The Eagles go into halftime with a 16-10 lead over the L.A Chargers, in a game where Defense has reigned supreme…for the most part. Carson Wentz has put on an offensive clinic, while Phillip Rivers has seemingly challenged him to a game of “anything you can do, I can do better”. Here’s all you need to know from the first half.
Make some noise:
When you travel to the other side of the country, it’s always nice to see some familiar faces in the stands. What’s even nicer is hearing a smothering “DEFENSE” cry on a Chargers third down, “fly Eagles fly” chants, and a flurry of midnight green in the stands. The Chargers haven’t just lost home field advantage, it’s almost like they’re playing on the road against a hostile gathering of Eagles followers. Music to the ears of Philadelphians everywhere.
No Cox, no problem:
The Eagles may be without their franchise defensive tackle in Fletcher Cox, but their committee effort is more than making up for it. Beau Allen has 2 tackles for a loss and a sack in the first half, and it didn’t take Justin Hamilton long to make an impact either. Tim Jernigan is performing at his usual level of dominance, commanding double teams as he goes, but that’s only helped the help outside flourish.
Derek Barnett has been played in everywhere form coverage looks to pass rushes, amassing back-to-back tackles and a fumble recovery after an incredible hustle from Chris Long. The Eagles defensive front have only allowed 15 rushing yards in the first half…and that is beyond impressive without Cox present.
Wentz is lighting it up…but so is Rivers:
Carson Wentz was simply magical in the first half. Pocket presence? Check. Gunslinger tendencies? Check. Averaging 8.1 yards per pass? No checkdowns here, The Eagles quarterback is slinging it downfield with confidence and had it not been for a drop by Torrey Smith, this lead would be a little stronger. Phillip Rivers has put up 212 yards of passing on the inverse however…making the most of a “bend but don’t break” D.
Wendell Smallwood’s breakout:
THE OFFENSE IS BALANCED. FINALLY. Wendell Smallwood has 45 receiving yards and 22 rushing yards as the Eagles finally find a way to keep things healthy when it comes to play-calling. LeGarrette Blount is back to his old dominant self and the committee effort including Clement has put up 93 yards in the first half. It’s always sunny in…Los Angeles?
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports