Alright Philly fans, the Philadelphia Eagles are finally back home after a blowout win in Detroit this past Sunday. However, just like the Eagles should be doing, we are already looking towards their upcoming Week 9 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.
This is only the 13th time these two franchises have faced each other, with the series lead belonging to the Chargers. The last few matchups between these two teams have been a battle of close games, with either victory by each team being close. L.A, led by star quarterback Justin Herbert, was off to an extremely hot start this season, but over the last few games has come back to earth.
After a few big wins over their division counterparts and a blowout win against the Cleveland Browns, the chargers have dropped two straight losses in a row and the Eagles will be looking to make it three. The Chargers have opened as favorites in this matchup, but there are 3 major keys that can continue their losing streak.
Let’s check out what they are-
1. Herbert covers up some issues within the Chargers offense.
Quarterback Justin Herbert has been nothing short of great since his first official NFL start last year. The second-year quarterback is showing traits of him being a competitor for a long time to come. However, the rest of his team has not yet shown up to his level. Sure, the Chargers have a solid roster, but they also have major issues that the Eagles should be able to exploit. Starting with their offensive line, which is ranked 20th by PFF.com.
This L.A team has put some decent capital into those who protect their quarterback and so far they have allowed 14 sacks. Once another team establishes defensive dominance onto the Chargers offensive line it becomes a free-for-all all with Herbert basically putting it all on his back. After starting off pretty strong Herbert has teams have caught onto the young quarterback making mistakes when facing constant pressure.
2. Middle of the pack defense who lacks majorly in the run-stopping ability.
Another weakness that the Eagles should exploit is the extremely lacking Chargers' run defense. You thought the Eagles' run defense was bad? The Chargers are ranked 30th in defending the run and allow over 150 yards a game on the ground. However, their passing defense is much more stable than their run defense.
L.A highest ranked secondary players are Tevaughn Campbell who ranks 28th overall and Derwin James, who ranks 22nd. Outside of them, the remainder of their secondary is average if not below. The one thing that has kept them competitive is their ability to hide different looks, which is something Hurts has had a problem with before.
3. Dear Coach Sirianni, please do not change a thing.
Really the above title says it all. The way this Eagles' team performed in Week 8 on both defense and offense, does not need to change much going up against this Chargers team. As stated before the Chargers' run defense is poor and their pass protection for Hebert is not much better. So calling a heavy run game and continuing to have this defense be aggressive, should be able to give L.A a run for their money.
In fact, the Eagles could take a page out of the New England Patriots playbook. When facing the Chargers in Week 8, the Patriots leaned run-heavy, kept the passing attack clean, and were relentless on defense which led them to victory. The Eagles have a much better offense and defense than the Patriots, and they need to deploy them as such.