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What to watch in Week 4: Eagles / FOX SPORTS

 

McCoy is having a banner season but could be a victim of overuse.

 Joel Beall

The FOX NFL Game of the Week features thePhiladelphia Eaglesflocking to the Rocky Mountains to take on theDenver Broncos. Highlighting two high-octane offenses, let’s get the lowdown on each team’s subplots heading into this Mile High matchup:

Click here for thecorresponding report on the Denver Broncos.

Five Things to Watch: Philadelphia Eages

Can the Eagles front seven cause inflict chaos?

It’s also an attainable goal. The bloated figures (486.7 total yards, 42.3 points – both league-bests) and the Manning hysteria have manufactured an infallible perspective on the Denver offense. Nevertheless, the Broncos do have noticeable chinks in the armor. All-Pros Ryan Clady and Dan Koppen were lost for the season, making an already-vulnerable line extremely susceptible. Considering Manning is not the fleetest of foot, expect this issue to amplify as the season progresses.

Through three games, Denver has yet to face a challenging defense. (Sorry Baltimore fans, it’s the truth.) In Trent ColeFletcher Cox, Conner Barwin and DeMeco Ryans the Eagles have enough playmakers to wreak havoc on Denver’s untested line. Philadelphia certainly has issues of its own, evidenced in the admission of 323 passing yards per game, fourth-worst in football, but its firepower in the gaps and capability of hurrying the quarterback negates this woe.

Don’t misconstrue this as condemnation on the Broncos offense. In that same breath, don’t believe it will be smooth sailing for Manning, either.

Which Michael Vick will show up?

Matchup Watch: Broncos D-Line vs. Eagles protection

Apropos, then, that the Eagles encounter a Broncos resistance suffocating adversaries to a league-low 43 rushing yards per outing. Von Miller’s shenanigans have garnered much of the attention concerning this group, but Denver is anchored by a formidable line in Derek Wolfe and Elvis Dumervil. It’s a core that, when coupled with the return of Miller, could be one of the best units in the conference.

It’s elementary, really: the more the Eagles run, the more time Manning is stuck on the sidelines. Don’t visualize Philadelphia running wild on such a stout front, yet if the Eagles want to leave Denver (The Sunshine State!) with a victory, execution of this goal is vital.

Speaking of McCoy…

Prediction: Chip Kelly will run LeSean McCoy into the ground

The Eagles will win if…

A lot needs to fall Philly’s way: an unwavering Vick, another harvest from McCoy, Manning accidentally thinking it’s a playoff game instead of a regular-season contest. Even then, it’s a stretch to see the Eagles emerging victorious.

However, weirder things have happened. After all, as the Browns’ win proved last week, anything is possible.

 

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