Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Denver Broncos
- QuarterbackThe Eagles started the season in explosive fashion vs. the Redskins in Week One, but they have struggled since then. Michael Vick professes to love head coach Chip Kelly’s system, but there have been more misses than hits so far. Vick is struggling with accuracy and making big plays on a consistent basis.The Broncos are certainly rolling in the early part of the season as Peyton Manning has been on top of his game and is motivated to show anyone who questioned his ability that he is still at the top of his game. He can’t prove that in September, but he can set the bar high. Manning’s understanding of what the defense is trying to do is unlike any quarterback in the NFL.
- OffenseThe Eagles are loaded with elite offensive weapons who can make big plays to help the Eagles take control of a game. LeSean McCoy may be the most dangerous running back in the league. He’s a superb breakaway runner as well as a solid receiver. DeSean Jackson has the speed to run by the secondary while Jason Avant can make important third-down catches.The Broncos play one of the best examples of the modern game. Manning leads them in the no-huddle, spots the weakness and takes advantage with the run, the short pass, the medium-range pass or the long pass. Knowshon Moreno is a solid runner but not a star. Eric Decker can get open and run after the catch while Wes Welker can always get open.
- DefenseThe Eagles are going to have to find a way to pressure Peyton Manning if they want to stay in this game. The Broncos often use the empty backfield and that’s the time to go after the Denver quarterback. Defensive end Fletcher Cox is not a star but he can get around the corner and cause havoc. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryan is a solid tackler.The Broncos don’t have a lot of size or overpowering strength, but they get the job done with speed and quickness to the ball. Keep your eye on linebacker Danny Trevathan, who is always around the ball and is making a name for himself in the offseason. Wesley Woodyard is one of the best tacklers on the team. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is trying to resurrect his career in the Denver secondary.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles have done a fairly good job with their coverage teams so far, but Damaris Johnson is not an overpowering return man. Alex Henery is a decent placekicker, while Donnie Jones gets height on his punts but not much distance.Few teams get the kind of consistent push from their special teams that the Broncos get. Tiny but explosive Trindon Holliday is a former sprinter who reads his blocks well, accelerates into the open and runs away from people. Placekicker Matt Prater is reliable.
This should be a tough game for the Eagles, as they take on the explosive Broncos at voracious Mile High. However, the Eagles can come a long way by extending the Broncos in this game and keeping it close into the fourth quarter. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor