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2013 Game-by-Game: Week 4

Posted Jun 24, 2013

In Week 4 of the 2013 season, the Broncos will take on Chip Kelly's up-tempo Philadelphia Eagles.

  • WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 29; 2:25 p.m. MDT.
  • WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
  • TV: Fox.
  • SERIES RECORD: Eagles lead, 7-4.
  • JOHN FOX'S RECORD: 0-4 (1-0 postseason).
  • PEYTON MANNING'S RECORD: 3-1.
  • SERIES STREAK: Denver has won two of the last three, and has not lost at home to the Eagles since 1989.
  • LAST TIME: Eagles 30, Broncos 27; Dec. 27, 2009. The Broncos' hopes of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 took a crushing blow when Philadelphia's David Akers drilled a 28-yard field-goal attempt four seconds before the final gun. Before the drive to Akers' game-winner, the Broncos had stormed back from a 27-10 third-quarter deficit to tie the game. Denver's rally was propelled by a pair of special-teams gaffes (a penalty on a punt from the Philadelphia 1 and a fumbled kickoff return) that set up touchdown drives of 25 and 16 yards to help narrow the deficit. But the Eagles had a short field of their own with 1:42 remaining in regulation after DeSean Jackson returned a Mitch Berger punt to the Denver 42, and when Donovan McNabb hit Jeremy Maclin for a 27-yard completion that was ruled incomplete on the field but overturned by instant replay, the Broncos' fate was sealed, making Brian Dawkins' return to Philadelphia an unhappy one.
  • LAST TIME IN DENVER: Broncos 49, Eagles 21; Oct. 30, 2005. A week after suffering a heartbreaking 24-23 loss to the Giants, the Broncos bounced back with an offensive explosion and statement of intentions against the defending NFC champions. Denver sprinted to a 28-0 second-quarter lead thanks to three Jake Plummer touchdown passes, including a leaping, back-of-the-end-zone grab by tight end Stephen Alexander. Then Philadelphia scored the next 21 points to narrow the gap. The rally was punctuated by a 91-yard McNabb-to-Terrell Owens strike. Denver regained control in the fourth quarter when Plummer hit Todd Devoe for a 44-yard touchdown pass that was easily the most crucial of Devoe's pro career; that was his only regular-season touchdown and represented more than half of his career receiving yardage total (87 yards). Two Tatum Bell touchdown runs gave Denver 21 unanswered points to end the game and turned it into a runaway.


NOTING THE GAME:

  • The Eagles are coming off their worst season since 1998, but this might be the most fascinating game of September, thanks to the uber-high-tempo offense that new head coach Chip Kelly is installing after leaving the University of Oregon for the NFL. At least the Broncos will have the advantage of studying three weeks of regular-season tape, a luxury previous Eagles opponents won't have.
  • The biggest questions the Eagles must answer revolve around their quarterbacks. Which one will start, and is he a long-term answer? Michael Vick's contract expires after this season after a February restructuring, and although he counts more against the Eagles' salary cap than any other player, they might be inclined to turn to 2012 draft pick Nick Foles or 2013 fourth-rounder Matt Barkley, since their contracts and youth mean they have a better chance of being in the Eagles' long-term plans. 
  • High scores have been the norm in this series. Since 1986, the winner has never failed to score at least 28 points, averaging 30.25 points per game. However, the loser has often failed to keep up; from 1992-2005, the average margin of victory was 25.25 points, and never less than 18 (Eagles 31, Broncos 13 on Nov. 12, 1995).
  • Manning has a career 104.5 rating against the Eagles. He also posted one of his four perfect 158.3 quarterback ratings for a single game at the their expense, earning the mark by hitting 18 of 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-13 romp on Nov. 10, 2002.
  • If you want to assure yourself of the best chance to beat the Eagles, run at them. They've lost nine consecutive games and 13 of the last 14 when allowing at least 140 rushing yards. Last year the Eagles gave up 140 or more rushing yards five times; they lost those games by an average of 21.8 points, none closer than 13.

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