Chargers win offensive battle over Eagles

Kevin Noonan, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- In less than a week, the San Diego Chargers went from a crushing loss to an exhilarating win and both times it happened the same way -- on a last-second field goal.
Actually, there were seven seconds left when Nick Novack kicked a 46-yard field goal to lift the Chargers to a 33-30 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. That comes just six days after San Diego dropped its opener 31-28 when Houston's Randy Bullock kicked a 41-yarder as time expired.
"Coming off a short week, on the road, against a good team, we knew this was going to be a real test for us,'' Mike McCoy said after his first victory as Chargers coach. "Like I told the team, this is what happens when you continue to fight hard for 60 minutes.''
If the game lasted 62 minutes it might have had a different outcome as both offenses marched up and down the field -- the Chargers rolled up 539 yards of total offense and the Eagles had 511.
"It was definitely one of those games where you got the feeling that the team that had the ball last was going to win,'' said Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal, who caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Philip Rivers and now has five TD catches in two games.
The Eagles (1-1) had tied the game on Alex Henery's 32-yard field goal with 1:51 left before Rivers led the Chargers to Novack's game-winner, his fourth field goal of the game. Royal scored his third touchdown of the game with 3:11 left to give San Diego a 30-27 lead on a 15-yard screen pass that came right after the Eagles had taken their first lead of the game on a 2-yard run by quarterback Michael Vick.
"It's very disappointing to everyone on defense because we couldn't stop them when we had to,'' Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "We couldn't get off the field on third down [Chargers were 10-for-15 on third down] and ultimately that killed us. You can't give a quality quarterback like Philip Rivers that many extra chances."
Rivers completed 36-of-47 passes for 419 yards and the three TD passes to Royal, as the Chargers (1-1) made up for last week's collapse against Houston when they blew a 20-point lead in the second half. Rivers' passer rating for Sunday's game was 124.3.
"He's a good quarterback who made the plays he had to make when he had to make them,'' Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin said. "And we didn't make the plays we needed to make on defense to get off the field and get the ball back for our offense. That's pretty much the story of the game.''
That offense had even more total yardage than it did in the impressive opener against Washington (443), but the Eagles made too many mistakes, including a penalty on rookie tackle Lane Johnson that nullified a 37-yard TD pass to DeSean Jackson in the third quarter.
Vick completed 24 of 37 passes for 428 yards and two touchdowns, good for a passer rating of 122.4. He also ran for a 2-yard TD.
"They kept us off the field and out of rhythm in the first half,'' Vick said. "In the second half, we were able to get in a rhythm and score 20 points, but it wasn't enough.
"We wish we could go back and do some things differently -- we had a penalty that negated a touchdown -- but that's football,'' Vick added. "We can't sit here and hang our hats on what didn't happen -- we should have made it happen.''
NOTES: Chargers WR Malcolm Floyd was taken off the field on a stretcher after he was hit by Ryans as he tried to catch a pass over the middle on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Floyd was taken to a local hospital for a battery of tests for a neck injury, then he was released and was scheduled to return to San Diego on the Chargers team flight. ... Eagles WR DeSean Jackson had his fifth career 150-yard receiving game, tying the team record held by Hall of Famer Tommy McDonald. ... Eagles CB Bradley Fletcher was deactivated because of a concussion he suffered last week vs. Washington. Second-year man Brandon Boykin started in his place. ... Chargers rookie MLB Manti Te'o, their first-round pick from Notre Dame, was deactivated for the second straight game with a foot injury. He was replaced again by Bront Bird, who had a team-high 12 tackles last week vs. Houston, but didn't have any vs. the Eagles.

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