If there was ever a time for the San Diego Chargers to forget about this past Monday's crushing defeat to the Houston Texans, the time would be approximately 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.
After watching a 28-7 lead slip away on Monday Night Football (Texans won 31-28 on a 41-yard game-winning field goal by Randy Bullock), the Chargers head cross country to meet the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles. The Birds opened their season on MNF too, scoring a 33-27 win on the road against division rival Washington.
So, where do the Chargers go from here, other than literally Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field?
A win against the Eagles and the Bolts are likely feeling good about themselves again. A loss, however, and San Diego could be on a slow road down to a fourth straight season missing the playoffs.
When they take the field on Sunday in South Philly, the Chargers will be facing a revamped offense, an offense that put more than 400 total yards (77 total plays) on the Redskins last Monday evening.
With new head coach Chip Kelly (Oregon) directing traffic for quarterback Michael Vick, the Birds appear to have had a rebirth following several down years under veteran head coach Andy Reid. As a result, the Eagles let Reid go, with the coach resurfacing in Kansas City.
Even though there are some question marks regarding Philadelphia's defense (Washington put 27 on it despite a less than 100 percent Robert Griffin III), the Eagles seem to be able to have no trouble moving the ball up and down the field.
With a short week to prepare for the Eagles, new San Diego boss Mike McCoy knows his team must put the loss to the Texans behind them, otherwise potentially face the same result the Redskins found themselves in.
“It’s (loss to Houston) one of 16 games, it’s a long season and you’ve got to learn from it,” McCoy remarked. “As an organization, you’ve got to put those games away. We had every opportunity to put that game away and we didn’t do it. So we’ve got to learn from it … We’ve got a short week we’re working on right now.”
A strong and durable defense will be important versus the Birds, as the Chargers face an opponent who leads the NFL in rushing yards per game after one week (263 yards per game). The Eagles also come into this Sunday’s meeting with the sixth best yards per team average (443.0).
While it may be too early in the season to say this is a must-win game for the Bolts, many people are likely saying that under their breath.
Contest - San Diego at Philadelphia
Network - CBS
Spread - Eagles are 7.5 favorites
Series History - Chargers lead 6-4
Prediction - Eagles 17-13