The Philadelphia Eagles played the first game of a Monday night doubleheader on Sept. 9. Ironically, the Eagles were followed up by their Week 2 opponent, as the San Diego Chargers hosted the Houston Texans. As it turned out, both Philadelphia and San Diego had gigantic early leads over their heavily favored opponents -- but only the Eagles held on.
Philadelphia gave up nearly all of its 33-7 lead to the Washington Redskins, but still escaped by 33-27. In contrast, the Chargers lost all of their 28-7 lead over the Texans, then lost by 31-28 on a last second Randy Bullock field goal. As such, San Diego will have a lot to recover from when it visits Philadelphia on Sept. 15.
The Eagles have a lot to worry about as well despite their victory, given how the Redskins rallied after a pathetic first half. There was already a lot of doubt on whether Chip Kelly’s offense could excel for 60 minutes, and whether Philadelphia’s questionable defense could do anything as well. While the Eagles put on a showcase on both sides of the ball for over 30 minutes in Washington, it still almost came completely apart -- yet it didn’t.
Like Philadelphia, San Diego was making a big showing in its first game under a new offensive guru coach, in this case Mike McCoy. Like the Eagles, the Chargers fell short of a Super Bowl multiple times under their old coach in years past, yet both Andy Reid and Norv Turner finally ran their course this past year.
Kelly and McCoy have been entrusted to rebuild these former contenders, and they each worked like gangbusters in their first halves as NFL coaches. But while Kelly jumped to a huge lead over a rusty and sloppy Redskins team, the Texans were much better equipped to make a rally under Matt Schaub, who went 34-for-45 with three touchdowns.
An interception return for a touchdown by Brian Cushing tied the score early in the fourth, then the Texans held firm before completing the comeback at the buzzer. Now instead of a 1-0 start, the Chargers are in danger of starting 0-2 if they don’t put this behind them fast.
But if the Texans could score 24 points on a coasting Chargers team in the final 20 minutes, what will an Eagles team that slaughtered the Redskins for 30 minutes do to San Diego?