Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Eagles-Chargers: The Morning After

5 TALKING POINTS

Eagles-Chargers: The Morning After

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5 TALKING POINTS

1. Westbrook’s future. After missing two games with a concussion, Brian Westbrook returned to the lineup Sunday and suffered yet another concussion. It’s uncertain at this point whether he’ll play again this season.

2. The red-zone woes. The Eagles converted just 2 of 5 red-zone trips into touchdowns against the Chargers, settling for field goals the first three times they got inside the 20. They had a first-and-goal at the 1 and couldn’t punch it in, and had a first-and-goal at the 9 and couldn’t score.

3. The Chargers’ last drive. The Eagles’ defense needed to stop the Chargers and get the ball back to their offense in the fourth quarter. But the Chargers converted two third-downs and kicked a field goal with 30 seconds left.

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4. Donovan’s big day. McNabb’s 450 passing yards were the second most of his career. He completed 20 of 31 passes for 271 yards in the second half as the Eagles climbed back into the game.

5. The penalties. Once again, the Eagles kept the zebras busy. They committed 9 penalties for 70 yards, many of them costly. Through nine games, they’ve committed 67 penalties.

5 NUMBERS TO PONDER

1. DeSean Jackson, who had a career-high 8 receptions, had 16 passes targeted for him. He had had more than five passes thrown in his way in just one of the Eagles’ previous five games.

2. The Eagles had 9- and 12-play touchdown drives against the Chargers. They were only the Eagles’ fourth and fifth TD drives of the season of seven or more plays.

3. The Eagles lost the time-of-possession battle Sunday for the seventh time in nine games and the sixth game in a row. The only two games in which they finished with the time-of-possession advantage were Carolina in Week 1 and Kansas City in Week 3.

4. The Eagles’ 26 first downs were a season-high. It was only the third time this season they’ve had more than 17 in a game.

5. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had seven catches for 78 yards against the Eagles. For the season, opposing tight ends have 53 receptions for 616 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Eagles.

LT SPREE

LaDainian Tomlinson showed he was back, at least for one game, with his 96 yards on 24 carries. His two rushing touchdowns were as many as the Eagles had given up in their previous six games.

Chargers coach Norv Turner says he's never had any doubt. "You take that 20-yard run for touchdown in the second quarter," he said. "You look at what he did on that run. Now put it beside a run from four years ago and I defy you to tell me which is which."

UP NEXT

The Eagles return to Soldier Field next Sunday night to face the Bears.

That is the site of another recent Birds game marred by red-zone and short-yardage woes. Last September, the Eagles lost 24-20 when they had first-and-goal at the Bears’ 4 late in the game and could not score, including on three tries from the 1.

The Eagles are also now 0-7 on Sunday night games broadcast by NBC, including the loss against Dallas two weeks ago.

ODDS AND ENDS

* In case you were wondering,  Chargers receiver Legedu Naanee was not actually propsing to that cheerleader after his touchdown. (He incurred a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty.) Apparently, he barely even knows the woman, identifed as Nicole by teammates. He said it was a spontaneous tribute to his alma mater, Boise State. You might recall in 2007 a Boise State player proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend on national television after scoring a TD in the Fiesta Bowl.

* Rookie wide receiver Brandon Gibson, traded to the Rams in the Will Witherspoon deal, saw his first extensive action because of injuries and caught seven passes for 93 yards in the Rams' 28-23 loss to New Orleans. Gibson was an Eagles' sixth-round pick.

*

To read Domo's report card from the game, click here.

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