75 degrees, sunny
- This game ran along a typical Chargers script…fall behind early, scramble back into the game, but never really get ahead or take control of the game.
- After an early turnover, the Chargers fell behind 10-0, and they were chasing the rest of the game. From a coaching standpoint, the defense has largely played well all season. Things could always be better, but given that they have a new DC in Gus Bradley and have switched the defensive philosophy completely, they’ve competed well enough on defense.
- However, on offense, it appears the coaches coach around whatever QB Philip Rivers wants to do, but from our vantage point, even the great QBs need to be coached as well. How does this manifest? Well, the Chargers have been struggling for so long now that Rivers feels extreme urgency to make plays by himself. He is one of the game’s best competitors and all of the losing obviously hurts him, but he often presses (and much of this comes from playing behind makeshift offensive lines for a long time), and when he presses, he either hangs on too long or throws with too much anticipation. Rivers has high standards, and he rightfully wants his teammates to play to his standards…but sometimes those players simply aren’t capable, and he needs to play within their strengths and weaknesses too (e.g., WR Keenan Allen is only a year removed from an ACL injury and just now is really rounding into game form). And this is where the coaching must come in. If it doesn’t, they’ll continue to see reckless play that leads to turnovers and more playing from behind scenarios.
- So far this season, it’s been the same script when it comes to Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn: the players play hard for him, but there simply is too much sloppiness around the entire operation. But he is a rookie head coach, and a promising one, so we feel he has plenty of room to grow.
- The Eagles, on the other hand, are learning how to control games, and in this one, their coaching staff did an excellent job. While the Chargers did an excellent job fighting to get back into the game, the Eagles are learning to be good frontrunners and how to respond to a challenge to their lead. When the Chargers closed to 19-17, the Eagles did not panic and try to heave the ball around; instead, they finally gave RB LeGarrette Blount a chance to do what he does best: wear people down. He responded with a big run to set up a 26-17 lead, and when the Chargers closed again to 26-24, he helped salt the last 6 minutes of the game away – the Chargers never saw the ball again. This game will be a big confidence boost to Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson and his entire staff – they’re showing they can win games in a “big boy” fashion.