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Dissecting Best Individual Matchups to Watch in Eagles' Week 4 Action

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles makes a 41 yard catch as cornerback Brandon Flowers #24 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends during the third quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16.  (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Yueh HoCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2013

After falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 26-16, the Philadelphia Eagles are 1-2 and now facing perhaps their most difficult matchup of the season against the Denver Broncos

The Broncos, at 3-0, are seemingly the best team in the NFL. If the Eagles are to have a chance, they must win a few crucial matchups.

Below are three matchups to watch in the Eagles' Week 4 game.

 

DeSean Jackson vs. Champ Bailey/Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

The most explosive and reliable receiver on the Eagles will have an intriguing matchup against the Broncos, as Champ Bailey will most likely make his 2013 debut, according to Rotoworld.com.

Bailey, regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL for most of his career, seemed to have lost a step last season, particularly in the postseason. It will be interesting to see if he will be 100 percent going up against the best deep threat in the NFL.

If Bailey misses more time, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie can be expected to cover Jackson instead. DRC has the speed to keep up with Jackson and could be more familiar with Jackson's playing style from their time together in 2011-2012.

 

Mychal Kendricks/Connor Barwin vs. Julius Thomas

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Julius Thomas #80 of the Denver Broncos scores a second quarter touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Mychal Kendricks is one of the speediest linebackers on the Eagles and will likely be called upon to cover the Broncos' tight ends. Connor Barwin too has shown himself to be impressive in pass coverage. The two will be challenged, however, by Julius Thomas, who is having a breakout season.

Thomas is an excellent route-runner and has good size and impressive speed. He will challenge the linebackers, especially with the best quarterback in the NFL throwing to him.

 

Michael Vick vs. Peyton Manning

It's unlikely that Michael Vick can outplay Manning, especially since Manning is going up against a suspect Eagles secondary. But if Vick can effectively operate coach Chip Kelly's offense and keep up with Manning in scoring, the Eagles will have a chance in this game.

Manning may be arguably the best quarterback in this league and is playing perhaps the best football of his career, but Vick is operating an offense that has never been seen before at the NFL level. 

It will be up to Vick to limit mistakes and to make the most out of opportunities. If he can score quickly, as he did against the Washington Redskins, the Eagles may have a chance at winning this shootout.

 

Follow Yueh Ho on Twitter @YuehHo

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