CARSON, Calif. — Reporters wondered last week why Doug Pederson kept saying he might rotate his left guards again, after Stefen Wisniewski clearly outplayed Chance Warmack against the Giants.
Well, turned out Pederson was saying it because that was what he intended to do. Wisniewski got the first two series in Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, Warmack got the next two, and so on. And unlike last week, it was hard to tell the difference — the Eagles offense worked well with both of them.
Maybe more important in the long run, Isaac Seumalo was inactive, a week after losing his starting job.
“They each kind of complement each other,” Pederson said after the 26-24 victory. “Wiz can be a better pass blocker, Chance can be a better run blocker. Vice versa. We’ve just got strengths and weaknesses on both guys, and want them both to play. Plus it keeps them fresh in there. Thought both of them played well. Obviously, evaluate the film on the way home and check that out. But the more we keep that rotation and keep those guys in there, it didn’t seem to mess up any continuity whatsoever on the offensive line.”
“It was fun to run the ball well. We moved the ball well; we’ve got to get more points when we get [in opposition territory]. The way we finished [the game], that says a lot about an offense,” Wisniewski said.
The Eagles ran off the final six minutes, 44 seconds with an 11-play drive, not counting a pair of kneel-downs at the end.
Earlier, LeGarrette Blount’s 68-yard run set up a Wendell Smallwood fourth-quarter touchdown. Wisniewski was asked what he saw on the play.
“I saw his back, and I saw him running a lot of people over,” Wisniewski said.
“I’m just trying to get better every week, and I love being on this team, man,” said Warmack, cast into free agency by the Titans after four seasons, despite having been the 10th overall selection in the 2013 draft. “I got guys who are just helping me develop as a player. … It’s a good feeling when what you work on pays off in a game.”
Putting a Beau on it
Beau Allen got the start for injured Fletcher Cox at defensive tackle and came up with the first solo sack of his career, in Allen’s 52nd NFL game. Allen also had a couple of tackles for a loss.
“I ended up bull-rushing the guard. Vinny [Curry] had a real nice speed rush off the edge; BG [Brandon Graham] had a real nice rush from the other side. [Philip Rivers] stepped up and I got there,” Allen said. “Felt good.”
Jeffery excellent early, then quiet
Alshon Jeffery caught an 8-yard touchdown pass on the Eagles’ opening drive, his second trip to the end zone this season. He found a sliver of space in traffic and hauled in the catch with two defenders converging.
“Just something we’ve done in practice,” Jeffery said. “It was a hell of a play.”
Jeffery caught three passes for 29 yards. He was targeted only six times, which was the fewest in his four games this season, witb Chargers corner Casey Hayward helping keep him in check. Jeffery has 17 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns at the quarter point of the season. If he kept this pace, he would finish with 68 catches for 860 yards and four touchdowns, although there will likely be games when he’s used more often than he was Sunday.
Rivers’ flow interrupted
The pro-Eagles crowd at the StubHub Center seemed to affect the Chargers offense at times. Quarterback Philip Rivers said “there wasn’t a communication problem,” although he did notice that the crowd was loud when the transplanted Chargers had the ball. Eagles defenders were even waving their arms in the air while on defense to make the crowd louder.
“It’s certainly not ideal,” Rivers said. “I don’t think, in a lot of ways, [the current stretch on the schedule] compares to other teams having three straight home games. It’s tough. It didn’t hinder; we were able to communicate, we didn’t have to go silent count. Certainly not as ideal as you would love it. We’ve got to deal with what it is right now.”
The Eagles had three players make their season debuts: defensive end Steven Means, defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, and running back/returner Kenjon Barner. Barner took Darren Sproles’ place as the punt returner. He finished with three returns for 15 yards with a long of 13 yards. He was not involved on offense … Donnie Jones punted only twice, though he was much busier as Jake Elliott’s holder. “I got no problem being paid to hold,” Jones said afterward.