DENVER - The Denver Broncos are coming off of a short week as they beat the Oakland Raiders on Monday night. The Broncos welcome in the high-flying offense of the Philadelphia Eagles. With a win, the Broncos could set a franchise record for consecutive regular-season wins at 15 games. With that in mind, take a look at five other matchups to watch for in Sunday’s non-conference game.
1. Peyton Manning against the Eagles secondary
Peyton Manning has thrown a league record 12 touchdown passes after the first three games. He will face an Eagles secondary that is ranked 29th, giving up 323 yards per game. The pressure will fall on Eagles rookie safety Earl Wolff who is expected to start in place of veteran Patrick Chung, who injured his shoulder in the last game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
2. Eagles Trent Cole versus Broncos Chris Clark
Trent Cole is one of the Eagles main pass rushers. Cole has amassed 71 career sacks in his nine years with the Eagles. Cole has cooled off recently only recording three sacks last season. Even though Cole hasn’t recorded a sack on the season, it’s important that Broncos tackle Chris Clark keeps the dangerous pass rusher away from Peyton Manning. The Eagles have nine sacks on the season.
3. NFL leading rusher LaSean McCoy against the Broncos No.1 rush defense
The game headline may be the aerial attacks from Eagles coach Chip Kelly and Broncos Peyton Manning, but the spotlight will be in the trenches. McCoy leads the league in rushing with 395 and the Broncos defense has only given up 43 yards per game.
4. Eagles DeSean Jackson’s matchup with former teammate Broncos Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
The two former teammates will meet on Sunday. With the unknown status of Champ Bailey, the assignment of covering Jackson will fall on Cromartie. Jackson is the Eagles most dangerous receiver, blessed with a combination of speed and soft hands. Look for the Eagles to try to get the ball in Jackson’s hands early and often in the no-huddle offense.
5. Turnover troubles for Michael Vick
There is a saying that when you turn over the ball, you’ll lose. Since being named the Eagles starting quarterback in 2010, Vick has a 9-13 record when he has thrown an interception. The Broncos will try to keep the dual threat quarterback in the pocket and force him to beat them with his arm.