Insider's Perspective: Bolts-Eagles

WR Eddie Royal (USA TODAY Sports)

A week after the "same old Bolts" bombed, Mike McCoy's troops showed this is a new era. Philip Rivers tallied 419 yards and three TDs and Nick Novak's fourth field goal capped a fourth-quarter rally as the Chargers stunned the Eagles, 33-30. Here is what worked, what didn't and what's next.

What Worked

--Maybe Philip Rivers doesn't need to be fixed, or maybe he's been fixed already. Either way, he was brilliant in Philly. He completed 36-of-47 passes (77 percent) for 419 yards and three scores. Just as importantly, he never turned the ball over. He was 4-for-5 on the final drive, authoring San Diego's first game-winning drive since 2009.

--Eddie Royal dropped a key third-down pass last week that scuttled what could have been a game-winning drive. Boy, did he make amends in Week 2. He caught seven passes for 90 yards and three TDs. He has scored five times through the first two games of the season -- more than he scored from 2009 to 2012 combined.

This year has been tough on the receiver position: Danario Alexander tore his ACL, Robert Meachem flamed out and Malcom Floyd was knocked from Sunday's game with a neck injury. As a result, Royal has ascended from bubble player to San Diego's top outside pass catcher. It is an unexpected opportunity and, so far, he is making the most of it.

--In our preseason predictions piece back in July, I stated that Jarius Wynn would be a "sneaky-good acquisition." On Sunday, he gave some validation to that claim. He picked up San Diego's only sack on the game's opening drive, helping ensure the Eagles did not jump out to an early lead. Also, he knocked Michael Vick out of the game for a play on Philadelphia's final drive, one of the reasons the Eagles failed to score a go-ahead touchdown.


RB Danny Woodhead
Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports
What Didn't

--Let's start with the obvious: the Chargers fumbled inside the Eagles 10-yard line on consecutive drives. Antonio Gates was the first to cough it up. His fumble took points off the board, but it's tough to jump on Gates for his first lost fumble since 2008.

The second fumble came from the usual suspect, Ryan Mathews. His fumbling problem to gotten to the point where he cannot be trusted. Danny Woodhead got more second-half carries than Mathews (seven to five). Expect the team to use more of Ronnie Brown, as well, until Mathews can build some trust equity.

--John Pagano's unit still must improve defending the deep ball. DeSean Jackson scored on a 61-yard strike as a part of his 193-yard day. He also had an apparent 37-yard touchdown catch that was nullified by an illegal formation penalty. Additionally, he was open for several other potential big plays that the Eagles missed. Secondary coach Ron Milus has his work cut out for him.

--The sight of Floyd being taken out on a stretcher was tough to digest. No flag was thrown on the play, but NFL officials have indicated LB DeMeco Ryans should have been flagged because Floyd was still defenseless when he was leveled. Fortunately, Floyd is alright and was able to travel back to San Diego with the rest of the team. His playing status will be determined later in the week.


CB Shareece Wright
Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports
What's Next

The Chargers stay on the road as they take on the Titans. San Diego and Tennessee have had similar starts to the season: both have a road win over a Pennsylvania team and a down-to-the-wire loss to the Houston Texans.

The Chargers have won nine straight games over the Titans and lead the all-time series 26-16-1.



Does Sunday's game ball go to Nick Novak? Discuss inside the message boards.



Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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