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Rivers, Chargers top Eagles despite Vick's career day

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The Canadian Press
9/15/2013 4:51:48 PM
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PHILADELPHIA -- That high-octane, ball-control offence belonged to the San Diego Chargers.

Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Eddie Royal, and Nick Novak kicked a 46-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to lead the Chargers past the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30 on Sunday, spoiling Chip Kelly's home debut.

On Philly's turf, the Chargers (1-1) looked more like the Eagles' ideal offence.

They racked up 539 yards, held the ball for 40:17 and sped things up.

"We kind of no-huddled the no-huddlers," Rivers said. "We had our own rhythm of no-huddle going. It was a heck of a team win."

Michael Vick threw for a career-best 428 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score. But a porous Eagles defence couldn't stop Rivers all day.

He finished 36 of 47 for 419 yards, and the Chargers punted only once. They fumbled twice inside Philadelphia's 10 in the first half.

The teams combined for 1,150 total yards.

The Chargers got good news after the game when they learned receiver Malcom Floyd was fine after leaving on a stretcher with a neck injury on a hard hit by DeMeco Ryans and Nate Allen on the first play from scrimmage after halftime.

"All the tests right now look good, so it's great for the organization to go out and get a win for Malcom," coach Mike McCoy said.

Following a dynamic 33-27 victory over Washington last Monday, the Eagles (1-1) needed more time to get their up-tempo offence going against San Diego. They crammed 53 plays into the first half against the Redskins, took a 26-point lead in the third quarter and held on to beat the defending NFC East champs.

But it was the Chargers who moved the ball seemingly at will in the first half. Those two turnovers were costly, however, and the Eagles had a chance to win at the end.

"It was big for our offence to just convert on third down, trying to keep their fast-paced offence off the field, knowing how explosive they were," Royal said.

The Eagles had a first down at the Chargers 10 before Vick was shaken up on an incomplete pass. Nick Foles came in and threw another incompletion before Vick returned and misfired on a throw. Alex Henery kicked a tying 32-yard field goal that left Rivers plenty of time to answer.

"It doesn't matter how we score as long as we score," Kelly said. "But I still think we left too many opportunities offensively out there."

Rivers quickly led the Chargers down the field with less than two minutes left, and Novak nailed his fourth field goal to win it.

"Last week, we didn't finish the game," McCoy said about blowing a 21-point lead in a 31-28 loss to Houston. "We made too many mistakes. Today, we finished."

The Eagles took a 27-23 lead when Vick ran in from the 2, but the defence couldn't hold it.

Henery allowed the ball to slip through his hands when Fozzy Whittaker fumbled on the kick return and the Chargers started at the Eagles 39. A few plays later, Rivers tossed a 15-yard TD pass to Royal for a 30-27 lead.

DeSean Jackson had 193 yards receiving, including a 61-yard TD, for the Eagles. LeSean McCoy had a career-high 114 yards receiving.

"We made our share of plays today and I think we're going to get better," Vick said.

Antonio Gates led the Chargers with 124 yards receiving, Floyd had 102 and Royal added 90.

Rivers found Royal wide open on a third-and-10 for a 24-yard TD pass for a 20-10 lead, but the Eagles got a field goal then tied it when Vick hit Jackson in stride on a deep ball.

Vick tossed a 13-yard TD pass to Riley Cooper to cut San Diego's lead to 13-10 in the second quarter.

Then the Chargers wasted two excellent opportunities on consecutive drives.

Brandon Boykin forced Gates to fumble after a catch, and Casey Matthews recovered at the Eagles 2.

The Chargers were at the Eagles 8 on their next possession before Trent Cole forced Ryan Mathews to fumble and Mychal Kendricks recovered. Vick quickly moved the Eagles into field-goal range, but Henery missed a 46-yarder wide right at the end of the half.

NOTES: Royal has five TDs on 10 catches in two games. ... Chargers rookie LB Manti Te'o didn't play because of a sprained right foot that he injured in a preseason game Aug. 8. ... Eagles starting CB Bradley Fletcher was sidelined because of a concussion.

Philip Rivers (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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