Rivers throws 3 TDs, Chargers beat Eagles 33-30
PHILADELPHIA -- The San Diego Chargers' version of a no-huddle offense was the better one.
Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Eddie Royal, and Nick Novak kicked a 46-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to lead the Chargers past the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30 Sunday to spoil Chip Kelly's home debut.
The Chargers (1-1) racked up 539 yards, held the ball for 40:17 and sped things up the way the Eagles (1-1) like to operate under Kelly.
"We kind of no-huddled the no-huddlers," Rivers said.
Michael Vick threw for a career-best 428 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score. But the Eagles' porous defense couldn't stop Rivers.
He finished 36 of 47 for 419 yards, and the Chargers punted only once. They fumbled twice inside Philadelphia's 10 in the first half.
"The whole defense needs work," Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis said. "We said it after last week when we were happy with our performance. This week, we came up short. We have to get off the field and get our offense the ball."
The Chargers got good news after the game when they learned receiver Malcom Floyd was fine after leaving on a stretcher with a neck injury on a hard hit by DeMeco Ryans and Nate Allen on the first play from scrimmage after halftime.
Here are five reasons why the Chargers prevented Kelly from becoming the first Eagles rookie coach to start 2-0 since Nick Skorich in 1961:
1. EAGLES COULDN'T STOP THE PASS: Rivers picked apart a secondary that has allowed 721 yards through the air in two games. The Eagles were missing starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher, out with a concussion. That's no excuse. The entire secondary struggled. Cornerback Cary Williams, who had a sack and interception against the Redskins, was called for pass interference three times, including one that was declined. And, the safeties couldn't make a play. "That's a lot of yards," safety Patrick Chung said. "We have to watch film and see where we can get better at and see where we messed up."
2. RIVERS ROLLED ALONG: Rivers played like a four-time Pro Bowl QB. Though Philadelphia's poor secondary helped him, he was outstanding. Rivers withstood pressure and completed tough throws at times, and patiently waited for receivers to come open when there wasn't much of a rush. "He's a great player and one of the smarter guys I've been around," wideout Keenan Allen said. "He can read coverages and change calls at the line of scrimmage. He's really great to play with."
3. ROYAL IS A TD MACHINE: Royal has made the most of his 10 catches in the first two games, scoring TDs on five of them. Royal had two TDs on three catches in a 31-28 loss to Houston last Monday, and found the end zone three times on seven catches for 90 yards against the Eagles. "He's definitely a shifty guy, a smaller guy who can make plays and make guys miss," Ryans said. "We missed a couple tackles on him. We just can't have that stuff."
4. EAGLES MISSED SEVERAL CHANCES: James Casey dropped what should've been a 2-yard TD pass in the first quarter and the Eagles settled for a field goal. Alex Henery missed a 46-yard field goal. Vick overthrew DeSean Jackson on one deep pass, Jackson dropped what could've been a long TD pass and a procedure penalty on Lane Johnson nullified a 37-yard TD catch by Jackson on a drive the Eagles ended up getting only a field goal. Lastly, Henery allowed a fumble to slip through his hands on the kickoff after the Eagles took a 27-23 lead. "We're not going to hit all of them," Vick said. "We're lucky to hit one. We're professionals. We try to make sure we capitalize on those opportunities. ... But you're not going to get them all.
5. CHARGERS CONTROLLED BOTH LINES: San Diego's offensive line, which includes former Eagles tackle King Dunlap, kept the rush off Rivers and allowed him plenty of time to torch the secondary. The Eagles only had one sack. On the defensive side, the Chargers shut down the run. They held LeSean McCoy to 53 of Philadelphia's 89 yards rushing. Last week, McCoy had 184 yards and the Eagles ran for 263. "For us, it's all about staying on the field, scoring points, wearing their defense down, giving your best effort," Chargers center Nick Hardwick said.
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Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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