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Perspective is a funny thing. After last week, most NFL fans expected the Philadelphia Eagles offense to run up and down the field this Sunday against an average San Diego Chargers team. Somehow, the Eagles offense didn't seem like they were doing anything in this game even though they scored 30 points. Maybe that's because the Eagles defense was simply putrid in a 33-30 loss.
While watching this game live at Lincoln Financial Field, I thought that the Eagles offense didn't do enough to win the game. Then I saw the stat line and realized that Michael Vick threw for a career high 428 yards and two touchdowns and added another score on the ground. Obviously, I can't blame this loss on Vick with that stat line, so I'm left with no other choice but to point the finger at the defense.
- Eddie Royal scores three TDs.
- Michael Vick throws for career-high 428 yards.
- LeSean McCoy only rushes for 53 yards.
- Desean Jackson has 9 receptions for 193 yards and 1 TD.
- Chargers run more plays than Eagles in win.
While sitting in the stands, I started asking my fellow fans if I was correct in thinking that the Eagles defense was so bad that they hadn't forced a single punt in a game that was already in the third quarter. Sadly, we all realized that the defense was playing as poorly as we had imagined.
Philip Rivers had all the time in the world to find his receivers and finished 36-for-47 for 419 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Chargers to the win. When I said he had all the time in the world, I mean that Rivers literally never had a pass rusher in his face all day, except for one sack. That should have been impossible for an offensive line that allowed 49 sacks last year and started the infamous King Dunlap at left tackle. This was what Eagles fans dreaded going into the season.
The defense couldn't cover any of the Chargers mediocre receivers because Rivers had all day to sit in the pocket. Eddie Royal had 7 catches for 90 yards and three touchdowns. Michael Floyd left the field on a stretcher on the first offensive play of the first half and still caught 5 balls for 102 yards. And Antonio Gates seemed to be wide open all day while hauling in 8 passes for 124 yards. The Eagles suspect secondary was exposed all game long and it cost the team the game.
The only reason this game wasn't a complete blowout for the Chargers is that they turned the ball over twice on fumbles inside the Eagles' 10 yard line. That shouldn't make Eagles fans feel any better. Neither should the great games by Desean Jackson (9-193-1) and LeSean McCoy.
Saying that McCoy had a great game is bit misleading, since he only had 11 carries for 53 yards in the game. The problem was that the running game wasn't really working for the Eagles in this matchup. McCoy also added 5 catches for 114 yards, but the Eagles offense wasn't able to control the clock and dictate the flow of the game to their opponent in this game.
Maybe that's why I felt like the offense didn't do their part to win this game. It felt like the Chargers were the team that controlled the ball and were only stopped by their own mistakes on turnovers in the red zone. Unfortunately for the home team, the Chargers didn't turn the ball over a few more times.
The Eagles offense managed to drive down the field late in the fourth quarter to tie the game on a Alex Henery field goal, but everybody in the stadium and watching at home knew that the Eagles defense wouldn't be able to stop the Chargers from driving down the field at the end to win the game on a Nick Novack field goal.
The Eagles stole a win from the Redskins last week and coughed up a very winnable game this week against an average San Diego squad. I have a feeling that this Eagles season is going to have plenty of ups and downs, with this defense providing more than their share of down moments, just like they did in losing this game to the Chargers.