Looks like the national pundits are feeling the Eagles in this matchup. Here’s what they’re saying about Chip Kelly‘s squad heading into the Chargers game:
Pete Prisco sees a 33-20 Eagles win.
The Chargers looked good early against the Texans, then folded in the second half. The defense was gassed against the Texans. Can you imagine what Chip Kelly’s offense will do to them? Look for the Eagles to roll here. Mike Vick has a big day.
Don Banks of SI.com likes the Eagles 37-17.
A cross-country trip to the Eastern time zone in a short week, after blowing a 21-point second-half lead in your home-opener, is no way to reach mid-September. But that’s the reality for the new-look Chargers, who suddenly seem a lot like the old Chargers. As for the Eagles, they’re never going to be boring are they? The Andy Reid era got stale, but Chip Kelly’s tenure is off to a thrill-a-minute beginning.
Peter Schrager of Fox Sports sees a 34-23 Birds win.
I liked San Diego’s first 40 minutes of the season. The last 20? Not so much. Now, they’ve got to travel across the entire country, on five days’ rest, and try to keep up with the Eagles? Nope. Not happening.
All 13 of the ESPN NFL experts are going with the Eagles.
Same goes for the eight prognosticators at CBS Sports.
Bill Simmons of Grantland is taking the Chargers (+8.5).
Chris Ryan’s Eaglegasm and Bill Barnwell’s football geekgasm collectively captured what happened for Eagles fans and football fans on Monday night. After Andy Reid left, all Philly fans wanted was a fun team that didn’t make them want to commit a felony. And all football fans wanted was for Chip Kelly to successfully answer the question “What would it be like if the greatest and most inventive Madden player ever took over an NFL offense?” Winner and winner! People are so gung-ho that Vegas bumped this line two points too high, knowing nobody wants to take San Diego when it’s much more fun to take THE MOST ENTERTAINING NFL OFFENSE OF ALL TIME!!!! Thanks for the free points — I’m grabbing the eight and a half. Regardless, Philly’s offense makes me happier than Walt Jr. waiting on Saul at the A-1 Car Wash.
Phil Sheridan predicts a 27-23 Eagles win.
There is some tape now for the Chargers’ staff to dissect. I think they will be able to slow the Eagles’ offense to some degree and find some weaknesses in their evolving defense. But a short week does not help.
John Castellane of Pro Football Focus highlights the Jason Peters-Dwight Freeney matchup.
Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney is in his second season of a conversion to pass rushing outside linebacker after a very successful stint at 4-3 defensive end. Freeney got off to a great start last week, tallying nine total pressures on the quarterback (6 hurries, 2 hits and a sack) in just 34 pass rushing opportunities. That made him the most productive pass rushing 3-4 outside linebacker in the league for Week 1.
It will be a true battle of strengths — in 2011, the last season that Peters played, he finished the year ranked fourth in the NFL in Pass Blocking Efficiency. That year he gave up just 21 total pressures in 570 pass blocking opportunities. Peters’ task of blocking Freeney is paramount because of how long Eagles quarterback Michael Vick tends to hang onto the ball. Last week he averaged 3.33 seconds to throw, longest in the league and his QB rating dropped from 136.0 when not under pressure, down to 81.6 when under pressure. If Freeney can get the best of Peters on a few plays he can really disrupt the Philadelphia offense and slow down the high tempo they desire.
Jason La Canfora on the prospects of Vick (and the rest of the QBs) making it through a full 16 games.
The Eagles may go through four quarterbacks this season. They play so fast and loose with their protections and the quarterback is so utterly vulnerable so often, it’s hard to imagine Michael Vick being built for the long haul here … and Matt Barkley better keep himself in tip-top shape because Nick Foles could be churned up, too. It’s the bargain this offense is making — intense speed and trying to exploit matchups all over the field on every play at the expense of protection. It will be worth monitoring every time they play.
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