Chargers slow down Eagles, turnovers keep game close

AP

The Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half of their opening game, but they aren’t on pace to run much more than that in the entire game after one half against the Chargers.

Thanks to a very efficient performance by quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers have been able to dictate the pace of the game over the first 30 minutes and the Eagles have run just 29 plays thus far. That’s allowed them to take a 13-10 lead into halftime that could have been even bigger if not for a pair of fumbles late in the half. Tight end Antonio Gates lost the ball as he tried to bull his way into the end zone late in the second quarter and Ryan Mathews continued his career-long issue with fumbles by doing the same a short time later.

Rivers completed 16-of-18 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown to Eddie Royal, giving San Diego the chance to keep the Eagles offense off the field for all but 11 minutes of the first half of the game. Gates’ fumble was painful, but the Eagles haven’t had much luck covering him or Malcolm Floyd while also allowing Mathews to pick up 5.5 yards per carry.

The Eagles got their touchdown on a Michael Vick pass to Riley Cooper and their offense has been fairly productive, but the defense’s inability to get them on the field and a missed field goal by Alex Henery after Mathews’ fumble has put Philly in a halftime hole.