordon needs five more rushing touchdowns to move into the team’s all-time Top 10. Currently, Hank Bauer, Rod Bernstine, Dick Post and Clarence Williams are tied for ninth with 17.
Noteworthy vs. the Eagles
Antonio Gates has faced the Eagles three times in his career. The tight end has seven or more catches in all three games, totaling 23 receptions for 274 yards and a touchdown.
In two career games against Philly, Philip Rivers has a quarterback rating over 124 with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s completed 56 of 72 attempts for 650 yards. The last time he faced the Eagles, he completed 36 of 47 attempts for 419 yards and three scores. The 419 yards is the fifth-best total of his career.
Keenan Allen caught his first NFL pass against the Eagles in 2013.
Eagles Tight Ends Coach Justin Peelle played for the Chargers from 2002-05.
Philadelphia Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich coached for the Chargers from 2013-15.
Eagles CB Patrick Robinson played for the Chargers in 2015.
Chargers NT Damion Square played in Philadelphia in 2013 after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.
Eagles DE Chris Long is from Santa Monica, Calif.
Philadelphia DT Elijah Qualls is from Petaluma, Calif.
Philadelphia LB Joe Walker is from Palos Verdes, Calif.
Eagles WR Nelson Agholor went to USC (2012-14).
Eagles TE Zach Ertz went to Stanford (2009-13) and is from Orange County.
The game will air locally on KCOP-TV Channel 13 (also known as My13) – Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Mark Schlereth (analyst) and Shannon Spake (sideline)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
*Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 *- Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)
Chargers radio broadcasts throughout the season will be able to be heard across 11 radio stations from Southern California to Nevada. Fans can listen in English on KGB-FM and KLSD AM (San Diego), KNWZ-AM (Palm Springs), KALZ-AM (Fresno), KBFP-AM (Bakersfield), KNWH-FM (Yucca Valley), KRLV-FM (Las Vegas), KRAK-AM (Victorville/Hesperia), KATY-FM (San Bernardino) and KPLY-AM (Reno). Spanish broadcasts can be heard on XHFG-FM (San Diego).