HOW EAGLES RAN ALL OVER THE CHARGERS’ WOEFUL DEFENSE!

“I totally disagreed with the call,” Philon said. “I never knew hands to the face to be to the throat, to the chest. Of course, you’re gonna call hands to the face when the helmet goes back and you’re thinking it’s because of the push and the penetration I was getting. I just thought it was a bad call by the ref.”

By Peter Gleason

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn calls it his “bend-but-don’t-break” defense.

The Eagles broke it yesterday, bigtime!

It snapped on LeGarrette Blount’s 68-yard run early in the fourth quarter, when the 6-foot, 250-pound Eagles running back seemed to flick defensive back Desmond King aside near midfield and carry the rookie on his back for the final five yards.

It couldn’t corral elusive quarterback Carson Wentz, who completed 17 of 31 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown, or slow Blount, who had 136 yards in 16 carries, or make enough third-down stops — the Birds converted nine of 16 for 56% — or create a turnover for a third consecutivet week.

Yet, for all their shortcomings, for all their missed tackles and coverage lapses and the huge chunks of real estate they gave up, it was a disputed illegal-hands-to-the-face penalty on reserve defensive end Darius Philon that finally broke the Chargers’ backs and kept them winless in four games (above).

The Eagles had a 19-17 lead when Blount, on a second-and-six play from the 29-yard line, ripped off his long run, giving Philly a first and goal at the three-yard line with 12 1/2 minutes to play.

The Chargers defense stiffened, Joey Bosa stopping Blount for one yard on first down and Tenny Palepoi dropping Blount for a four-yard loss on second down.

Pressure from Philon and a blitzing King flushed Wentz out of the pocket on third down, and King sacked the quarterback for a 10-yard loss, seemingly forcing the Birds to try for another field goal.

Not so fast. Philon was flagged for his penalty, giving Philadelphia a first and goal at the two. The Chargers held for two more plays, but on third down, Wendell Smallwood leaped into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown run and a 26-17 lead.

“I totally disagreed with the call,” Philon said. “I never knew hands to the face to be to the throat, to the chest. Of course, you’re gonna call hands to the face when the helmet goes back and you’re thinking it’s because of the push and the penetration I was getting. I just thought it was a bad call by the ref.”

The Eagles went into the game with an NFL-leading 53 plays of 10 yards or more, and they padded that figure against the Chargers, reeling off four consecutive double-digit gains on a second-quarter scoring drive, a 10-yard run by Blount, Wentz’s 12-yard pass to Zach Ertz, a 14-yard pass to Nelson Agholor and Wentz’s 12-yard scramble.

The Chargers have been solid against the pass, but after yielding 214 yards on the ground Sunday, they’re giving up 163.5 yards rushing per game, second-worst in the AFC.

“We have to tackle,” Lynn said. “Today, I thought there were a lot of missed tackles. That’s a power runner over there, so we have to tackle him a certain way, and we didn’t get that done.”

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