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Fundamental game plan prevails for Eagles over Chargers, 26-24

It’s what we were asking for—apparently Doug was in agreement.

Stick to a run-heavy/run-often plan on offense and wear down the Chargers’ pass rush personnel.

It did not create a dominant victory. But it helped create a victory. We knew Phil Rivers would get his fair share of scoring opportunities, so we just needed to keep him on the sidelines as much as possible, and somehow get a few more points on the board than he would inevitably get for his guys.

We cut it awfully close on the scoring thing, as would-be Eagles TD’s shrunk into FG’s which were gratefully converted by young Jake Elliott on a 4-for-4 day in the Chargers’ soccer stadium confines in Carson, California.

But the overall game plan was as successful as it was basic.

Carson Wentz is a big reason why the game plan worked. He went 17-of-31 for 242 yards and a touchdown, and with growing control at the line of scrimmage did well checking the offense into favorable plays. He also orchestrated a strong ground game for a second straight week. After running for 193 yards against the Giants, the rushing attack racked up 214 yards on 42 carries. LeGarrette Blount had 136 of those on 16 carries (8.5 average), including a punishing 68-yard rumble in the fourth quarter that gave the Eagles some breathing room after a 35-yard Austin Ekeler TD on the previous series brought Los Angeles to within two. Blount also was key in helping the Eagles offense in milking the clock late.

Playing without several injured defensive regulars, the Eagles matched last year’s 3-1 start even though they blew most of an early 13-point lead. Rookie Austin Ekeler rushed for a score and Hunter Henry made a one-handed TD catch during the Chargers’ fourth-quarter surge.

But Blount rushed for 88 yards in the fourth quarter alone, and Philadelphia ran out the clock after Henry’s TD catch with 6:44 to play.

Philip Rivers passed for 347 yards and two TDs for the Chargers, who have lost nine consecutive games dating to last season in San Diego.

Tyrell Williams caught a 75-yard touchdown pass after putting a helluva move on Rasul Douglas , but the Bolts are now off to their first 0-4 start since 2003 — three years before Rivers became their starting quarterback. New coach Anthony Lynn is still winless after Los Angeles’ new team wrapped up a three-game homestand.

Alshon Jeffery caught an 8-yard TD pass to cap the Eagles’ opening drive after the Philly defense stripped Rivers on the game’s first possession. Wentz and his teammates moved the ball smoothly while Philadelphia continued to show a knack for big plays, repeatedly gaining yards in bunches.

The Chargers largely struggled on offense except for that perfectly executed long TD pass from Rivers to Williams, who went in untouched. Rivers grew frustrated in the second half, slinging his helmet into the bench and shouting at teammates and coaches after a botched play call as the Chargers sent in their punting unit. Rivers actually shoved the punter off the field. He wanted to go for it on 4th and medium yardage. I kinda respected him for that will to win—but it showed a definite disconnect between the Chargers’ brain trust and the smartest Charger on the field.

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to 19-17 on Ekeler’s impressive 35-yard TD run on his first NFL carry early in the fourth quarter. Blount replied with a vicious 68-yard run to set up Wendell Smallwood‘s TD dive with 9:14 to play.

Henry made it 26-24, but the Eagles never gave up the ball. Blount picked up a key first down in the final moments.

Icing on the cake—no additional injuries of any serious nature for the Eagles.

For the Chargers: DE Chris McCain injured his elbow in the first quarter … RG Matt Slauson left the field with a triceps injury during a fourth-quarter drive.

Up next for the Eagles: they host the Arizona Cardinals to begin a stretch with four of five games at home.

