NFL Week 2 Preview: Eagles vs. Chargers

By Ricardo A. Hazell
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ offensive unit has been getting rave reviews since their 33-27 victory over the Washington Redskins as they ran a scorching 50 plays in the first half, which was exactly what head coach Chip Kelly wanted. But the Birdgang became visibly tired in the second half of the game. The Eagles’ defense seemed to be putting in work as well as they sacked Robert Griffin III three times and picked him off twice. Michael Vick wasn’t asked to do too much and was a self-contained balanced attack with 203 passing yards and 59 yards on the ground to go along with two touchdowns. But that old tackling problem in the secondary reared its ugly head.

LeSean “Shady” McCoy should change his name to “Right Analog Stick” because the “dead leg” juke moves and impossible changes of direction he displayed were right out of a video game. He ran for 184 yards as hapless Redskins linebackers and safeties flailed and failed to catch him. What happens when Vick and McCoy are performing well? DeSean Jackson gets one-on-one coverage and he responded last Sunday with 104 yards and a touchdown. Pass-blocking and tackling was cause for concern, but the Redskins had to battle back from too far down to take advantage.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers jumped out the gate to an early 21-point lead against the Houston Texans. The team was cooking with propane as touchdowns seemed as easy to come by as a chill on a winter day. But the seasons changed  and, before they knew it, the Texans’ defense caused the Chargers’ offense to begin to sputter and in turn started lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 24 second half points of their own. San Diego has always been able to score the football, but the porous nature of their defense during Week 1 was alarming even by Charger standards.

Antonio Gates had 2 catches for 49 yards, but he has to become more involved. You simply cannot rely on Eddie Royal to catch two more touchdown passes against an Eagles’ secondary that is vastly improved over last year. If Philip Rivers’ armed fell off one day, he’d just start throwing lefty, but teams have figured out that with him you simply have to wait out his hot streak. With all that throwing he’s bound to make a mistake. That’s why Ryan Mathews and Ronnie Brown need to be consistent.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ offense is better than the Chargers, and their defense trumps the Bolts’ as well. But I don’t believe the Eagles will jump on them the way they did the Redskins last week either. But Philadelphia will still come away with the win, 28-21.

Ricardo Hazell is a freelance writer for Follow him on  Twitter @NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google.

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