Norv Turner called a brilliant game in the first half to take a commanding lead which the Chargers were able to protect in the second half. I know some fans may have panicked as the Eagles mounted a comeback, but it's impressive how the Chargers coolly went about their business to secure the victory.
The call of the game was the short pass across the middle to fullback Mike Tolbert for the 20-yard score. You're going to double Vincent Jackson? Okay. Focus on Gates? Fine. Shadow LT in the flat? Go ahead: We'll just dump it to Tolbert over the middle. What this, and the entire first half, shows is that all the weapons of the "most talented team in the NFL" are coming together on offense.
Fans have squawked about the conservatism of the second half, but when right tackle Jeromey Clary went down with an injury, Norv did the right thing by playing it safe as long as he could without risking a sack, fumble or injury to Rivers. When the Eagles came back to make it a game, the Chargers smartly switched strategy and moved the ball down the field for the field goal at the end of (Norv Haters: Marty would have stayed in turtle mode until the game was lost.)
On defense, the Chargers did enough in the red zone to handle the Eagles. Donvan McNabb did throw for 450 yards, but he was lucky to, as the Chargers dropped three easy picks. It was unnerving to watch McNabb stand back there perusing the secondary for 10 seconds or so each time he dropped back, but Rivera wisely decided the deep threat was the bigger worry: Make those young phenoms catch passes across the middle and take hits rather than run down the field on long bombs.
Overall, the Chargers have now shown they can consistently play with anyone and have fixed the glaring gaps on defense plaguing them early in the season. LT is not done and defenses still have to worry about him. Gates is playing well. Floyd can make plays if people double Jackson. Nannee is just a football player who can fill any other gap this teams needs him to fill. And just when teams start paying too much attention to these other guys? Darren Sproles will rear his little hobbit-head (he's due) and strike a devastating blow.
With the Broncos' early bloom of youthful confidence collapsing once again, the Chargers will win the AFC West and be prepared to go toe to toe with any team they face. San Diego has a good shot at the Super Bowl folks. Enjoy it now. We all know how long the lean years can last.