A short week is upon the San Diego Chargers and there is no time to dwell on the tough loss. A lot of positives can be taken from the opening matchup versus the Houston Texans as the team goes on the road week 2 to face the Philadelphia Eagles.
The first half was an amazing offensive display that the Texans had no answer for. Philip Rivers read the defense at the line and made adjustments that attacked every weakness. Eddie Royal’s speed was used against man coverage to expose CB Brice McCain, and Malcom Floyd’s size was used against the much smaller CB Jonathan Joseph. The versatility of Antonio Gates gave defenders nightmares whether he lined up outside or in the middle. Rivers also recognized zone coverage cushions and found his running backs in the backfield on short tosses, giving them chances to gain yards after the catch. The Chargers proved to be able to score early and often.
The second half of the game did not match the intensity of the first and the Chargers let their opponent creep back in and build some momentum. Oddly enough, this is a strange similarity to next week’s opponents, among many others. Although the Eagles pulled off the win, their pace also slowed down as they found the Redskins knocking on the door late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles went from a high tempo 53 plays in the first half to under half of that in the second.
The guy calling all the shots is also a new first year head coach (Chip Kelly), who is trying to revitalize a team that didn’t meet expectations and missed the playoffs in 2012, just like Mike McCoy is doing in San Diego. And these two masterminds will have about the same time to game plan because the Eagles played in the other Monday Night game which gives them just as short of a week as the Chargers. Mike McCoy tells us how he sees this next matchup and the rest of the season playing out.
“We’re going to have 16 tough games this year. Week in and week out it’s a battle. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. The parody in this league is so good; it’s going to be tough every week. That’s just the way this league is. You’ve got to avoid giving up big plays, do your job, keep things in front of you, and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Without much film to watch from both these new regimes, let’s analyze some stats that can be found from week 1. Both teams converted seven ‘third downs’ Chargers (7-14) Eagles (7-15). They also showed some guts by each converting their only fourth down attempts. Their offenses averaged over five years per offensive play Chargers (5.2 yards) Eagles (5.8 yards). With two fast paced offensive teams, it almost seems like there is no ceiling for how high scoring this game can be. McCoy knows the Chargers will have to come together collectively on all sides of the football to put themselves in the best position for a ‘W’.
“We’re all in this together, so we’ve got to make sure we’re doing what’s best for the players. We’re all here because of 53 players. That’s what we’re trying to do, is give them the best opportunity, regardless of what it is, to give them an opportunity on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Saturday night, whatever the day we’re playing, to have a chance to succeed, and that’s our job.”
Chargers’ fans should be happy with the output and effort their team displayed this week. Surely you need to keep close watch on how the team will bounce back from the tough loss. Adversity this early in the season with a new system in place should not be frowned upon. The season is young and the future is still bright in America’s finest city.
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