CARSON, Calif. -- Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, a North Dakota State alum, has had his eye on Philadelphia Eagles second-year pro Carson Wentz since he starred for the Bison in college.
Now, Bradley will get an opportunity to figure out how to stop the quarterback when the Chargers host the Eagles on Sunday at the StubHub Center, with the Bolts still looking for their first win in L.A.
"He'll extend plays," Bradley said. "And he looks to take shots -- explosive-type plays. He's very active. He's not a quarterback who slides or goes to the ground. He tries to get extra yards.
"So he's an extremely competitive quarterback who tries to extend plays, and goes along well with the run game."
At 6-5 and 240 pounds, Wentz has top-end arm talent with good movement skills to keep defenses honest. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Wentz has rushed for five first downs on third or fourth down this season, tied for most among all players in the NFL. He had seven all of last season.
The Chargers had trouble with Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian's ability to make plays outside the pocket in the season opener, so it will be important for the Bolts' defense to keep Wentz contained.
"He's a great competitor," said Chargers outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel, Wentz's teammate at North Dakota State. "He's probably one of the most competitive guys I've played with. He represents kind of a unique challenge at the quarterback position.
"It's going to be fun to see him, and it's going to be exciting and fun to play against him."
Here are five things to watch as the Chargers host the Eagles:
The Frank Reich factor: He served as the quarterbacks coach for the Chargers for a season and the offensive coordinator for two years before being let go after the 2015 season. Now Frank Reich is the offensive coordinator for the Eagles. Reich has a great relationship with Philip Rivers. And surely Reich used his intimate knowledge of the Chargers' offense and Rivers to help in the team's preparation this week.
Tackle LeGarrette Blount: The Chargers are allowing 146.7 rushing yards per contest, second-worst in the NFL. With Darren Sproles out for the year, the Eagles likely will rely on bruising runner LeGarrette Blunt to pound the Bolts up front.
Make a play on special teams: They've had a field goal blocked against Denver. Younghoe Koo missed a field goal that could have won the game against the Miami Dolphins and a personal foul penalty by Rayshawn Jenkins on a missed field goal extended a drive for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers need to play clean on special teams and find a way to make a game-changing play.
Take care of the football: Three Rivers interceptions led to 17 points for the Chiefs last week. The Chargers can't give Philadelphia's offense the short field. Take care of the football and make them earn it.
Feed Melvin Gordon: The Chargers' workhorse running back, Melvin Gordon, said he feels good heading into this one after resting his sore knee for the most part during the week. The Chargers should find ways to get the Wisconsin product involved early and often against a Philadelphia defense missing its best player in defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who's out with a calf injury.