Sep 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) scrambles with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers 33- Eagles 30: What We Learned

Now it’s time for that lively look at the game gone by. In this segment i try to keep it fun and light so let’s get started….

Phillip Rivers – Is he “fixed” yet? Rivers has gotten a reputation for not being elite, had his leadership questioned by fans and recommended to be traded off because he doesn’t play defense or catch the balls. Look, when PR screws up, it’s obvious. Like the pick six against Tampa Bay last year. He should have thrown it away. No question, that was “ALL” on him. Against the Texans he had a good first half and couldn’t manage to get his Jedi mind trick to work on the Texans D or use the force to help his receivers hang onto the ball. So I guess that was on him as well. Or am i deflecting his responsibilities? The bottom line, PR was 36/47, 419 yards, 3 TD, and NO INT. He had 76.6% completion percentage and a 124.3% passer rating. If memory serves me correctly, Coach McCoy said before the season started, Rivers would complete 70% of his passes. This is not being hype on PR, these are the facts. What was the difference? Catches. The receivers held onto the ball, which extend the drives, which created more passes. Jonah Lee did a write-up on this: Chargers Receivers Need To Play Better

Defense – Get out of the Zone! You brought in Cox, who is a good man-2-man player and stick both him and Wright in zone? Yet you bring into Freeney to a 3-4 and adjust your line to go “four down”. If your going to adjust to your players, do it “ACROSS THE BOARD”. Case in point, Pagano switched to man and played some coverage, late in the 3rd quarter, and the DB defended passes from Johnson and Hopkins, which forced a punt. Then they went back to “zone” and the Texans drove down the field in the fourth. Coach McCoy has adjusted the plan to play to his players strengths on offense, I would like to see that applied to defense. It’s a passing league now, as they say, so the importance of disrupting the timing between WR and QB is essential. Play 5-10 yards off, Schaub and Vick will take that all day, to the tune of 346 an 428 respectively. Now the lighter side. I believe the absence of Manti and Taylor are limiting the options of what they want to do or can do on defense, more than they have let on. Manti lead in college as a Linebacker with 7 INT, he can play pass coverage as well as the run. Taylor is actually really good in run support and can hit. This is the key, that is the “versatility” this team was missing last season, now Weddle is covering up for it again. So they are relying on other players to give help over top, instead of Weddle, because they need him to come down.

Pass Rush – Still looking for it. I need the Chargers to make up there mind, 3-4 or 4-3? If it’s 3-4, stand Freeney up and move him around to attack the weakness in protection. That is how you run the system. ILB, OLB, right side or left it doesn’t matter, this was designed by Phillips to keep the O-line off-balance. Part of the key is Ingram. Without him and not re-signing Phillips has again hand-cuffed what they can do. Then again, I’m not the expert, figure it out Pagano.

Fumbles – Ryan didn’t secure the ball. Worse. He lost it in the “redzone”. For RM24 to be successful he needs to limit these and not get “complacent”. To add fuel to the fire, I hope it isn’t contagious because Fozzy and Gates seem to have caught it too. Thank God for Darrell Stuckey! So why should we give Gates a pass and not RM24 or Fozzy? Well the argument is Gates hasn’t done it since 2008. I say that’s pretty good. Here’s my counter, “He should know better than that”. Turnovers have been an issue on this team and the best time to be aware of “ball security”? Is in the redzone, on the road, with a team that can put up 30 points on your defense, that is not playing well. Gates and Mathews alone, probably left 14 points on the field.

O-line – Gave up “ONE” sack. No bad for team with “No O-line”. An NFL AM podcast analyst said the team would be 3-13, because they had no O-line. Again do your research. They protected well, Phillip was hurried and even knocked down a few times but there was no one quick fix solution. The offensive scheme has helped, the players that were brought in and drafted have helped. Bringing in players that can help convert third downs helped. The biggest thing, they have put the play calling in “Phillip Rivers” hands. Wasn’t he before? Nope. The play would be sent in and PR would audible. PR was calling those plays, JUST LIKE MANNING IS. The difference that helped the O-line, have you noticed how the O-line seems to take its time to snap the ball, instead of being in a hurry? That’s because PR has time call out checks to the defense. This helps because he knows where the ball in going, based on what the defense is given him. The O-line also blocked RM24 for 16 carries for 73 yards. That is a good improvement from last week.

All in all this team not only looked good, or good enough, they found a way to win. On the last drive they did what they needed to do to get back something they lost. Being mentally tough enough to finish a game, and get the win. That should not be something we as Charger fans should not be hesitant to embrace. That was something that was the norm around here. Getting back to that should be a good sign, this team is moving in the right direction.

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Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • Stefanie Smith

    I agree, arnie. So weird on how we thought about Eddie Royal. Saw a short clip with Eddie and he said he saw it in his teammates’ eyes while they were in the huddle – they were NOT going to lose that game.

    It is weird the impact a bad or neglectful coach/coordinator can have on a player….Norv and old regime could not get the best out of Eddie.

