PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The atmosphere will be a bit different for the Eagles this week.
Last Sunday, the Eagles got past the Giants on a dramatic, last second field goal in front of a raucous crowd at the Linc. The win came against a longtime division rival that often brings out a high level of emotions from both the players and the fans. This week, the Eagles will head to the west coast to face the Los Angeles Chargers in an out of conference matchup. The game will be played in the Chargers’ temporary home which seats just under 30,000 fans. The Eagles have plenty of respect for the Chargers, but it would be easy to understand if the team had a of a bit of an emotional letdown.
Coach Doug Pederson understands this will be a unique week for his team.
“It’s going to be different for all of us,” said Pederson. “It’s a smaller venue in that 27,000 to 30,000 range. It will be a little different. I don’t want that to be a distraction for our football team and for any of us going out there.”
While the Chargers appear to be better than their 0-3 record would indicate, Los Angeles hardly produces the kind of emotional reaction as an AFC team such as the Chiefs or Patriots. There may also be nearly as many Eagles fans as Chargers fans in the stands. L.A.’s newest team failed to sell out its home opener against Miami and there were plenty of Dolphins fans in the stands. However, quarterback Carson Wentz believes nothing else will matter but the game once the ball is kicked off.
“I played in a soccer stadium in college when we played for a national championship,” Wentz said. “Once the game starts, it’s just football. It’s just played between the lines. Hopefully, we have a good turnout of Eagles fans as well.”
Two of Los Angeles’ three losses have been by three points or less. The third was a highly competitive contest against Kansas City before the Chiefs put the game away in the fourth quarter. Safety Malcolm Jenkins knows the Chargers could easily have the same record as the 2-1 Eagles.
“It’s not your average 0-3 team,” said Jenkins. “This is a team that is a missed field goal here or there from being exactly in the same spot as we are against some quality opponents. It’s going to take everything that we’ve got to go in there and get the W, especially on the road.”
But will there be enough left in the tank after an emotionally draining win over the Giants? Tight End Zach Ertz and the rest of the Eagles believe that won’t be the case.
“I don’t think guys are going to be too drained emotionally,” Ertz said. “You’re in the NFL for a reason. You’re a professional. You’re used to big wins or terrible losses. We had a few days off, so we’re focused on the next game. We’re excited about the Chargers.”