What to Watch For: Eagles vs San Diego Chargers
After last week’s fantasticly fantastic fantasticness, this week should hold more wonders for fans as the Eagles take on the San Diego Chargers in Chip Kelly’s first NFL home game. Considering the fact that the Chargers have a significant disadvantage due to time zone issues and the Eagles have only shown “About 60%” of their offense, there’s good reason to be excited. The Eagles should win.
Here’s some things to watch for as you stuff your face with pizza and fancy beer.
1. New Formations! Chip threw all sorts of curveballs offensively in the first game. He lined up the tackles in pods on the outside of the field, worked with unbalanced lines, and made his lineman hit the deck. However, most of this was done without the assistance of James Casey, who had only two plays against the Redskins. Be prepared for Chip to unleash his tight ends in a variety of fun ways today.
2. Blitzball. One way the Redskins decided to slow the Eagles down was to blitz the hell out of Vick. They released the hounds on just over 50% of Vick’s dropbacks and earned three sacks. The Eagles should expect to see a lot more blitzing this week—especially towards Lane Johnson and Todd Herremans, who obviously struggled. How do they adapt?
3. Receptive Diversity. This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with distribution. San Diego had seven different players catch a pass last Sunday and not one of them had more than three catches. This team distributes the ball under Mike McCoy and will continue to do so today. With Bradley Fletcher out and the secondary already unstable, this is a big problem for Billy Davis.
4. Sharing the load. After LeSean McCoy reminded everyone how much of a boss he is, he admitted to reporters that Bryce Brown and Chris Polk will need to get some carries in this offense. McCoy simply can’t touch the ball 32 times a game. It will be interesting to see how early and often Chip is willing to take his precious out of the game.
5. Special Teams. This unit was fantastic last week—just check out the Redskins drive chart. They almost never had a short field to work with on Monday night thanks to special teams’ excellent work. It’s easy to pass over this stuff, but it really matters. I also can’t shake the feeling that we’ll see some awesome trick plays from these guys soon.