Dissecting Best Individual Matchups to Watch in Denver Broncos' Week 4 Action
Coming into the season, all of the talk concerning the Eagles centered around Chip Kelly's no-huddle offense. However, it has been the Broncos who have so far run the no-huddle better than anyone else.
If the Eagles are to come into Denver and pull off the upset, they will need a lot of things to go in their favor. But the Broncos must not get complacent.
Here is a look at four key matchups to watch in this game, which takes place at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan vs. Michael Vick
Pryor racked up 162 yards on the ground in the first two games of the season, but against Denver, he was held to just 36 yards.
The main reason for that was the job Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan did spying him.
Now, the Broncos face one of the original dual-threat quarterbacks in Michael Vick. On the season, Vick already has 187 yards rushing.
His scrambling ability is one of the keys to Chip Kelly's new offense, so if Denver can make him one-dimensional, the Eagles' entire offense will start to sputter.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie vs. DeSean Jackson
If Champ Bailey misses another game, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will likely draw the assignment of Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Rodgers-Cromartie spent two very lackluster seasons in Philadelphia, and they will have no problem going after him. Still, he has filled in quite well during Bailey's absence.
Jackson already has 19 receptions this season and is averaging 18.9 yards per catch on the season.
Rodgers-Cromartie will need to do his best to stay stride-for-stride with the speedy Jackson, as this is a matchup the Eagles could exploit.
Chris Clark vs. Trent Cole
If the Broncos have a glaring weakness at this time, it's the left tackle position.
With Ryan Clady out for the season following surgery on his left foot, Clark becomes one of the most important players on the roster.
The Eagles run the 3-4 defense that Denver had some issues with in Week 1 against Baltimore. The Ravens were able to rack up four sacks in that game, and that was with Clady on the field.
With 71 career starts under his belt, Trent Cole will come into this game with a lot of confidence going against a career backup. Clark will be tested.
Julius Thomas vs. Philadelphia Linebackers and Safeties
Julius Thomas has exploded onto the NFL scene after being nonexistent during his first two years in the league.
Thomas has compiled 194 yards on 14 catches this year to go along with four touchdowns. He has developed the trust of Peyton Manning as well.
Thomas is a physical mismatch for many defensive players in the league, and the Eagles really don't have anyone who will be able to handle him.
Thomas should be able to work the middle of the field and create matchup problems for guys like Mychal Kendricks and Nate Allen of the Eagles.
The Philadelphia defense has been susceptible to tight ends through three games this season, allowing 19 receptions for 215 yards to that position.
Look for a big game from Thomas.