Why the Eagles Will Defeat the Broncos

Posted: September 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

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The odds are certainly against the Eagles heading into their nationally televised meeting with the undefeated Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. Philadelphia has faltered in back to back games after an impressive opening day performance against the Washington Redskins. Sadly, Philadelphia could have easily been 3-0 heading into this weekend. The much-maligned and dilapidated defense let the team down in their week to defeat at the hands of San Diego. Four days later, it was an embarrassing array of turnovers that sank the Eagles’ hopes in a Thursday night letdown against Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Denver, meanwhile, has come out like gang busters. After an impressive seven touchdown performance by Peyton Manning in their Thursday night opener against Baltimore, the Broncos have prayed on poor, turnover prone performances by the Giants and the Raiders. At 3-0, the Broncos along with the Seattle Seahawks, are prognosticated by many as the two best teams in the NFL. The Denver offense, which leads the league in scoring, has scored at least 37 points in each of their first three affairs. This statistic, combined with the failures of the Philadelphia defense, should bring pause to anyone viewing Philadelphia favorably in this matchup.

However, the Denver defense without superstar linebacker Von Miller has been a dramatic letdown in their first three games. Yes, the Broncos are 3-0. But, they have allowed at least 21 points in every game this season. Last week, raw and unproven QB Terrelle Pryor was able to, for all intents and purposes, dice up the Denver secondary. The former Ohio State Buckeye went 19/28 for 281 yards and a touchdown. Pryor, a mobile quarterback in his own right, also galloped for 36 yards on just four carries. If Pryor, considered by many to be one of the worst quarterbacks in football, can succeed in passing and running against Denver, who is to say that Michael Vick cannot experience similar or greater success.

Another facet of the Philadelphia offense that could give Denver fits is the running game. It’s well documented that Philadelphia’s running game is among the best in football. Led by superstar RB LeSean McCoy, the Philadelphia running game has not been stopped in three affairs this season. At the same time, Denver has yet to face a running back of McCoy’s stature. Baltimore’s Ray Rice was limited due to Denver’s huge lead in that game. The Giants and Raiders, meanwhile, have little to no running game to speak of (short of Pryor’s ability with his legs). If Philadelphia can establish a running game early whilst also keeping Denver off balance with the read option and play action pass, the Eagles should be able to keep up with the Broncos.

Let’s face it; the Broncos haven’t faced an offense as dynamic as Philadelphia’s all season long. Baltimore, New York, and Oakland are all one-dimensional in favor of the passing game. Chip Kelly should be able to have a field day by mixing up the run and pass and keeping Manning on the sideline with the help of his vibrant running game. The one concern Philadelphia fans should have is the propensity of the Eagles offense to score too quickly. While this is not a problem against a weak offense; keeping the defense on the field for a majority of the game against Manning will undoubtedly result in disaster.

Finally, the Eagles have the advantage of rest. After playing three games in 11 days to begin the campaign; the Eagles will take the field tomorrow having not played a game in 10 days. The Broncos, who played the Raiders last Monday, were vocally displeased by the NFL schedule makers’ decision to place the Eagles on their schedule in this game. Manning himself, typically a soft-spoken fellow, went on record by saying that the lack of preparation time for Kelly’s versatile offense greatly inhibits the Broncos chances of victory. Granted, this could all merely be grandstanding by a very talented Denver unit. Even so, the Eagles can only find positivity in the fact that their defense has had over a week to prepare for the greatest quarterback of all time.

Offensively, the Broncos and Eagles are a rather even comparison. Denver will get it done through the air and the Eagles will grind it out on the ground. If Philadelphia can get in early lead in this game then they may be on their way to their second road victory of the season.

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