Sunday, September 29, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Broncos 52, Eagles 20
By Phil Sheridan
DENVER – A few thoughts in the wake of the Denver Broncos' 52-20 dismantling of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday:
What it means: Sometimes, on any given Sunday, the far superior team with the incredibly hot quarterback blows out the lesser team. This one played out exactly as it looked on paper, with Peyton Manning shredding the Eagles' subpar defense. Michael Vick and the offense were not able to compete with Manning. Mix in two special teams touchdowns and you get an embarrassing 32-point loss. It is a good thing the Eagles (1-3) aren't in the AFC West. They went 0-3 against San Diego, Kansas City and now Denver in three weeks.
Stock Watch: Falling: Chip Kelly. His predecessor, Andy Reid, is 4-0 in Kansas City. Cleveland, the team he turned down, has won its last two games under Rob Chudzinski. Kelly has lost three games in 14 days, as many as he lost in his final two years at Oregon. Indeed, Kelly must have felt a lot like many of his college opponents as the Broncos ran up the score on his Eagles.
Empty yardage: As hard as it is to believe from the final score, the Eagles were competitive in the first half. They were within one score, 21-13, at the half. But the Eagles had just 13 points to show for 271 yards of total offense in the half. Mistakes –- a dropped first-down pass by Brent Celek, a holding penalty on Evan Mathis –- derailed productive drives. Against Kansas City the week before, turnovers and penalties kept the Eagles to 16 points despite 431 yards of offense.
What's next: The Eagles go from perhaps the hottest team in the NFL to one of the coldest, and from the unbeatable Manning to the one that's scuffling. Next Sunday's road game with the New York Giants gives Kelly and his team a chance to regroup and get their season turned in the right direction. Of course, the 0-4 Giants are overdue for a victory, aren't they?