As expected the Denver Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders 37-21, their third straight victory. The company now leads the league with 127 points, tied the franchise record of 14 straight regular season wins (the first was in 1998 when they won the Super Bowl – hint hint), and last but certainly not least, Peyton Manning has now became the first quarterback to throw 12 touchdown passes in the first three games of an NFL season.
The Broncos face the Philadelphia Eagles this week and it is being compared to the matchup that took place against the New England Patriots in week 5 of last season. Last year they seemed to fail against run-heavy offenses like the Patriots in which Kevin Vickerson described as “the fasted I’ve played in an NFL game my whole career.”
After that game and specifically in the offseason, the Broncos have done a better job at planning for rush-heavy teams like the Eagles. This is a new year and the Broncos are the best rushing defense in the league right now, limiting opponents to a meager 43.3 yards per contest.
Monday was definitely more of a “fun game” for the Broncos and the score seems to imply the game was a closer than it really was. The running backs determined who was going to score on a run play with a game of rock, paper, scissors, although coach John Fox said that was not the case and they decided beforehand that Ronnie Hillman was going to score (which he did). The Eagles may have a better approach with the creative techniques of first year NFL coach Chip Kelly as well as a running game of their own that is first in the league right now with 209 total rushing yards.
The Broncos need to avoid the mistakes that shouldn’t have taken place against the Raiders including a Montee Ball fumble, a lot of penalties – 8 for 77 yards, as well as a few unsafe tackles, one in which Wesley Woodyard concussed Terrelle Prior and the hit is currently being reviewed by the league.
The Eagles are the third worst defense in the league, giving up 438.3 yards and more importantly the fourth-worst passing defense allowing 323 yards. All three teams that Denver has faced this season have all had a better pass rush and yet the Broncos have still achieved record breaking numbers.
The key to this game will be the Broncos’ ability to stop the Eagles heavy rushing attack as well as continue to be a major passing threat.
Denver Broncos 35 – Philadelphia Eagles 24