The huge problems the Philadelphia Eagles have in keeping the ball and stopping teams on defense will feature prominently against the strongest team in the NFL so far this season, the Denver Broncos, who feature the same fast-paced offense with an emphasis on passing the ball, but also have a much better defense.
The Eagles did wow everyone with their speed and ability to run the ball through the first three weeks, but all those numbers of 209 rushing yards per game and 462 yards of total offense don’t really matter because their opposition is doing just as well on offense, only executing better, making less mistakes and has a much better defense.
The Broncos are off to a 3-0 start averaging 42.3 points per contest, destroying the Ravens, Giants and Raiders on their way to here. Peyton Manning has been absolutely sensational with 1143 yards, completing 73% of his passes for 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Eagles have the third worst defense in the NFL, allowing over 435 yards per game, including 323 yards each game in the air.
But defense was always going to be an issue for Philadelphia. The key was keeping the offense clicking, like it did in the opening season win over the Washington Redskins, which is turning out to be something that wasn’t too complicated. Michael Vick has already turned the ball over four times since the start of the season, and the same kind of recklessness with the ball is going to be disastrous against Denver, who make teams pay for every mistake.
The Brocnos aren’t exactly shutting teams down, but they’ve intercepted more passes than anyone but the Minnesota Vikings this season (6 so far), and aren’t too phased out by missing Von Miller due to suspension, getting to quarterbacks 8 times so far this season. This isn’t a defense that keeps a team on three-and-outs for long stretches, but it gives their almost flawless offense enough opportunities to win games without too much of a problem.
LeSean McCoy has run for 395 yards so far this season which is quite remarkable, but the Chip Kelly era has to be about more than just numbers, and unless they find a way to make Vick play a bit more traditionally and avoid his infamous turnover debacles, this is going to be one painful visit to Colorado.
Prediction – While it’s unlikely the Broncos will force so many turnovers on the Eagles like the Chiefs did, the Chip Kelly offense isn’t going to be quick enough or good enough to keep up with Peyton Manning and co.