Game Preview – PHI at DEN

Posted: September 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 61 Comments »

Are you ready to face Eli’s brother?

I wrote the game preview as my PE.com piece.

I’m really excited for this game. I know some are scared of what Peyton might do to the Eagles defense. San Diego played a brilliant game on offense a couple of weeks back and the Eagles still almost pulled that game out. I absolutely think this is a winnable game.

I’m also curious to see what Chip Kelly and the staff did with the extra time off. Will they have some new wrinkles? Were they able to solve some existing problems?

One thing surprised me as I read about the Broncos. They were a big 2nd half team in the first couple of games. They trailed in the opener at halftime and just led the Giants by a point. If the Eagles offense can get back on track and score a couple of TDs, this could be a tight game at the half. The Eagles had to play catch-up in the last 2 games and lost both. If they could stay tight or possibly have the lead, that would make things less difficult on the team. And Denver has yet to play in a game that was tight in the 4th quarter.

I think the key to the game will be the Eagles ability to run the ball. That keeps the chains moving and Peyton watching from the sidelines. He’s a great QB, but the one thing he can’t do is hurt you when he’s a spectator. This could be the week to use all 3 RBs and try to pound on the Broncos. Easier said than done, though. They’re #1 against the run. I do think you can run on them if you spread them out, which the Eagles love to do.

Denver’s scoring has declined every week…49 to 41 to 37. If they are down in the 30 to 34 area this week, that is okay, assuming the Eagles offense gets back to where they need to be.

STs was a major problem area last week. The Eagles must have that go back to being a strength if they’re going to win this week. You cannot give Peyton a short field or any extra possessions. Make him earn every point.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama found out some interesting things about Denver.

I was surprised to see that they’ve had problems with drops. Man. Peyton is having a phenomenal year and his guys are putting the ball on the ground? That’s insane.

* * * * *

Jeff McLane wrote about Earl Wolff, since he’s likely to start for Patrick Chung on Sunday. Nate Allen was the best Eagles Safety in the KC game. You can argue that Wolff was the next best. Chung had a rough game.

Starting a rookie Safety vs Peyton isn’t ideal, to put it mildly. But that’s a 2-way street. Peyton loves to know his opponents inside-out. You wonder if he went back and watched NC State tape on Wolff to figure out the best ways to attack him. There isn’t much Eagles tape.

Wolff’s sure tackling could be a huge help against a team that lives off RAC yards.

* * * * *

Did you see the Broncos-Eagles splash cartoon? Great stuff this week.

I know AC Viking will love it.

_


  • ACViking

    Re: The Splash and a Win?

    T-Law:

    To quote a notorious fictional in-house attorney:

    “Well . . . I say yes.”

    Great, great stuff. Gonna be hard to top that one.

    • TommyLawlor

      That was great. Easily the best of the year.

  • Alex Karklins

    After two pretty bad years, the Splash cartoons have gotten their mojo back. I like to think this will have a positive effect on the team as a whole.

  • GermanEagle

    I’m glad you picked up Denver’s scoring trend, mate. ;)

    • TommyLawlor

      Looking for every positive possible.

      • Flyin

        I was happy you didn’t mention the Eagles scoring trend.

        • Matthew Verhoog

          The difference is that their’s is a trend ours is an anomaly.

          • Flyin

            *

          • TommyLawlor

            Brilliant.

  • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

    I’m a little jealous of the Splash Cartoon gig, but on the other hand it probably pays crap and they are generally pretty ugly. They’d be fun though.

  • disqus_jB7dl5fzvO

    I have the same weird feeling of confidence about this game as I did about another game two years ago when we played the Giants and Peyton’s brother and won 17-10. Vick was injured and Vince Young (who we all hate) had to start that game, but I was still quietly confident that we would win that game somehow. The defense ended up playing amazing out of nowhere considering it had been terrible that year. Hopefully it plays out the same way on Sunday.

    • BlindChow

      They won despite Young throwing 3 interceptions!

      • anon

        He tossed that TD to Riley cooper for the win if i remember correctly.

  • SteveH

    Thankfully I don’t literally have to face Eli’s brother, I’d probably only be a marginal upgrade over Nate Allen!

  • Joe Minx

    Not so much specific to this game, but I have a question. Just read this article by McLane (http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/225444532.html that talks about Trent Cole playing 4-tech. Why in the world is Trent Cole 2-gapping? I think there’s far too much of it as it relates to other players in this scheme as well.

