In a matchup of first-year NFL coaches, Mike McCoy's less-hyped San Diego Chargers offense took advantage of a mediocre Philadelphia Eagles defense and kept Chip Kelly's dangerous offense on the sideline most of the game en route to a 33-30 victory.
Philip Rivers found Eddie Royal on three touchdown passes -- leading people at pubs across America to ask the bloke next to him, "Wait, what year is it?" -- as the Chargers' offense methodically picked apart the Eagles' defense.
Rivers, looking very comfortable running McCoy's offense, used a quick pace to keep the Eagles' defenders on the field and then made play calls from the line, draining the clock.
Rivers threw for 419 yards, quickly got the ball out of his hands and spread it all over the field. The Chargers had four players catch five or more passes, including receiver Malcom Floyd (five), who was carted off the field early in the second half with a neck injury.
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates looked like he found the fountain of youth. Aside from one red-zone fumble, the Eagles had no answer for the tight end, who caught eight passes from 124 yards.
The Chargers had a 10-point lead twice in the first half but couldn't slow Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (428 yards, two touchdown passes) and DeSean Jackson (193 yards, one touchdown). It seemed inevitable that the Eagles would drive for the winning score late. However, the Chargers' defense hit Vick hard, forcing him out of the game for a play before the two-minute warning. The Eagles settled for a game-tying field goal.
Rivers got the ball back with 1:51 remaining and marched the Bolts down the field for Nick Novak's game-winning 46-yard field goal.
The Eagles' offense was the talk of the week, and deservedly so. Kelly's quick-strike offense was on display again. There is a good chance the shaky Eagles defense could undermine its explosive offense all season.
On Sunday, the Chargers showed us the blueprint for marginalizing Kelly's offense.http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000244674/article/philip-rivers-leads-san-diego-chargers-past-eagles