Los Angeles Chargers: Behind Enemy Lines with Inside The Iggles
By Matt Pagels
The Chargers (0-3) host the Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) in Los Angeles’ third straight home game. I talked with Inside The Iggles’ Geoffrey Knox about the Eagles’ recent string of injuries, the team’s performance thus far and what he expects in Sunday’s game.
The Chargers are 0-3 and in last place in the AFC West. The Eagles are 2-1 and are tied for first place in the NFC East. Both divisions are among the toughest in the NFL.
The Eagles, however, are a little banged up, while the Chargers, who are usually broken, are relatively healthy going into Week 4. Eagles expert Geoffrey Knox gives us his input.
Bolt Beat: Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, the team’s top defensive player, has been ruled out for Sunday. The Eagles’ defense overall is banged up. Is this a big concern going into the game?
Inside The Iggles: “I would have to say yes. You can never truly replace someone like Fletcher Cox. Still, I’d say that we’re in a little better shape along the defensive line than we are in the secondary. Safeties Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins still can’t go. Ronald Darby is still out, but Rodney McLeod should be back in the lineup for Sunday. That helps a ton.
“We’re also thin in the linebacker corps, especially if Jordan Hicks doesn’t play, but he says he’s playing regardless of what anyone else says. We’ll have to see about that one. Just like everyone else in the league, we’re better at full strength.”
Bolt Beat: Alshon Jeffery was one of the Eagles’ prized free agents in the offseason. How’s the chemistry been with the former Bears’ receiver and QB Carson Wentz?
Inside The Iggles: “We’re still waiting for that breakout game. There’s been a Carson Wentz miss on the deep ball here. There’s been an inability to get open by Alshon Jeffery on occasions. Truthfully, with so many new pieces, this offense will need time to gel. Wentz and Jeffery will be fine. They just haven’t been able to create consistent chemistry.”
Bolt Beat: Speaking of Wentz, he continues to grow and has become one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. Do Eagles fans believe this is the guy who can lead the team to the postseason and perhaps further?
Inside The Iggles: “Wentz is the guy. As mentioned, he struggles with the deep ball. He has some glaring inconsistencies with his throwing motion, but as good as Wentz is, we have to remember he’s in his second season. He set a record for completions by a rookie, and he did that with nothing around him. Now, with weapons, the proper coaching and some time, the sky is the limit.
“I feel that way, and from everything I see from NFL execs and coaches, most of the great minds in football agree with me. That’s good enough for the Eagles fan base.”
Bolt Beat: The Chargers have some playmakers on both offense and defense. Who (or what unit) scares you the most going into the game?
Inside The Iggles: “We’ve given up over 10 sacks in three games, and now we have to prepare for Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. That makes one want to stay up late, but then again, with so many people missing from our secondary, I’m a little worried about that Chargers’ receiving corps as well.”
Bolt Beat: We have to end this on predictions. Which team do you have winning on Sunday?
Inside The Iggles: “I think the Eagles will pull this one out, but the West Coast trip will cause some issues. I say it’s close, but I say Eagles triumph 24-20.”