    • TommyLawlor

      He’s doing that in some Nickel sets. Not a big deal. As soon as he reads pass, Cole is then free to rush.

  • pkeagle

    A bit off topic but if Herremans continues to struggle would you switch him with Mathis in the hope that the downgrade on the left-hand side would be less than the improvement on the right?

    I think having Mathis next to a rookie in Johnson might be better in the long run.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’d leave Mathis alone. He’s good at LG. Herremans just looks like age may be starting to catch up to him.

      • pkeagle

        So barring injury I guess we roll with what we’ve got and hope Todd irons out his problems/takes a magic rejuvenating potion?
        Not sure about Barbre but I guess he might be ok.

        Either way, we’ll need some young blood on the o-line next year

      • GEagle

        Tom: is an guard not being able to handle a bullrush a typical sign of old age?

        • TommyLawlor

          Usually athletic rushers are the problem, but it could be that Todd is overcompensating for some other issue and isn’t anchoring well.

          • Mac

            read or heard about an interview where he said he felt his leg strength wasn’t back to 100% yet from his rehab.

      • jshort

        10 days rest should do wonders for his old creaking bones, and Peters too. No doubt in my mind we put up 50 something. Broncos lets see 49 – 41 – 37 next number in the sequence should be 35. I’ll go birds 54 browncows 35

    • Mitchell

      I had brought up te topic of trying Dennis Kelley there

  • doublgee

    I’ll get a birds-eye view of the game for us fellas! Look for me in a white 12 and my son in a green (CutOnDime)25!
    I’ve been an avid Eagles fan for 30+ years, but this’ll be my first time seeing them in person. Should be pretty live!
    Anyone else gonna be there?

    • P_P_K

      Where are you and your boy sitting?

      • doublgee

        328 Row 19

        • P_P_K

          I watch the game with my son and he knows I hang out on Iggles Blitz. I was going to look for you on tv but can’t find 328 on the Lincoln map.

          • TommyLawlor

            Away game.

          • P_P_K

            D’oh.

        • Alex Karklins

          I’m way up in 506. You got some nice seats!

    • TommyLawlor

      Awesome. Have a blast.

    • Alex Karklins

      I’ll be there as well.

      • doublgee

        You should stop on through! I’m sure it won’t be too hard to spot us.

  • AnirudhJ

    For the record, I think there are two references:

    1) The obvious

    2) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare.JPG

    • TommyLawlor

      Interesting.

      • ACViking

        Having read the opinion of my colleague (not TL), I respectfully dissent.

        The record, as developed below (in prior posts), by a reliable source whose name need not be cited here, has established — through photographic evidence — that the alleged perpetrator, one magical Dorenbos, has a spouse whose assets negate the need for the conduct implied by the painting above.

    • jshort

      By the look on the ghoul and the horse, I think she farted!

    • Anthony Hart

      This is a painting about sleep paralysis. I am very confused about it’s relevance to today’s football game…

  • P_P_K

    “I absolutely think this is a winnable game.”

    I hope I am here Monday morning congratulating you for this insight which I do not share. If I turn my glasses upside down and backwards, and imagine I am a Broncos fan and my team is going against the Eagles secondary, I look forward to a feast. If I flip my glasses back again, I do believe in miracles: Eagles 35 -31.

    • TommyLawlor

      Do I need to sell you some new glasses?

      • P_P_K

        LMAO! I forgot all about those!

    • Iskar36

      I love the optimism, and I agree that the Eagles do have a chance in this game, but if I were in a survivor pool, this would definitely be a game I would consider to bet on this week. The match up simply is not in our favor. Peyton Manning is playing out of this world right now. Meanwhile, our defense has not shown to be the one that is going to slow Manning down, particularly in the secondary. On the other side of the ball, the offenses best weapon, our running game, happens to be the thing the Broncos are very good at stopping. Being #1 in the NFL at rushing D may be a bit overstated considering that they have built big leads and forced teams to throw the ball to keep up, but it is still clear that they are good at it.

      I’d love to see the Eagles pull off the upset obviously, but I just don’t see how likely that is. Here’s to hoping they make me eat crow for doubting them.

      • jshort

        How about the time Buddy Ryan took the team to Denver, Ran the ball about 10 straight times in a row for a TD. I believe broncos D was rated pretty high against the run at that time. Think we won, just to lazy to look it up

      • phillychuck

        What we don’t see as Eagles fans is that this is a trappy game for Denver. We may not get their best fastball.

