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
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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