CARSON, Calif. - Converting takeaways into touchdowns is something the Eagles do very well and they started Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers doing just that, taking a lead they would not relinquish in a 26-24 win at the StubHub Center.
On a second-and-10 play from the Eagles' 39-yard line, defensive end Chris Long chased down Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers from behind on Los Angeles's first drive, sacking Rivers and forcing the football loose. Derek Barnett recovered the fumble to end the drive and the Eagles' offense had possession at the Philadelphia 32-yard line.
Long saw Rivers in his crosshairs and went after him.
"Philip is a great quarterback but I felt I could get to him. I was just hoping he would hold onto the ball until I got there," said Long, who recorded one of the two Eagles' sacks (Beau Allen had the other) against Rivers. "It stopped a drive and then our offense did the rest. It was a good way to start things off."
Using a mix of run (five attempts, 15 yards) and pass (Carson Wentz completed all three of his attempts), the Eagles put the ball in the end zone. Wendell Smallwood opened with an 11-yard run. LeGarrette Blount had a carry for 2 yards. Corey Clement had a couple of carries. Wentz made a highlight-reel throw down the right sideline for wide receiver Nelson Agholor, on his fingertips, who hauled it in and gained 36 yards on the play.
Finally, Wentz completed an 8-yard bullet at the goal line to Alshon Jeffery, who pushed into the end zone and the Eagles had the early lead, much to the delight of the overwhelmingly pro-Eagles crowd on hand at the StubHub Center.
It wasn't a perfect performance after a strong start by the Eagles' defense. The defense allowed a 75-yard Rivers touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyrell Williams and a 50-yard catch-and-run by wide receiver Keenan Allen, as well as a 35-yard touchdown run by Austin Eleker. Los Angeles gained 400 total net yards and Rivers kept punching after the Eagles took a 13-0 lead and then led 26-17 in the fourth quarter.
"Yeah, too many big plays, so we have to be better there," Long said. "We got the win, though. We played a good football team and held onto the win and that's what matters."
- The Eagles controlled the football for 39 minutes, 18 seconds and picked up 26 first downs. Long and the defense did a good job on running back Melvin Gordon, limiting him to 22 yards on 10 carries.
- Good game from wide receiver Nelson Agholor in his return to where he played his college football (Southern California). Agholor had three catches for 58 yards.
- Stefen Wisniewski started at left guard and rotated with Chance Warmack. Isaac Seumalo was inactive for the game.
- Donnie Jones had a terrific game, averaging 47.5 yards on two punts with a 46-yard net average.
- More strong play from the Eagles' offense on third downs. Philadelphia converted 9 of 16 third downs. The Eagles were just 2-of-4 in the red zone, but they were successful on both of their goal-to-goal situations.
The Philadelphia Eagles topped the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 at StubHub Center.