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Next Day Notebook: vs. Eagles

Posted Sep 30, 2013

The Broncos are taking things one game at a time, newcomers Wes Welker and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are making an impact.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Yes, the Broncos are off to a blistering start to the season. They’re 4-0. They’re averaging a league-best 44.8 points per game. They’re moving the ball 483.0 yards per game – also the best mark in the league.

The closest game the Broncos have so far in 2013 was a 16-point win against the Raiders in Week 3.

But the Broncos aren’t looking backwards at those wins and they certainly aren’t settling for the success they’ve already had.

“The recaps don’t mean a whole lot,” quarterback Peyton Manning said after the Broncos 52-20 win Sunday against the Eagles.  “It was a good win because it was this game and we’ll learn from it and we have a tough test next week playing a team – like I said – that we’re unfamiliar with, that is a good football team, that is tough to play at home. I think we’ll enjoy this win and we’ll learn from it, but you have to move on to the next week pretty quickly.”

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said after the game that, especially when games aren’t close on the scoreboard, it can be difficult to keep an even keel. But he credited Head Coach John Fox for keeping the team focused.

In his postgame remarks, Fox shared his perspective on the team’s work so far this season.

“We’re a quarter into it,” Fox said. “I’m one of those guys who would rather understate, overproduce. We are not anywhere near done with our body of work. We are one quarter into it. I’m pleased with where we are. Truth be told, you can’t be better than 4-0 after four games. We’ll just try to continue to prepare and do the things necessary to get ready for each week, including Dallas this week.”

Winning With Welker

Wide receiver Wes Welker, in his first season with the Broncos, is currently leading the NFL with six touchdown catches. He’s hauled in at least one scoring grab in each of the Broncos’ first four games.

For the second time this season, Welker had two touchdown catches in Sunday’s game. He also had a pair of touchdowns in the season opener against the Ravens.

“Well, he’s extremely difficult to cover,” Manning said. “I think (Offensive Coordinator) Adam (Gase) is doing a great job using him in different ways. We get the screens to him, we’ve got the quick stuff to him. We put him in the backfield today – that was something we haven’t shown before. It’s a credit to him that he has that type of versatility. You can do different things with him. He does a good job getting north as well, and getting that ball in his hands and going upfield.”

Many of the 26 catches Welker has made this season have been with plenty of space around him – something he attributes to execution and “Peyton putting it on the money.” Whatever the reason, it’s allowed him to rack up an average of more than 10 yards per catch.

And production like that is hard not to enjoy.

“Yeah, that’s what it’s all about,” Welker said of having fun on the field. “Going out there and having fun and having a determination about you. Our offense has done that so far and still there’s things that we can work on and improve on. That’s what practice is for and everything else. It’s just staying on top of it all.”

Rodgers-Cromartie's Reunion

Last season, and the season before, Rodgers-Cromartie was a Philadelphia Eagle. Each day in practice he lined up against some of the same receivers he lined up across from in Sunday’s win – particularly DeSean Jackson.

“It was one that I was looking forward to," he said of his matchup with Jackson. “Just going against him a lot last year knowing anytime he gets the ball in his hands he can do some explosive things, but for the most part our D-line got out there today.”

Rodgers-Cromartie said he didn’t get a chance to talk to Jackson after the game because Jackson went directly into the locker room.

Jackson was held to just two catches for 34 yards in the game, one of which was a 20-yard completion that Rodgers-Cromartie defended and thought he had forced an incompletion. The play was challenged but the ruling of a catch was upheld.

Rodgers-Cromartie finished the game with two passes defensed – giving him five for the year – and a pair of tackles.

While playing against former teammates can be emotional, Rodgers-Cromartie was focused on his new team and continuing the Broncos’ success.

“It was kind of sad because I’ve got some real close friends over there, but at the same time I’m glad to be a part of this organization and where the things (are) going so far,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “I’m just happy.”

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