Broncos/Eagles Preview

Broncos/Eagles Preview
– by Bob Volpe -Fortunately or not this preview went to press before the results of
the Chiefs/Broncos game were known.

The Philadelphia Eagles are a team on a mission. They are riding a 7
game winning streak on the arm of second year quarterback Carson
Wentz. Wentz has thrown for 1,852 yards, 19 TDs and only 5 INTs this
year, and is sporting a 104.4 quarterback rating.

This game will be the last of a three game road trip for the Broncos.
The Broncos haven’t visited Philly since 2009 when the Eagles beat the
Broncos 30-27. The Broncos only play the Eagles once every four years.
In their last meeting, at Mile High, in 2013, the Broncos thrashed the
Eagles 52-20. Peyton Manning had 4 TD passes and special teams scored
twice.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, this is not your grandfather’s Eagles.
The Eagles have beefed up on defense big time. Against the run, the
Eagles have only allowed an average of 67 yards per game. That plays
right into the strength of the Bronco offense. If the Broncos can’t
mount a solid run game, it will be a long day for the Broncs.

Offensively the Eagles are explosive. They have an arsenal of weapons
on offense, starting with Carson Wentz at quarterback. Last week
against the Niners, Wentz threw for 211 yards, 2 TDs and one INT. He
hit nine different receivers in that game also. At running back, the
Eagles now have LeGarret Blount leading the attack. Blount had 16
carries for 48 yards and 1 TD last week.

Many NFL talking heads see the Eagles as the top team in the NFC and
believe they have a real shot at making it to the big show in
February.

As for the Broncos, this will be a test of the secondary and
linebacker corps against the arm of Wentz and the Eagle receivers.
This year the Broncos have been getting burned by tight ends and backs
catching the ball in the middle of the field and getting yardage after
the catch. The Eagles star tight end is Zack Ertz. Last week Ertz had
4 catches for 34 yards and a TD. Wentz did not utilize his running
backs in the passing game much last week against the Niners, but look
for them to game plan to exploit the Bronco’s weakness in that area.

There is hope for the Bronco faithful in this game, but it is all
dependent on a lot of “ifs”. “If” the Broncos can run the ball for
over 100 yards, they have a chance to win. “If” they can keep Trevor
(if he is even breathing after the Chiefs game) upright and he has
time to set his feet, they have a chance to win. “If” they don’t turn
the ball over, they have a chance to win.“If” special teams can set up
the offense with decent field position and pin the Eagle offense deep,
they have a chance to win. “If” McManus doesn’t blow any field goals,
they have a chance to win.

The Bronco defense is playing great this year and is still number one
in the NFL. They need to force some turnovers. This game will be a
chance to take advantage of a second year quarterback who may just get
a case of jitterss when Von Miller, and Shane Ray turn up the heat.
Wentz hasn’t been pressured much this year. It’s time to test his
fortitude under pressure. Get him rattled and he may toss a couple
INTs to the “no fly zone”.

If the Broncos came out of the Chief’s game healthy, even if they
lost, they are now at the point where it is do or die in the hunt for
a playoff spot. The Raiders and Chargers both lost last week, so here
is another chance to put some distance between them in the AFC West.

The official TMJ/Russ’ Place pick: Broncos upset Eagles on the road, 17-14.