Broncos vs Eagles: Key Matchups
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will travel to the thin air of the Mile High City to take on the undefeated Denver Broncos. The Eagles are coming off of consecutive losses. Chip Kelly will surely be looking to bounce back and get his team back to .500, while the Broncos will be focused on continuing their winning ways and remaining perfect.
This game does feature some intriguing matchups. Both teams have high-powered offenses. And both teams have a lot of speed on their respective rosters. Let’s take a look at the matchups that I believe will be the keys to the Broncos remaining undefeated.
Peyton Manning vs Eagles’ Sencodary
Peyton Manning has been playing out of his ever lovin’ mind this year. He’s currently on pace to not only shatter all of his personal passing records, but also all of the NFL single season passing records too. The Broncos’ offense is replete with weapons for him to throw to. Peyton’s had some excellent receivers in his days in Indy, but he’s never had the physical freaks with the combination of size and speed, like he does now, in Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Eric Decker.
The Eagles haven’t been the stoutest against the pass this year, but they haven’t been as bad as most people think. Starting Safety Pat Chung is likely out this week, which means that Chip Kelly will have to start rookie Earl Wolff in his place. That’s tough. Peyton Manning versus a banged up Secondary and a rookie Safety making his 1st career NFL start? Frankly, it’s going to be hard for the Eagles to stop the Broncos. Brandon Boykin has had a very good season in the slot for the Eagles. If he can limit Wes Welker, it’ll offer some hope for the Eagles. But with Welker, you can’t stop him. You can only hope to contain him. Advantage Broncos.
Broncos Front 7 vs LeSean McCoy
So far this season, the Broncos’ defense is only allowing an average of 43.3 yards per game rushing. The Front four have been stellar at consuming blocks and the defensive ends have been excellent at setting the edge.
The Broncos’ Linebacking duo of Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan, have been tackling machines, flying around the field like maniacs and neither player has yet to miss a tackle. That’s impressive, folks. Because LeSean McCoy has been the king of making players whiff on tackles this year, with a league leading 15 missed tackles forced. If the Broncos hope to win this game, they’ll have continue this dominant performance against the run and force the Eagles into 3rd and long situations. Advantage….Broncos. (But just barely)
Broncos Pass Rush vs Eagles’ Offensive Line
Jason Peters is back in action. When healthy, he is one of the premier Left Tackles in the NFL. And although the Broncos have been better than expected at rushing the passer (without Von Miller), it won’t be easy for Robert Ayers to get to Mike Vick. Vick, as we all know, is arguably the most elusive QB in NFL history. To really get pressure on him, the Broncos front four have to not only win on the edges, but also get good push up the middle. Kevin Vickerson and Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton have been excellent against the run this year, but on Sunday, they’ll need to really push the pocket from the middle. Evan Mathis is a foe to be reckoned with at Guard. Pro Football Focus had Mathis rated as the best Guard in football for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. It won’t be easy to win versus him. He’s also one of the best Guards in the NFL at pulling.
On the right side, the Eagles are starting rookie Tackle and #4 overall pick, Lane Johnson. I’ll be watching the matchup between Johnson and Shaun Phillips. In week 1, Phillips notched 2.5 sacks and did a great job exploiting the Ravens’ rookie RT, Ricky Wagner, but was shut out in Week 2 by Giants’ rookie RT, Justin Pugh. The Broncos desperately need Phillips to produce with Von Miller out. I’ll be watching this matchup closely. Advantage…push.
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