  • GEagle

    Eagles win this game and it will be the theme if the year…lose games we are supposed to win, show up in the games we are counted out…38-31 eagles

  • Dan

    I’m more comfortable with Chung out and Wolff in than Fletcher out, Boykin out covering Thomas or Decker, and Poyer in on Welker. Now just need to see how they contain Julius Thomas.

  • GEagle

    with all this time between games, and a match up with the master of preparations looming this is the perfect time for defensive scheme change? Peyton has been studying film that shows us as predominantly 3-4 and 3-3-5 defense(Nickle)…Hopefully we switch things up on Peyton and attack him out of a 4-3Under and 4-2-5(Nickle). We had 13 days to get our players sharp running these schemes. if Peyton knows what we are doing, we are toast. Scrapping the 3-4 and 3-3-5(hate that scheme) for this week would be a great start, since that has to be what peyton spent the most time getting prepared for…Switching to these alignments would better allow us to get Cox,Curry,Graham on the field together

  • Iskar36

    “I think the key to the game will be the Eagles ability to run the ball.
    That keeps the chains moving and Peyton watching from the sidelines.
    He’s a great QB, but the one thing he can’t do is hurt you when he’s a
    spectator.”

    Tommy, I agree with this logic, but I wonder how much Kelly agrees with it. Kelly has made it clear that he views Time of Possession as a meaningless stat. I have a hard time seeing him change that view based on the QB he is playing. Instead, I would think his emphasis wouldn’t be the Eagles ability to run the ball but rather have a high points/possession. That’s sort of an obvious desire, but my point is that I’m not sure Kelly changes his offense based on the other team’s offense. He is going to want to score points as efficiently as possible, running or passing, and hope that the Eagles offense proves to be more efficient than the Broncos offense. In other words, I think Kelly may go into this game planning for a high scoring shoot out.

    • TommyLawlor

      Agree on the TOP angle. Chip won’t try to slow down and work the clock. Point is that the offense can help the D in a big way by not turning the ball over and converting on 3rd downs. O needs to score or stay on the field.

  • Kristopher Cebula

    tommy,
    are they #1 against the run because teams are trying to keep up with them or because they are just really good against the run? also, do you think the eagles come in with a chip (no pun intended) on their shoulder since no one is giving them a chance?

    • anon

      I was literally just thinking this, then i looked up the stats. Teams have run on avg about 21 run plays per game against them Broncos. I’d say they’ve averaged a little over 1yd per play.

      Raiders 17/49yds
      Ravens 21/58yds
      Giants 19/23yds

      Stats via nfl.com

      • Gary

        That’s about 2.3 yards per carry to be exact. Looks like their run D’ is legit.

        I fully expect us to have more than 21 carries though, so we’ll see what happens then.

        • BlindChow

          I think they stack the box. If they do that to us, Chip will call pass plays.

  • Gary

    Posted this at BGN, but did anyone happen to hear Colin Cowherd and Sal Pal talking on Friday? They were both saying that since the Eagles lost two games, the players aren’t buying in anymore and Chip Kelly is now having to reconvince his players that his offense can work. Sal then cited a philly.com poll as evidence that fans are now OUT on Chip Kelly. And finally, when speaking with Brian Dawkins, Colin referred to him as a “former all-pro corner.” Ugh. Lost a few IQ points listening to that.

    • SteveH

      Just remember, these people exist to say things that are going to evoke a response. Measured and intelligent discourse does not get them ratings.

    • anon

      CC also said chip would leave to take the USC job.

    • A Roy

      I, too, heard Sal Pal and Cowpie. Not much respect for either. I tune in to ESPN for a few minutes at lunchtime and, most days, stop listening once Cowpie starts another man love rant for Lebron.

  • BrettConnolly

    Going to the game. Bringing this.
    http://imgur.com/Zbw0NO9
    #Livin’TheDream
    @@
    @

  • planetx1971

    Of all games, this one is actually being televised up here in the north east kingdom. I’ve had the feelin that we’d have the kind of season where we rise up & shock good teams & struggle with teams that we should have a real shot with. Except this is PEYTON on a TEAR. Tryin so hard to see a positive angle but after what Avery & what’s his name from the chargers did to us, I’m horrified what Denver’s receivers are likely to do. I just can’t get Denver dropping a 50 burger image outta my skull. Here’s hopin we somehow score around 40 to keep it sorta fun!

  • ICDogg

    This made my day when I saw it this morning. Jags cheerleaders teaching American football to Brits. You just have to see it, lol.

    http://bcove.me/fubhd114