The Eagles defense was thoroughly prepared for Denver, but the thing that stood out most to me was how the Eagles offensive line was able to push the Broncos back on their heels all day long. I may have seriously underrated the strength of the big guys on Philly’s offensive front. Brandon Brooks was dominant in his matchup battles. “Big V” was balling at left tackle. Even Isaac Seumalo looked unstoppable. Center Jason Kelce played probably his best game of the season so far. Lane Johnson played tough all game despite a nagging lower back spasm. I was totally unprepared to witness such a thrashing of a top-rated Denver front seven by our Big Uglies.
It all helped to translate into a laffer at the Linc.
“All of this came against the top-rated defense in football. Add in the continued strong play of Jim Schwartz’s defense (two takeaways, three sacks), and this appears to be the best team in football.”—Tim McManus, ESPN
Who am I to argue? I guess we are the best team in football right now—but it’s not something I take for granted. There’s still a long way to go before that crown can be rightfully claimed.
Brock Osweiler couldn’t get the Broncos on track in his first start since rejoining the team in September. He threw two interceptions. Denver has lost four in a row and five of six.
Wentz was 15 of 27 for 199 yards before giving way to Nick Foles. He has three four-TD performances in the last five weeks.
Clement had two TD runs and one TD catch, and newcomer Jay Ajayi ran for 77 yards and one score.
Wentz flipped a 32-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead after a holding penalty on Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib extended the drive. Talib bit on a faked inside handoff to Ajayi and Jeffery ran past him to make the catch and score.
After Osweiler threw a pick right to Patrick Robinson later in the first quarter, Wentz threw a short catch-and-run TD pass to Clement on third-and-10 from the 15.
Ajayi burst through for a 46-yard TD run to put Philadelphia ahead 31-9 in the second quarter. Ajayi, a 2016 Pro Bowl pick with Miami, was acquired in a trade Tuesday. The Broncos hadn’t allowed 30 points in a game this season, nor any TD runs.
Clement, an undrafted rookie free agent, ran in from the 2 in the third quarter, and Wentz connected with Jeffery on a 6-yard pass to make it 44-9. Clement’s 4-yard TD run capped the scoring.
The Eagles hadn’t scored 50 points since a 54-11 victory over the Bears on Dec. 22, 2013.
The last time the Broncos allowed more points, they beat the Cowboys 51-48 on Oct. 6, 2013. But Peyton Manning isn’t around anymore.
Clement had 51 yards rushing, LeGarrette Blount added 38 to go with Ajayi’s 77, and the Eagles got 197 on the ground. Again, you can thank the Eagles offensive line for opening up more lanes than your local AMF bowling center.
INJURY REPORT for Eagles: TE Zach Ertz didn’t play because of a hamstring injury aggravated in practice. Other than a few dings here and there, the team escaped this game without any real injuries of note. The Birds will benefit even more from their upcoming Bye Week because of it.
Brandon McManus 52 Yd Field Goal
9 plays, 41 yards, 4:25
Alshon Jeffery 32 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott Kick)
7 plays, 75 yards, 4:01
Jake Elliott 45 Yd Field Goal
6 plays, 29 yards, 2:14
Corey Clement 15 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott Kick)
3 plays, 15 yards, 0:51
Brandon McManus 53 Yd Field Goal
4 plays, 8 yards, 1:00
Trey Burton 27 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott Kick)
6 plays, 75 yards, 1:50
Brandon McManus 24 Yd Field Goal
12 plays, 69 yards, 6:12
Jay Ajayi 46 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
4 plays, 75 yards, 1:43
Corey Clement 2 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
13 plays, 77 yards, 7:28
Alshon Jeffery 4 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott PAT failed)
3 plays, 11 yards, 1:25
Demaryius Thomas 1 Yd pass from Brock Osweiler (Brandon McManus Kick)
13 plays, 75 yards, 8:15
Brandon Marshall 19 Yd Fumble Return (Brandon McManus Kick)
3 plays, -4 yards, 1:36
Corey Clement 4 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
5 plays, 48 yards, 3:25
|Passing 1st downs||12||13|
|Rushing 1st downs||1||9|
|1st downs from penalties||1||3|
|3rd down efficiency||3-13||5-13|
|4th down efficiency||1-1||2-4|
|Yards per Play||3.8||6.3|
|Yards per pass||4.7||7.4|
|Yards per rush||1.8||5.3|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||4-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|
Two weeks from this Sunday night the Eagles take on the Dallas Cowboys in prime time. Somehow I feel more confident than ever the Eagles coaching staff will have them ready to play in that one, which could shape up to be a decisive moment in the NFC East divisional race for 2017.