Is it a surprise that Peyton Manning has been posting incredible numbers along with the Denver Brocnos offense through four weeks? No, because they’re an excellent team, and the soft schedule, which includes playing against terrible defenses like the one the Philadelphia Eagles put on the field.
There wasn’t one specific player Manning targeted – he threw five times at Brandon Boykin, DeMeco Ryans and Earl Wolff. Wolff (a rookie) was paired up with Nate Allen at safety, and that didn’t really make for a great combination.
Linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks are terrible in covarege, and accoding to Pro Football Focus, they’re both among the worst in the NFL when it comes to linebackers covering the pass. Kendricks, in fact, is 51st, last among all qualifying candidates.
|N. Allen||3-for-3||24 yds||1 TD|
|C. Barwin||3-for-3||46 yds|
|B. Boykin||3-for-5||22 yds||1 TD|
|R. Carmichael||1-for-1||5 yds|
|T. Cole||1-for-2||9 yds|
|B. Fletcher||2-for-5||12 yds||2 Pen., 1 TD|
|M. Kendricks||4-for-4||34 yds|
|D. Ryans||5-for-5||57 yds|
|C. Williams||3-for-4||33 yds|
|E. Wolff||5-for-5||95 yds||1 TD|
The Eagles are now ranked 31st in the NFL when it comes to defending the pass, allowing 325 yards per game. It just goes to show how the Chip Kelly offensive revolution, which has the Eagles leading the NFL in rushing yards (a very college like 198.3 per game) doesn’t matter with a defense that can’t stop the pass. The Broncos only punted the ball twice in the 52-20 win.
It also tells a little bit about the Broncos’ impressive start, which includes putting up 44.8 points per game. The only real strong defense they’ve faced so far has been the Baltimore Ravens, who will get better as the season progresses. The rest? The Oakland Raiders can pass-rush and nothing more, while the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles are a mess in more than one way, making it a reason to think again before crowning the Broncos as the absolutely best team in the NFL. However, considering they do have the easiest schedule in the NFL, winning the AFC does look like a very likely outcome.