The San Diego Chargers did enough Sunday to get their first win of the season, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30 in a roller-coaster ride of a game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Chargers got off to a good start in the first half, striking early with a field goal and scoring on each of their first three drives. However, there were missed opportunities, including two critical red zone fumbles, one by tight end Antonio Gates and the other by running back Ryan Mathews.
Still, the Chargers controlled the ball for most of the first half (19:10 to the Eagles' 10:50) and quarterback Philip Rivers looked calm and masterful, completing his first ten passes for 103 yards and marching San Diego down the field repeatedly.
The Chargers headed into halftime leading the Eagles, 13-10.
One of the worst moments of the game came in the third quarter when wide receiver Malcom Floyd went down after a brutal hit by Eagles safety Nate Allen. Players from the two clubs took a knee around him after the hit.
Team doctors from both sides tended to Floyd, who had five catches for 102 yards before the injury. He was put on a stretcher and wheeled off the field.
In the second half, the Chargers struck early again as Rivers connected with wide receiver Eddie Royal for a touchdown on the Chargers' first possession. This was Royal's second career game with multiple touchdown catches (the first occurred last week vs. Houston). The Eagles responded with a two-play, 26-second series that ended with a touchdown reception by DeSean Jackson.
With a tie-game going into the fourth quarter, the onus was on the Chargers to prove they would not again collapse in the second half, as they did five times in 2012 and again last week in their season opener.
San Diego took eight minutes and 55 seconds off the clock in a 17-play drive that resulted in a field goal, bringing the Chargers to a three-point lead.
It was short-lived, though.
The Eagles scored on their next drive, but with a touchdown scramble by quarterback Michael Vick.
The Chargers responded with a touchdown drive, capped by Royal’s third touchdown of the game, a 15-yard pass from Rivers. The score put the Chargers back on top, 30-27.
The Eagles tied the game with a field goal with less than two minutes remaining in the game but the Chargers marched right down the field, taking just over a minute to set-up the game winning field goal by Nick Novak.
The Chargers evened their record at one and one after a 33-30 win over the Eagles.
Next up for the Bolts is a game against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 22.