We are now in Week 4 of the NFL season and the Los Angeles Chargers are still looking for their first win of the year.
Their opponents this week, the Philadelphia Eagles, currently sit atop the NFC East at 2-1.
It is difficult to feel any amount of confidence as a Chargers fan right now, but hopefully, this post gives you a few reasons to feel better about tuning into the game on Sunday.
Bolts From The Blue previewed the game with Bleeding Green Nation earlier today in our Five Questions With The Enemy feature.
And now we have three reasons why the Eagles could lose by BGN’s Brandon Lee Gowton.
Check out Bleeding Green Nation to see why I think the Chargers could lose.
Why the Eagles will lose
The Eagles came close to blowing a 14-0 lead to the Giants last week; New York scored 24 points in the fourth quarter. But then rookie kicker Jake Elliott saved the day with a 61-yard walk-off field goal. An incredible moment, for sure, but the Eagles can’t afford to be as sloppy on the road this week.
The Eagles recently lost one of their best offensive players to a season-ending ACL injury. I’m talking about former Charger Darren Sproles, of course. The veteran playmaker has been a spark plug for the Eagles’ offense when all else fails. Philadelphia's rushing attack was a concern to begin with and now the team is down their best running back.
I’m not overly concerned about the run, though, because the Eagles got the ball moving on the ground in Week 3. Not to mention the Chargers have allowed the second most rushing yards per game in the league so far.
But one thing that really does concern me about the Chargers’ defense is the presence of Joey Boss and Melvin Ingram. Eagles fans know the value of a great pass rush; Philadelphia’s front four has alleviated pressure on their secondary this season. The Chargers might be able to do the same thing. Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are very good offensive tackles at their best. If they don’t bring their A-game, however, it could be a long day for Carson Wentz. The second-year quarterback has struggled with some accuracy issues this season and facing a ferocious pass rush will do nothing to help him in that regard. Bosa and Ingram have the potential to force at least a turnover or two via forced fumble and/or a pressured throw leading to a pick.
The Eagles are dealing with a number of key injuries on defense. Starting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, arguably the team’s best defender, is out. Starting cornerback Ronald Darby is out. Rodney McLeod is expected to return this week, but the Eagles will be down to their fourth-string safety (Chris Maragos) if he re-tweaks his hamstring in the game.
Philadelphia’s defense has certainly been a strength of the team at times this year. Jim Schwartz’s unit has allowed 30 points in the first three quarters, tied for second fewest in the NFL, per ESPN. The problem is they’ve also allowed fourth quarter points, which is the most in NFL.
The defense needs to do a better job of closing games. Until they do, there will be concern about it.
The Chargers’ temporary home stadium might not be all that imposing, but the travel factor is still a concern. Most East Coast teams would leave for a West Coast trip on Friday in advance of a Sunday game. The Eagles are doing things a little bit differently and leaving on Saturday this time around. We’ll see if that makes a difference. The fact that this is a 4:05 PM Eastern game lessens my concern about the time zone factor a little. Still, it’s something to think about.