From the moment the ball was kicked off inside of the NFL’s smallest stadium and Chargers home field, Stub Hub Center, you could tell that there was something strange going on. The Los Angeles based crowd seemed to be rooting for the wrong team. Don’t get it wrong, being an Eagles fan for many years, I’m well aware of how well our fans travel. But what went on in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon was downright embarrassing….at least to the Los Angeles Chargers organization. It was apparent from kickoff that the crowd was predominantly made up of Philadelphia Eagles fans. As the game went on, that fact became more and more apparent. The crowd erupted into loud applause every time the Eagles did something good. The crowd loudly booed every time the refs made a call against the Eagles. And the crowd went into a frenzy, reminiscent of home games at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philly, every time the Eagles scored. Watching this play out on television was a strange sight to behold. I can only imagine what it must’ve been like in person.
The Eagles got off to a quick start when Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jefferey for an 8 yard TD pass. Eagles rookie kicker Jake Elliot added two 40+ yard field goals before the home team woke up. When they did, Phillip Rivers showed everyone in the stadium why he is still one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league. Rivers connected with Tyrell Williams on a 75 yard catch and run that quickly turned the route back into a game. Eagles kicker, Elliot added another field goal for the Eagles, this time a 53-yarder, helping the Eagles to regain some momentum, making the score 16-7. The Chargers added a field goal of their own right before the half, making the score 16-10 going into the break. The Eagles went up 26-17 in the 4th quarter, when Wendell Smallwood punched it in from 3 yards out. The Chargers responded quickly with a controversial 4 yard strike from Rivers to Hunter Henry in the back of the end zone to cut the Eagles lead to two with just over 6 minutes left in the game. I still say Henry didn’t possess the ball before his momentum took him out of the back of the end zone. It was still a hell of a catch, nonetheless. The Chargers never got the ball back. The Eagles ground game, led by Lagarrette Blount (16 carries 136 yards) pounded the Chargers into the ground. The Eagles have discovered that they can RUN the ball over the last couple of weeks, and they took advantage of that knowledge at exactly the right time as the ground game put the Chargers away with an impressive, time consuming, and clock draining final drive. The win moves the Eagles into sole possession of 1st place in the NFC EAST at 3-1. The 2-1 Redskins travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs tonight. The Chargers drop to 0-4 with the loss. They join the Cleveland Browns and New York Giant as the only three teams in the league who have not won a game this season.