Instant Observations: Chargers 33, Eagles 30

Here are instant observations from the Eagles’ 33-30 loss to the Chargers.

OFFENSE

* Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson had monster games. Vick completed 22 of 36 passes for 428 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran six times for 23 yards and a score. Jackson had nine catches for 193 yards and a touchdown.

* The truth is they could have had even bigger games. The pair connected on a 61-yard TD in the second half, but had other opportunities. Jackson couldn’t keep his feet in bounds on a deep ball near the sidelines in the first. Later, Jackson again got free deep, but Vick overthrew him. Vick was hit on the play by Dwight Freeney, who used his classic spin move against rookie right tackle Lane Johnson. And there was one more play, where Jackson had his fingertips on the ball, but couldn’t haul it in.

* It looked like the Chargers’ game-plan was to move a safety up and try to limit the Eagles’ rushing attack. LeSean McCoy had 11 carries for 53 yards, but he did more damage as a receiver, catching five balls for 114 yards, including one 70-yarder that set up the team’s first field goal. McCoy got matched up with safety Eric Weddle on the play, broke a tackle and took off down the field.

* On the Eagles’ lone TD drive of the first half, they went 75 yards on four plays in 1:20. Vick hit Riley Cooper for a 13-yard score. Jackson had catches of 17 and 41 yards on the possession.

* On the Eagles’ field-goal drive in the first half, they first thought they had a touchdown, but James Casey couldn’t hang on to a pass from Vick.

* Zach Ertz had catches of 37 and 21 yards in the first half.

* Chip Kelly talked about subbing players in more during the week. On the first drive, he made wholesale changes at one point, bringing in Casey, Jeff Maehl, Bryce Brown and Damaris Johnson for the starters.

* The offensive line had issues on the first drive. It looked like Todd Herremans got beat on the play. On third down, VIck got hit by Freeney, but it looked like he might have stepped into the pressure.

* The Eagles ran 30 plays in the first half and 57 overall. They scored on all four first-half possessions until the final one which began with just 7 seconds on the clock.

DEFENSE

* The defense was a disaster, giving up points on seven of 10 possessions. On five second-half possessions, San Diego scored two touchdowns and two field goals. The Chargers piled up 539 yards and got a 46-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to seal a 33-30 victory.

* Philip Rivers went 36-for-47 for 419 yards and three touchdowns. Eddie Royal had seven catches for 90 yards and three touchdowns. The Chargers went 51 yards on nine plays on their game-winning drive. San Diego went 10-for-15 on third down overall.

* The Chargers had 291 yards in the first half, but only 13 points to show for it, thanks to a pair of red-zone turnovers. Trent Cole forced a red-zone fumble late in the first half with the Chargers driving. And earlier, Brandon Boykin made a terrific hustle play to strip Antonio Gates inside the 5.

* Boykin started outside opposite Cary Williams. It looked like the Eagles tried to stay away from bringing a fifth DB on the field at times in the first half. But eventually, Brandon Hughes came in, played outside, and Boykin moved inside. Williams was called for two pass interference penalties in the first half.

* Mychal Kendricks played well in Week 1, but looked bad in coverage and as a tackler in this one.

* Casey Matthews rotated in behind Connor Barwin at left outside linebacker in the first half. Brandon Graham rotated in behind Cole.

* The Eagles rotated Nate Allen and Earl Wolff in at safety. Neither looked good. Wolff would have given up a touchdown, were it not for the Boykin strip. Allen was a disaster. On the game-winning drive, he gave up multiple completions to Antonio Gates. And early on, Allen got stiff-armed by Ryan Mathews, while also being called for a personal foul penalty on the play.

* On a fourth-quarter touchdown, King Dunlap blocked Allen, and DeMeco Ryans missed a tackle as Royal scampered into the end zone on a WR screen.

* Damion Square got double-teamed to the ground on a second-quarter run.

* Barwin was active early, knocking over rookie right tackle D.J. Fluker early and sacking Rivers. But that was the Eagles’ only sack of the game.

* The Chargers ran 34 offensive plays in the first half. Mathews ran 16 times for 73 yards overall. Malcom Floyd had five catches for 102 yards. But he was hit by Ryans in the third quarter and taken off the field on a stretcher.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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