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Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Thoughts About the Week 4 Loss to Denver

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Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Thoughts About the Week 4 Loss to Denver
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Any hope of a potential upset against Peyton Manning & Co. fell drastically short. The Philadelphia Eagles lost a 52-20 matchup to the Denver Broncos, as Chip Kelly’s offense struggled to find any sort of a rhythm.

The Eagles fell behind early, briefly made it close at 14-13 and collapsed in the third quarter. When the dust settled, Denver racked up the highest single-game total in its franchise history. It was the most points the Eagles had allowed since 1972.

Philadelphia travels to New York to play the 0-4 Giants next Sunday in a battle between two NFC East teams desperately trying to revive their season.

 

Peyton Manning Picked Apart Philadelphia’s Defense, But What Did Anyone Expect?

How efficient was Peyton Manning today? He led the Denver Broncos to “just” 14 points in the first half, then tacked on enough in the second half to give Denver its franchise record with 52 points scored.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Manning completed 82.4 percent of his passes, threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns, and did so without an interception. He’s now at 16 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. His performance today was just the third time in NFL history a QB has completed as many passes (28) on that high of a completion rate (82.4) with at least four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Manning led the Broncos to 38 consecutive points after the Philadelphia Eagles cut the deficit to 14-13. Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis doesn’t have a lot of talent to work with on defense, but the secondary had no solution for Manning. The Eagles had just one sack and no turnovers forced, and the Eagles have now given up 138 points in just four games.

 

The Eagles Can Rack Up Yards Without Scoring Points—Just Like 2012

The mark of the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles was a high-powered offense that seemed to rack up tons of yards without scoring points. This year’s team has been much better in the turnover category—save for the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs—but the Eagles have not translated their yards into points.

Philadelphia put up 443 yards against Washington, followed by 522 against San Diego, 431 hosting Kansas City and 450 in Denver. The Eagles are the first team ever with 1,000 passing yards and 750 rushing yards in their first four games. They’re breaking all kinds of records on offense.

 

 

 

But the offense hasn’t converted these yards into points. Alex Henery’s missed field goals don’t help. The team has turned the ball over too many times. And today, the Eagles made too many foolish mistakes—a blocked punt, a missed field goal and poorly managed end of first half clock management. Compare that to the Broncos, whose offense was incredibly efficient and whose special teams units outscored the Eagles for the first 56 minutes.

 

Bryce Brown and Chris Polk Made the Most of Their Opportunities

The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t overwork LeSean McCoy today, due likely to the high altitude in Denver. That gave opportunities to young running backs Bryce Brown and Chris Polk, each of whom took advantage of their touches.

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Brown ran for just 19 yards on eight carries but added two receptions for 40 yards, including an impressive 35-yard reception. Polk scored a touchdown on his first-ever NFL carry, finishing with three runs for 33 yards plus two catches for 19 yards.

Should McCoy ever go down with a serious injury as he did a year ago, the Eagles seem to have a good core group of running backs behind him.

 

Alex Henery Hasn’t Been Getting the Job Done

For the third consecutive week, Philadelphia Eagles kicker Alex Henery missed a field goal that he should have made.

Against San Diego, Henery missed a 45-yard field goal. Last week, he missed a 47-yarder against the Kansas City Chiefs. And tonight, he missed a 46-yard field goal. That’s three makeable kicks that he missed in three weeks, and all are within distance for an NFL kicker, especially one drafted in the fourth round.

Henery entered this season with the highest field-goal percentage by a kicker in NFL history, so it isn’t as if he has a history of missing easy kicks. But he’s made just one field goal of more than 50 yards since being drafted in 2011. He just doesn’t seem to have the leg strength to consistently make kicks much over 45 yards. It may be time for the Eagles to bring in a kicker for a workout, if for anything else just to send a message.

 

The Eagles Are Still Just One Game Back in the NFC East

Even after a brutal Week 4 performance against the Denver Broncos, the Philadelphia Eagles are still just one game back in the NFC East. The Eagles are 1-3, but the Dallas Cowboys fell to 2-2 after a loss to Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers.

Meanwhile, the New York Giants are 0-4 after losing to Andy Reid and the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. The Washington Redskins finally got on the board with a win over the hapless Oakland Raiders, but the Redskins are still just 1-3.

That means the Eagles are still in the thick of the NFC East hunt. Chip Kelly faces off against Tom Coughlin next week, which is a must-win game for the Eagles. Dallas gets a tough matchup with Peyton Manning, which doesn’t bode well for them considering Philip Rivers torched them for 60 minutes today.

It’s remarkable to think that the Eagles could conceivably win against the Giants and be tied for first place in the division at 2-3. And even more remarkably, their schedule is easy enough to suggest that they could still make a playoff run.

The Eagles don’t play a team that currently has a winning record until they face the Detroit Lions in Week 14—and the Birds play three games in a span of four weeks against teams that are currently winless.

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