Week 4 Report Card: Broncos dismantle the Eagles like they do everyone else

Dustin Bradford

This will not be like the normal review I do for games. Frankly, there was no one the Eagles had worthy of being considered "hot" and almost all were definitely "not." Sunday's loss to the Broncos' was not just remarkably humbling, but honestly one of the saddest and sorriest performances we have seen in a while. Let's give credit to where it is due, as the Broncos may be the best offense we have ever seen, but the Eagles barely put up a fight as Denver rolled to a 52-20 win in a game that wasn't even that close.

LeSean McCoy is a top three running back in the league and Bryce Brown was terrific enough to make the game interesting in the first half, but the Eagles had no shot in this one. The mirage that was the first two quarters really was just Denver warming up. When the Eagles had opportunities to limit the margin temporarily, guys would drop passes and for the most part, could not get open against single coverage for the second week in a row. It was just a sad afternoon to the point where I am sure a lot of you stopped watching after the third quarter. That doesn't mean you are not a loyal or dedicated fan, it means you emotionally couldn't handle the soul crushing that was the Eagles' trip to Denver.

Let's skip our normal "hot" and "not" section and just get into the miscellaneous musings.

Miscellaneous Musings

  • Special teams was surprisingly awful for a team that religiously practices it. The Trindon Holliday return was a sign of things to come as a blocked punt of Donnie Jones and another missed field goal (meaningless) by Alex Henery just proved it was not the Eagles' day.
  • The pass interference and offsides/neutral zone infractions were extremely frustrating but consider the competition. Peyton Manning is great at out-thinking everyone and getting time to complete throws. There was nothing the defense could do and while that is how it has been for Denver opponents, this was nothing all that new for Philadelphia.
  • Billy Davis, like most defensive coordinators, could not figure out Manning and the Broncos and he didn't have the talent to do it even if he could.
  • Rookie Earl Wolff looked like a rookie out there...but so did Mychal Kendricks, Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Graham and Nate Allen. This was a very discouraging performance no matter who the opponent was.
  • It was nice to see running back Chris Polk on offense, but the scenario that set up his first carry and touchdown of career, is not a desired situation at all. McCoy and Brown looked winded from the altitude. That was a bummer but only happens once every four years.
  • When Nick Foles and Brock Osweiler are playing in the game, it's either a blowout or you are watching PAC-12 re-runs on ESPN. Another PAC-12 guy, Jeff Maehl, was able to finally contribute on offense and had an awesome long catch from Foles in the fourth that set up a touchdown pass between the two just one play later.
  • The Bradley Fletcher pass interference was a bad, bad call. Then again, he got away with like three holds during the game, so I guess it was eye-for-an-eye.
  • Rest assured, Michael Vick did all he could against Denver. The guy and his team have had a tough time with coming from behind in games over the last three years. I think he will bounce back against the Giants.
  • DeSean Jackson has been basically muzzled the last two weeks in mostly single coverage, and no one else that is not a running back has been able to really make a major impact. That is reality and extremely worrisome. I think it is time for Kelly to finally make more of a rotation on offense with Damaris Johnson, Zach Ertz and James Casey seeing more action. I am all for two running back sets with Brown and McCoy or McCoy and Polk.
  • It is a tempered worry, but I am concerned that McCoy is going to have trouble getting through the season at this pace. A rotation is definitely needed, but he should lead the league in rushing still.
  • Troy Aikman and Joe Buck is easily the worst commentary pair to have when your team is in a blowout on FOX. Buck has no ability to be funny and comes off as an unlikable smartass, despite getting several facts wrong during the telecast. Aikman always sounds like he is sleepy or bored.
  • Let's keep perspective, the Giants and Cowboys lost this weekend and the Redskins got their first win of the year on Sunday. The Eagles are one game behind Dallas, tied with Washington and one game ahead of New York. With that taken into account, despite having a horrific defensive and an up-and-down offense, the playoffs are very much in reach. Losing 52-20 is demoralizing, but is easy to move on from because Denver dominates everyone. With the Giants, Bucs and other fodder over the next few weeks, it should be doable for the Eagles get back in gear. The NFC East sucks.
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