Eagles-Chargers 5 Matchups to Watch

The Eagles (2-1) are riding high after a big 27-24 win in the final seconds over the Giants. But that celebration has to be short-lived. 

While the Eagles are getting ready to play another winless team in the Chargers (0-3), they can't take this game lightly. It's never easy to travel across the country and face a team with plenty of good players. 

Keep in mind, two of the Chargers' three losses have come to the Chiefs and the Broncos. 

Here are five matchups to watch on Sunday: 

Keenan Allen vs. Jalen Mills 
Mills was targeted by Eli Manning an astounding 21 times on Sunday, according to Pro Football Focus. That's the most a cornerback has been thrown at since 2006, when PFF started tracking it. Insane. 

Mills actually did OK. Sure he gave up two touchdowns to Odell Beckham Jr., but the one was simply an incredible play by one of the best receivers in the league. For the most part, Mills more than held his own. 

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"I've said this for a long time about Jalen: I love his competitiveness," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "That took every bit of his competitiveness to be able to survive that game. That was a very difficult game to play the way we were doing it, because we were trying to limit their ability to make big plays. I thought Jalen did a good job of that, and tackled, and it was an important part of our win."

Schwartz said they decide on a game-to-game basis if they'll have a corner travel to stay with one receiver. Right now, with Ronald Darby out, Mills is their best option and Mills on Allen makes some sense. Allen is the Chargers' best receiver and on the other side, they line up 6-4 receiver Tyrell Williams. It probably makes more sense to have the longer Rasul Douglas man up against him. 

Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa vs. Jason Peters and Lane Johnson 
Ingram and Bosa are about as good as it gets as a pair of defensive ends in the NFL. Together, they already have 7½ sacks, just a half-sack less than the entire Eagles' defense. Ingram, with 5½, is second in the NFL and Bosa is coming off a rookie season in which he had 10½. 

"Their two edge pass rushers as a duo may be as good as we face all year," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "They're really good."

The good news for the Eagles is that they just faced a good pair of defensive ends on Sunday. They held Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul in check. Peters and Johnson did their jobs. They'll have another tough test in LA on Sunday.  

Philip Rivers vs. D-line
A week after facing the No. 1 pick from the 2004 draft, the Eagles will face the No. 4 pick. (Remember all that?) Rivers has put together Hall-of-Fame-type numbers during his career and is still playing at a high level. He was a Pro Bowler in 2016. 

"I mean, Philip is an elite - in my mind, he is an elite quarterback in this league," said Reich, who coached Rivers from 2013 to 2015. "He's proven it over a lot of seasons. He can do it all, make all the throws, great leader, mentally and physically as tough as they come. He's just an excellent player in every way."

After watching how quickly Manning got rid of the ball against the Eagles, it wouldn't be surprising to see Rivers do the same thing this week (see story). In fact, Rivers is fifth in the NFL in shortest time to throw. He's been getting rid of the football in an average of 2.47 seconds. 

Nelson Agholor vs. Desmond King 
With their top cornerback, Jason Verrett, out for the season, the Chargers are now using fifth-round rookie King as their slot cornerback. King played just 33 snaps against the Chiefs, which is surprising against an Andy Reid team, but he'll likely be on the field a lot this week. 

Agholor, after a big opener, has gone silent in the last two weeks. He had six catches in the opener and has just three combined against the Chiefs and Giants (see Rob's Rants). This could be a chance for him to get back into the game. 

Chargers' run game. vs. Eagles' run defense
The Chargers' rushing attack stinks so far. They have averaged just 70.7 yards per game, the sixth-worst average in the league. But they still have Melvin Gordon and Anthony Lynn is a coach who seems to like to run the football. 

Meanwhile, the Eagles have been the sixth-best team in the league against the run, giving up 75 yards per game. 

The Eagles might have an advantage here. 

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