Eagles

Sea of Eagles fans create Linc-like atmosphere at StubHub Center

CARSON, Calif. — Instead of windmills, there were palm trees. Instead of crab fries, there was sushi. And instead of 60,000-plus, there were just 25,374 fans in attendance. 

But if you closed your eyes, it still felt like the Linc. 

"It was incredible," Brandon Brooks said. "Hats off to the fans. It felt like a home game."

For the most part, Eagles fans always seem to travel well, especially to the West Coast. But Sunday at the StubHub Center was different. It really did feel like a home game. 

As Eagles fans created a sea of midnight green where powder blue should have been, the Eagles gave them plenty to cheer about in a 26-24 win Sunday afternoon in aptly named Carson, California (see breakdown).  

"I'm kind of starting to not be stunned by our fans," Carson Wentz said. "It is unbelievable. They travel so well. They're at every game. It's so enjoyable. They make it so fun, but it's starting to be the norm almost, so to speak. Hats off to them, they bring it every game no matter where we're at, so I'm really thankful for those guys."

Running back Wendell Smallwood said he was on the field before the game and heard loud booing coming from the stands. He thought it was because Wentz was coming out of the tunnel. He was wrong. The Chargers were the ones getting booed in their own makeshift stadium. 

At times, the fans in powder blue let their presence be felt. Toward the end of the game, when the Bolts were making the game mighty interesting, they waved their rally towels and spun them over their heads. It's just that Sunday more rally towels were probably used by Eagles fans to wipe the sweat from their foreheads under the Southern California sun. 

Like Smallwood, several other players said it was during early warmups when they began to realize Sunday's game wasn't going to be a normal road game. Fans in Eagles jerseys new and old lined the parking lots and the tunnel onto the field. 

Every time an Eagles player ran to or from the tunnel, the crowd went nuts. 

And it didn't stop when the game started. When Chris Long picked up his strip sack, the place exploded. When LeGarrette Blount rumbled for a 68-yard gain, it erupted again. 

But perhaps the best sign that Sunday was like a home game was in the first half, when on two separate occasions, "Cowboys suck!" chants broke out in the stands. 

"It was like we were at the Linc all over again," Jason Peters said. "The crowd got us going early and we got on top of them and we just finished it at the end."

"Eagles fans," Alshon Jeffery said. "Fly Eagles Fly. We can't wait to get back to Philly this week. Anytime, we're on the road, we appreciate the support."

After the win, there was one pretty obvious question: Have you ever seen something like this? 

"I can't recall a time," head coach Doug Pederson said, "but it was great to see Eagle nation out there, the fans to come support the guys. It's a long trip for us obviously. Great to see the fans out there. They were huge today, and it was a fun atmosphere."

This was the first of three games the Eagles have on the West Coast this season, a far from favorable schedule. But when they flew out of Philly on Saturday morning, the six-hour trip took them to a place that felt pretty comfortable. 

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was the one who seemed to struggle with the crowd noise. 

“It’s certainly not ideal," Rivers said. "That’s where I was trying not to go with your question. I don’t think, in a lot of ways, it compares to other teams having three straight home games."

The Eagles won just one road game all last season. Through a quarter of the 2017 season, they already have two. Sure, Sunday didn't feel like a road game but it still counts. 

And the sushi wasn't bad.