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Monday, September 16, 2013
Upon Further Review: Chargers Week 2

By Bill Williamson

An examination of four hot issues from the Chargers' 33-30 win at the Philadelphia Eagles:

Philip Rivers
San Diego's Philip Rivers has been among the NFL's elite quarterbacks this season.
Beating the odds: This was an impressive win for the Chargers. Many things were stacked against them heading into this game. They traveled across the country on a short week to start a game at 10 a.m. PT. Their 31-28 season-opening loss to Houston (the Texans scored the game’s final 24 points) ended at about 10:30 p.m. PT Monday night. And, it was a short turnaround to deal with Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense. But the Chargers came out energized and were the better team. This was a well-deserved win for San Diego.

The quarterback: For the second straight week, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers looked good under new coach Mike McCoy. Rivers completed 36 of 47 passes for 419 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He now has seven touchdown passes and one interception in two games. He looks refreshed and confident. It is also getting good protection. Kudos to a maligned offensive line. It has played well in the first two games.

Overcoming mistakes: The Chargers finally sealed the win over the Eagles with a field goal in the final seconds. It could have been much easier. Tight end Antonio Gates lost a fumble at the goal line, and running back Ryan Mathews also lost a fumble in the red zone. The Chargers have been their own worst enemy for a few seasons. McCoy is trying to change the culture, but this game shows the remnants are still there. But it's impressive the Chargers found a way to win despite their self-destructive ways.

The receivers: Eddie Royal came up big for the Chargers. He had three touchdown catches and has five in two games. He was expected to be a back-of-the-rotation receiver, but injuries have given him an opportunity. He played under McCoy in Denver, and McCoy clearly has confidence in him. He made a lot of big plays Sunday. The Chargers needed him after No. 1 receiver Malcom Floyd left the game with a neck injury that required a hospital visit. Royal is clearly a spark plug in McCoy’s offense, and Rivers trusts him.