Eagles-Broncos Postgame: As Bad As It Gets
Boy did I get this prediction wrong.
I thought the Philadelphia Eagles would actually score some points against a suspect Denver Broncos defense, but Michael Vick and the rest of the Eagles offense fell flat on their faces in an embarrassing 52-20 loss in Denver.
- Demaryius Thomas - 9-86-2
- Wes Welker - 7-76-2
- Eric Decker - 5-88
- Julius Thomas - 4-43
Anyone with a functioning brain knew that Peyton Manning would score at will on a porous Eagles defense and he did just that. Manning completed 28 of 34 passes for 327 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. And he did that in spite of the fact that he was pulled from the game with 10:42 left in the 4th quarter, with his team comfortably ahead. The truth of the matter is that Manning might not face a worse defense this season than he faced during this game.
The Eagles defense couldn't generate any pass rush (1 sack) and couldn't keep up with the impressive array of targets at Manning's disposal. Demaryius Thomas caught 9 passes for 86 yards and 2 TDs. Eric Decker caught 5 passes for 88 yards. Julius Thomas caught 4 passes for 44 yards. And Wes Welker caught 7 passes for 76 yards and 2 TDs. It was as if there was nobody covering them. Or maybe the Eagles defense is every bit as bad as I thought they were.
The Eagles actually kept the game close in the first half in spite of the fact that they allowed Broncos return man Trindon Holliday to take a kickoff back 105 yards for a TD. They even had some early success running the ball against a strong Broncos run defense. The Eagles rushed for 89 yards in the first quarter against a Broncos team that had allowed only 43 yards per game through the first three weeks. The problem was that they couldn't score in the red zone and had to settle for field goals. You simply can't expect to beat a Peyton Manning led team by settling for field goals.
Who is the best QB in the history of the NFL?
The Eagles actually closed the gap to 14-13 after Chris Polk scored a TD on his very first carry in the NFL. Then Chip Kelly reminded us yet again that he is a rookie head coach. Instead of going for a 2-point conversion, he kicked the extra point. This from a guy who went for 2 points last week for no reason at all. Neither one made any sense. It also didn't matter because the Broncos were about to score 38 straight points and bury the Eagles.
Knowshon Moreno (12 carries for 78 yards) scored a TD to cap an 80-yard drive where the Broncos mostly ran the football right through the Eagles defense to end the scoring in the first half. Then the Eagles kicked the ball to Manning and the Broncos to start the second half and the game was over.
Manning threw two touchdowns to Demaryius Thomas and another to Wes Welker to push the score to 42-13 in the third quarter. That made the Broncos 5-for-5 in the red zone with all five scores being touchdowns. It was the perfect combination of a great quarterback and a horrible defensive secondary. And if that wasn't bad enough, the Eagles special teams put a giant bow on this turd of a loss by getting a punt blocked that was returned for a touchdown.
To review, by early in the fourth quarter, the Broncos special teams had outscored the Eagles 14-13. Yes, it really was that bad.
Denver kicker Matt Prater hit a 53 yard field goal to make it 52-13 and the Broncos had a new team record for most points scored in a game. Hey, if you're going to demolish a team like this, you might as well set a record, right?
Nick Foles and the rest of the backups came in to prevent any regulars from getting injured and he took advantage of the Denver defense sitting back in a prevent. He hooked up with Jeff Maehl for a long completion and then a short TD pass to make the final score 52-20. Unfortunately, it meant nothing in a game where it never felt like the Eagles had a chance.
You got the feeling that Manning could have done more if he felt like it, but it was obvious that by the end of the third quarter he was just standing there behind the line doing all his gyrations just to run the play clock down to get the game over with. The Broncos only converted five third down opportunities, but that's because they only had to face eight third down situations the entire game. The Eagles defense was that bad.
Of course, Chip Kelly and has offense shouldn't get off without any blame for this loss. Vick (14-for-27, 248 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs) didn't turn the ball over, but he never really took control of the game. Part of that was due to his offensive line not protecting him well enough and part of that was due to the fact that the Eagles receivers simply could not get open. DeSean Jackson had another disappointing game with only two catches for 34 yards. It seems that teams now know that Jackson is the only receiving threat on the Eagles and safety over the top completely neutralizes his effectiveness.
LeSean McCoy entered the game as the leading rusher in the entire NFL, but he was held to 73 yards on 12 carries. The low carry total was due to the fact that the Eagles were getting blown out and the fact that McCoy left the game for quite a long time in the second quarter after getting the wind knocked out of him. Nothing went right for the Eagles in Denver.
Your Move Chip
This was a complete team loss for the Eagles.
The offense generated nearly nothing besides empty yardage. If you can't score in the red zone, you can't win in the NFL. The defense looked every bit as bad as I thought they would against arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL (Ex-Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil's words, not mine). The special teams couldn't possibly have played any worse in giving up 2 TDs and Alex Henery missing yet another field goal. It's saying something when you allow a team to score 52 points on you when you don't commit a single turnover, but that's exactly what this Eagles team did. And Chip Kelly's genius tag might just have been awarded a bit too soon.
Like I said, anybody with a functioning brain knew the Eagles were going to lose this game. They simply aren't as talented as the Broncos. Heck, there might not be a team in the entire NFL as talented as Denver. There was no shame in losing this game. The shame came in the way they lost. The Eagles looked like they quit and that goes not only to their character, but to Chip Kelly's leadership.
Kelly isn't used to losing and we'll find out just how good a coach he is now that his Eagles team got the snot knocked out of them and looked like they lacked any heart at all. So far I haven't seen anything to make me believe Kelly can turn this season around. Fortunately, I didn't think they were going to be good anyway.
It's OK if this Eagles team loses a bunch of games this season. It was obviously going to be a rebuilding season with the lack of talent the former coach left behind. But it's not OK if the team shows the lack of effort that they showed in this loss to the Broncos. It's your move Chip. Show us what you're made of.