The Philadelphia Eagles will have their hands full against Peyton Manning and the undefeated Denver Broncos in Week 4. Pass defense is this team's biggest weakness, and Manning has thrown for 12 touchdowns without an interception this year.
For the Eagles to have any chance of beating a four-time Most Valuable Player who is loaded with the most dominant receiving corps in the game, they're going to need their offense to be unstoppable. Because the defense doesn't have a chance.
The following slides will highlight five bold predictions for the Eagles this week.
Chip Kelly has 10 days (plus an entire offseason) to prepare for the Broncos. I think he'll be prepared, and I think the players will come out fired up, knowing that a loss drops them to 1-3 for the season.
I expect the Eagles to take an early two-touchdown lead behind an offense that resembles the team we saw in the first half against Washington.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Philly winning by 14 midway through the first quarter.
Peyton Manning has thrown 12 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. That's a 64-touchdown, zero-interception pace.
He's obviously not going to keep that up this season. Someone, somewhere, is going to luck into an interception or two.
I think the Eagles will grab a pair of Manning passes, one by Cary Williams and one by Brandon Boykin.
The Eagles can't cover slot receivers. They can't cover anyone, but they really can't stop slot receivers.
Imagine what Wes Welker is going to do to this team. I'll predict 11 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
I think Demaryius Thomas is going to reach triple-digits with a touchdown, and I think tight end Julius Thomas records 113 receiving with a touchdown.
For the record, I have Peyton Manning throwing for 434 yards and five touchdowns, which should more than make up for his two interceptions.
No team has managed to stop LeSean McCoy this season. But no running back has managed to play well against the Denver Broncos.
So what gives?
I think McCoy wins this battle. The 25-year-old superstar is in the midst of a record-setting season. I think he'll run 18 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns while catching six passes for 73 yards and a third touchdown.
The only way the Eagles can keep up with the Broncos is with the strength of their offense, and Kelly knows that McCoy is the best player. He'll get him the ball.
I have the Eagles jumping out to a 14-point lead, intercepting Peyton Manning twice throughout the game and scoring 35 points.
And yet I have them losing by 10 points.
This Broncos team is not going to go undefeated for a full season. But their first loss is not going to be at home to an Eagles team that was torched by Philip Rivers and Alex Smith.
The Eagles are looking at their third straight loss—which wouldn't be nearly as devastating as one might think, considering the team would still own a 1-0 conference record with five divisional games remaining.