Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Eagles-Chargers: What We're Watching

Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch will tell you the things he will be keeping his eyes on during that week’s game:

Eagles-Chargers: What We're Watching


Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch will tell you the things he will be keeping his eyes on during that week’s game:

1. San Diego’s redwoods: The Chargers have far and away the biggest wide-receiving corps in the league. Their top three wideouts all are at least 6-2 and 220. Two – Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd – are 6-5. The Eagles’ undersized secondary doesn’t match up well against them. Philip Rivers is going to be throwing a lot of balls up for grabs for them to make plays on.

2. Protecting McNabb: The Eagles already have given up 21 sacks, which is just two fewer than they allowed last season. Now, they’re going up against a defense that has notched 10 sacks in its last two games. The Chargers’ secondary is going to have a tough time matching up on the outside with WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. But Donovan McNabb, who was sacked four times vs. Dallas, needs enough time to get the ball to them.

3. Third-down defense: To beat the Chargers, you have to stop them on third down. In back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Broncos last month, they converted just five of 20 third-down opportunities. The problem is, the Eagles’ defense hasn’t been getting the job done on third down lately. In their last two games, the Cowboys and Giants converted 15 of 31 third-down situations. They’ve allowed eight first downs in 20 third-down situations of 6 yards or more the last 2 weeks.

4. The dangerous return men: This game will feature two of the top home run threats in the league – Chargers KR/PR Darren Sproles and Eagles PR DeSean Jackson. Sproles is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. So is Jackson. And the Chargers’ punt-coverage unit is the second worst in the league.

5. Making points out of turnovers: The Eagles are second in the league in takeaways with 22. But they’ve only turned them into 69 points. They’ve forced four turnovers in their three losses, but they resulted in just six points. By comparison, the Saints have produced 24 more points (93) out of just two more takeaways (24).

To read today's report from practice, click here.

Daily News NFL Columnist
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