NFL

NFL Week 9: Eagles hosting dangerous Chargers

Jalen Hurts Eagles Lions
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles host the Chargers on Sunday.
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles probably aren’t going to have many games as they did in Week 8 against the Detroit Lions that ended with a 44-6 scoreline in their favor. And they’ll be welcomed back to reality at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET) against a strong Los Angeles Chargers side that is coming off a surprising loss to the New England Patriots.

At 4-3, the Chargers sit in second place in the AFC West despite a middle-of-the-road defense that has been susceptive to the run this season.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott (35) runs for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions last Sunday.Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

That bodes well for an Eagles team that has suddenly found its rushing attack despite losing Miles Sanders to injury.

Against the winless Lions, the Eagles rushed for a season-high 236 yards behind Boston Scott, Jordan Howard, and quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Against a Chargers team that second-most rushing yards in the NFL this season, the matchup certainly lends itself to the possibility of another heavy afternoon on the ground.

“You want to do what the defense is allowing you to do, while still doing the things you’ve been successful with,” head coach Nick Sirianni said earlier this week. “So, yeah, it’s great. When you’re able to run the football like that, it opens up everything else.

The Eagles defense is coming off a comprehensive beatdown over the Lions, allowing just six points while sacking Jared Goff six times. But this Chargers team is a completely different animal compared to the Lions.

Quarterback Justin Herbert is putting together another strong start in his second professional season, completing nearly 64% of his passes for 1,994 yards, 16 touchdowns, and six interceptions in seven games.

A two-headed receiving attack of Keenan Allen (45 rec, 496 yards, 2 TD) and Mike Williams (35 rec, 517 yards, 6 TD) is supplemented by the dual-threat that is running back Austin Eckler.

Not only is the rusher averaging five yards per carry this season (84 attempts, 420 yards) but he’s also the Chargers’ third-leading receiver with 33 receptions for 302 yards.

It’s an overwhelming aerial attack at times, but Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen could provide some invaluable insight for the defense after working with Herbert in Los Angeles last year when he won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

“Justin Herbert, he’s a heck of a football player, bottom line,” Steichen told the Eagles’ official website. “He’s big, he’s got a huge arm, he can stand in the pocket. That’s one of the biggest things I learned from being around him, is from a rookie last year, he’s able to stand in there when the blitz is coming and he can take hits, stand there deliver the throws. He’s smart, he’s intelligent. He gets the ball out of his hands. You’ll see on tape, a lot of times he’s hitting his back foot, and boom, he’s getting the ball to the check down quickly. He has accelerated vision. Can do it all. Heck of a football player.”

 

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