    Rivers had the skill, talent and attitude like he had in the past–he still has it. Hopefully, they keep going.

    • arnie

      I hopeful they will. I’ve always been a believer that Coach McCoy didn’t get enough credit in Denver, now he’s working his magic here.

  • kris

    I was sick yesterday otherwise would have been on to comment. Wanted to come on here after eating some humble pie. Rivers looked fantastic against the Eagles. He was consistent, accurate, and poised. Everything I could hope for in a qb. Maybe I jumped the gun on him. Im still not totally convinced (Im a scorned Charger fan), but am much more optimistic. If Rivers can continue this type of play we can be a good team. Lets go Bolts, Great win Sunday!

    • arnie

      I feel what you’re coming from and it’s understandable. We’ve all been burned by our Bolts so often, it’s hard to get your hopes up again, or believe there is anything better. The best thing I’ve learned is to ask “why” do these things happen? Two reason we are in this mess were fired last season. The unknown of what Coach McCoy and Telesco bring, are irrelevant to me, because aj was a rookie GM when he was hired, and so was norv when he took the job as redskins HC. What’s more important to me is, I was ready for a change. I knew what I got with the former regime and it was time for something different. Rivers needed it, the team needed it, hey we all need it. Change.
      Now win or lose, and this team will lose more games, and Rivers will probably have crappy day where we are screaming for Sorenson to start. The bottom line has always been for me, is there improvement and are they playing better than last season?

    • Peter Thompson

      It’s all about players having his back, protection, and play calling. A recipe for success.

  • tubbs45

    Royal, when he can stay healthy, is the slot master… V.Brown /K.Allen, your opportunity(ies) knocking now! We need to fix this turn over issue NOW. The road gets no easier regardless of the teams we are playing. Now is when a teams true self starts forming (especially for new coaches). Keep it up guys! Hey Philly, #YouGotWhizzedOn

    • arnie

      I agree. Next Man Up! I didn’t really get what Coach McCoy was trying to do tubbs, because I wasn’t used to seeing how a professional team was run. Now with Malcom going down, it really does take 53 man roster to win games. Keenan and Brown will get more touches, and they activated Tutu.

      • tubbs45

        Activate TUTU now… Prepare for battle. The Titans should be another great test.
        Arnie, I have to agree with you that I didn’t see it either! Unlike with AJ we seem to be planning ahead of just the immediate starters, having slightly more depth (knock on wood)!

  • tubbs45

    Oh yeah TT, apologies for questioning ‘The King’ Dunlap decision… He must be eating his snickers bars!

  • Jorsan

    Well spoken, I think we’re last in defense right now.

  • Tazzster

    I would like to Fozzy get some touches in the backfield this week. From what we saw in preseason he looks like he has more explosiveness than Ronnie Brown. And perhaps he can hold onto the ball in the redzone. GIVE THE KID A CHANCE!

  • Peter Thompson

    Good write up Arnie! If people have any team marked down as a loss (such as the Redskins, Chiefs, Giants, Cowboys, etc.), I hope they marked it in pencil.. even on the road. This weekend just showed that we can beat these guys in their own house.

    Know what else I noticed? Before (& leading up to) the game, there was a lot of cheap talk from the announcers & media that the last four teams to win the Philly home opener, won the Super Bowl. Mainly because they would be happy to see the Eagles (an East Coast media favorite) win the SB this year. They even said it in the pre-game show. They all expected the Chargers to lose, and it was brought up as if to say “Yeah, right… the Chargers aren’t gonna win this”. They probably already had the “Could Philly possibly win the Superbowl this year?!!!!” segment filmed.
    Well…. we won… sooooo… what’s that I hear? …. Crickets? LMFAO

    Personally, I don’t believe there is much to it.. but, it meant enough to the media to keep mentioning it all the time, when they thought we would lose. So, why didn’t I see the “Could the Chargers possibly win the Superbowl?!!!” Segment? I didn’t hear ONE SINGLE NFL JACKASS bring it up afterward… not even in a “Wouldn’t that be crazy?!!!” way. I bet that if it was the Redskins, or the Colts, or the Chiefs, it would have been on repeat, ad nauseum ; )

  • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

    M80 and Royal balled out this past Sunday….given the turnovers by Gates and RM24, the O was fantastic. I’d love to see how much more they improve as each week goes by….Rivers is commanding this new Offense like a General…..He should have been doing this a long time ago…It’s awesome that change is here!!
    #50please get in and play so this D can have a better pulse….
    Key pieces missing are Taylor, Ingram, and #50…..Just imagine the possibilities…

  • RussinSactown

    I still give Gates a pass for this one. Yes, he carries it like a loaf of bread all the time and I would love for him to tuck that ball but he doesn’t do that in open field. He never has. Still it hasn’t bit him in the last 5 years where Matthews putting the ball on the carpet doesn’t even shock me anymore.

    As far as the O-line, they are growing solid and I’m liking the results. That spring block Dunlap made for Royal was sick. If he does that a few more times and we’ll have something incredible.

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