Even though questions linger about the San Diego Chargers and their continued lack of killer instinct following a blown three-touchdown lead in their season opener, at least there is another game this week to help take fans’ minds off of it. Oh wait, you’re saying that game is against the Energizer bunny offense of the Philadelphia Eagles at 1pm ET after a cross-country flight?
In that case, the Bolts have some work to do.
And clearly the team realizes it given the buzz surrounding Chip Kelly’s up-tempo attack in Philly following Week 1. Certainly the Chargers themselves aren’t averse to a fast offense given their shootout in the opener, so this game could very well be another high scoring affair. It definitely sounds that way according to quarterback Philip Rivers who told USA TODAY:
“As far as playing the ball-control game, we’re not going to do that. We’re going to try to score. If it’s fast or slow, we just want to score. Obviously, there are certain games when you play the clock. But I don’t know that there will be a time in this game where you won’t want to go score and keep scoring with how fast they play offensively, because no lead is ever safe.”
Let’s not even go back in time and relive just how unsafe a lead can be – especially when the Chargers have it. Instead the team is moving forward and focusing on stopping an Eagles attack that saw quarterback Michael Vick throw for a pair for scores and add another with his legs, running back LeSean McCoy gain 184 yards on 31 carries, and wide receiver DeSean Jackson haul in seven catches for 104 yards and a score.
Yeah, it seems the Bolts have their hands full with the present. And despite this being a defense full of young leaders, it seems like those guys are more than willing to accept that challenge. Linebacker Donald Butler offered his insights saying:
“You have to be ready for their speed. If not, you’re going to get gassed.”
Another of the team’s young leadership group, standout defensive end Corey Liuget, added:
“They have a great quarterback, so you’ve definitely got to stay on your feet and chase him down. For us up front, the ‘D’ linemen, we know we have to be very disciplined and pursue the ball. We also have to be the guys who chase from the backside because you never know when we’re going to get the (opportunity) to make that big play.”
Given the speed all over the field for Philly on offense, preventing that big play can be easier said than done. The Chargers know that keeping everything in front of them is key against the Eagles who will try to get them off their game by pushing the tempo early on. That fast break offense ran a staggering 53 plays in the first half of their game on Monday night which is more than the Chargers ran in 60 full minutes of their contest.
Head coach Mike McCoy believes his side is prepared to take on the fastest offense outside of college football in Week 2. He offered some insight on what the Bolts will be looking to do defensively as he said:
“We have a scheme on defense that we want to run. Everyone is different. But we have a package we think is best against this team and the system they run. So we’re going to continue to do what we do.”
While vague, any plan is better than no plan, am I right? At least the Bolts have some film to analyze in preparation for the Eagles after Kelly’s squad ran their up-tempo attack to perfection in Week 1. Despite the deck being stacked against them on a short week, expect the Chargers to have some serious fight in Philadelphia on Sunday.