On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM MDT Orange Night Ride

    The year's Orange Ride is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014 with a start time of 4:30 p.m. from the Denver City and County Building. We have put together a list of activities leading up to that night's Broncos game against San Diego. We hope to see you there!
    3-4 p.m. Pregame fan rally in front of Denver City and County Building
    4:30 p.m. Ride departs Denver City and County Building to Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5:00 p.m. Ride arrives at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5-6 p.m. Orange Ride pregame tailgate party at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    6:00 p.m. Orange Ride departs stadium to Tavern Downtown to watch the Broncos game
    6:25 p.m. Watch the Broncos game while enjoying Tavern Downtown’s food and drink specials
    And don't forget that the Broncos and Denver B-cycle have teamed up to offer a new bike valet service for home games for the 2014 season, giving fans a place to park their bike in a secure place staffed by B-cycle volunteers!
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 6:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers The Denver Broncos take on AFC West opponent the San Diego Chargers on Thursady Night Football on NFL Network.
  • Sat., Oct. 25, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM MDT Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Sign up at http://broncosbunch.com

  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos at New England Patriots The Denver Broncos travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Championship. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 09, 2014 2:05 PM MST Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders The Denver Broncos face their AFC West foe Oakland Raiders on the road. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 16, 2014 11:00 AM MST Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams The Denver Broncos face the St. Louis Rams on the road at 11 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 23, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins The Denver Broncos take on the AFC East Miami Dolphins. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Tue., Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM MST Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution Denver Rescue Mission Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 6:30 PM MST Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face AFC West foe the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
  • Sun., Dec. 07, 2014 2:05 PM MST Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 Tribute Game Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 tribute game. Teams will be recognized before the team's game against the Buffalo Bills.

News & Blogs

Print
RSS

Breaking Down the Eagles Defense

Posted Sep 28, 2013

The Eagles defense, while allowing plenty of yardage, has stiffened in the red zone so far in 2013.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Only two teams have yielded more yardage per game than the Eagles so far this season. But 13 have allowed more offensive touchdowns per game to this point than the 2.67 they've yielded to this point.

For Eagles Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis, the key has been tight red-zone defense. Just four of 13 drives that made it at least to their 20-yard-line this season have resulted in touchdowns.

Overall the Eagles have allowed just 45 of a possible 91 points (49.5 percent) and have permitted 1.75 yards per play in the red zone. Some of the credit goes to disguising intentions; a good chunk of the remainder belongs to a secondary whose coverage inside the 20 has been outstanding.

The peak came last week against Kansas City, when the Chiefs had the potential of scoring 42 points, but came away with 19. But some of what the Eagles did in that disappointing 26-16 loss won't apply Sunday.

Take a first-quarter stand against Kansas City, in which first-and-goal at the Eagles 8 became fourth-and-goal from the 15.  On first down, the Eagles respond to the Chiefs' old-school I-formation, strong-side left package by lining up six men at the line of scrimmage -- three standing up, three in a down alignment. 

On a second-quarter red-zone stand, the Chiefs again offered I-formation looks on two plays; on the second of these, the Eagles went back to the six-men-at-the-line formation with three standing up. Alex Smith responded with a play fake, but instead of attacking Smith with six men, only three were involved with the rush; as Smith dropped back to pass, eight Philadelphia defenders were on the other side of the line of scrimmage, forcing him to settle for a dump-off that sailed wide.

Kansas City can go for similar tactical tweaks against the Broncos, but doing so against an I-formation likely won't be an option given the Broncos' lack of a true fullback; when they needed one at the goal line last week, they used defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, who has been effective at the spot -- albeit with an extremely small career sample size of 11 snaps.

But the notion of disguising intentions is how the Eagles can work around a secondary that lacks experience and star power since the departures of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Of their top three cornerbacks, only Brandon Boykin was with the team last year, and he was a rookie then (a fourth-round pick). But Boykin, Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher have been surprisingly solid; according to ProFootballFocus.com, the quarterback ratings for passes thrown in their direction are 75.2 for Williams, 66.6 for Boykin and 74.8 for Fletcher, and the trio has allowed just one touchdown.

Where the Eagles have struggled is in affecting throws. Per ProFootballFocus.com, the Eagles have forced 35 hurried throws, which is one every four pass plays. By comparison, the Broncos have 53 hurries -- one every 2.8 pass plays. If the Eagles couldn't marshal much pressure when playing two-thirds of their games to date against quarterbacks who like to extend plays, which invites more time for pass rushers to affect throws, then they will be hard-pressed to rattle Peyton Manning.

Philadelphia's defense can benefit from working against its up-tempo offense in practice -- but the Broncos have the same edge, and with the added impact of their altitudinal acclimatization. 

Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.