Final:

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 10 6 3 7 26
LAC 0 10 0 14 24

Scoring Summary:

FIRST QUARTER PHI LAC
TD
8:00
Alshon Jeffery 8 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott Kick)
8 plays, 68 yards, 4:44
7 0
FG
0:05
Jake Elliott 45 Yd Field Goal
11 plays, 65 yards, 5:35
10 0
SECOND QUARTER PHI LAC
FG
6:42
Jake Elliott 40 Yd Field Goal
11 plays, 58 yards, 5:15
13 0
TD
6:32
Tyrell Williams 75 Yd pass from Philip Rivers (Younghoe Koo Kick)
1 play, 75 yards, 0:10
13 7
FG
4:08
Jake Elliott 53 Yd Field Goal
8 plays, 40 yards, 2:24
16 7
FG
0:00
Younghoe Koo 28 Yd Field Goal
8 plays, 77 yards, 0:56
16 10
THIRD QUARTER PHI LAC
FG
0:55
Jake Elliott 47 Yd Field Goal
13 plays, 60 yards, 6:51
19 10
FOURTH QUARTER PHI LAC
TD
13:42
Austin Ekeler 35 Yd Run (Younghoe Koo Kick)
7 plays, 75 yards, 2:13
19 17
TD
9:14
Wendell Smallwood 3 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
7 plays, 75 yards, 4:28
26 17
TD
6:44
Hunter Henry 4 Yd pass from Philip Rivers (Younghoe Koo Kick)
8 plays, 75 yards, 2:30
26 24

 

Matchup
1st Downs 26 18
Passing 1st downs 11 12
Rushing 1st downs 12 3
1st downs from penalties 3 3
3rd down efficiency 9-16 5-10
4th down efficiency 1-1 0-0
Total Plays 74 53
Total Yards 454 400
Total Drives 9 9
Yards per Play 6.1 7.5
Passing 240 342
Comp-Att 17-31 22-38
Yards per pass 7.5 8.6
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Sacks-Yards Lost 1-2 2-5
Rushing 214 58
Rushing Attempts 42 13
Yards per rush 5.1 4.5
Red Zone (Made-Att) 2-4 1-2
Penalties 9-58 9-39
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 39:18 20:42
Philadelphia Passing
C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT SACKS QBR RTG
Carson Wentz 17/31 242 7.8 1 0 1-2 76.7 91.1
TEAM 17/31 240 7.8 1 0 1-2 91.1
Philadelphia Rushing
CAR YDS AVG TD LONG
LeGarrette Blount 16 136 8.5 0 68
Wendell Smallwood 10 34 3.4 1 11
Corey Clement 10 30 3.0 0 10
Carson Wentz 6 14 2.3 0 12
TEAM 42 214 5.1 1 68
Philadelphia Receiving
REC YDS AVG TD LONG TGTS
Zach Ertz 5 81 16.2 0 38 8
Nelson Agholor 3 58 19.3 0 36 4
Wendell Smallwood 4 45 11.3 0 24 6
Alshon Jeffery 3 29 9.7 1 13 6
LeGarrette Blount 1 20 20.0 0 20 1
Torrey Smith 1 9 9.0 0 9 3
Brent Celek 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
Marcus Johnson 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
TEAM 17 242 14.2 1 38 30
Philadelphia Defense
TACKLES MISC
TOT SOLO SACKS TFL PD QB HTS TD
Jordan Hicks 9 8 0 0 0 0 0
Malcolm Jenkins 6 5 0 0 0 0 0
Nigel Bradham 4 4 0 0 0 0 0
Patrick Robinson 4 3 0 1 1 0 0
Mychal Kendricks 4 2 0 0 0 0 0
Jalen Mills 4 2 0 0 1 0 0
Beau Allen 2 2 1 2 0 1 0
Derek Barnett 2 2 0 1 0 0 0
Rasul Douglas 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
Tim Jernigan 2 1 0 1 0 0 0
Chris Long 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
Brandon Graham 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
Chris Maragos 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Rodney McLeod 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Dexter McDougle 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Vinny Curry 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM 45 36 2 5 2 2 0
Philadelphia Punt Returns
NO YDS AVG LONG TD
Kenjon Barner 3 15 5.0 13 0
TEAM 3 15 5.0 13 0
Philadelphia Kicking
FG PCT LONG XP PTS
Jake Elliott 4/4 100.0 53 2/2 14
TEAM 4/4 100.0 53 2/2 14

“We’re running the ball, we’re being physical, and it’s wearing defenses down,” center Jason Kelce said. “What we did there is exactly what you hope to do – run out the clock, keep the chains moving, and end it by kneeling down.”

That’s the kind of kneeling by the Eagles on a football field everyone can support…

 

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