TheMMQB.com’s Peter King chimes in with his thoughts:
No quarterback’s ever been this sharp in a three-game stretch to start a season. Quarterback rating: 134.7. Quarterback ratings of Manning’s seasons in his 30s: 101.0, 98.0, 95.0, 99.9, 91.9, 105.8. In other words, he’s playing well. The Eagles fly to Denver to try to derail Manning. I don’t like their chances.
And here’s Andy Benoit:
Something both offenses share—besides an appetite for fast tempo—is an expansive wide receiver screen game. The Eagles are reliant on it. We saw that when they lost a lot of rhythm last Thursday as Kansas City’s press corners took away the screens. The Broncos use their screens more as an additional “Gotcha!” weapon. So far, no one has taken them away.
Greg A. Bedard takes a closer look at tempo:
Here’s a stat that may only interest me, but I like it: average time per play on offense. The five fastest teams: Bills (21.22 seconds), Eagles (22.12), Browns (24.33), Packers (25.06), Broncos (25.15). Slowest five: Cowboys (31.40), Raiders (30.35), Chargers (30.13), Seahawks (30.10), Falcons (30.5). The Patriots led the league last season at 24.44. Now they’re 10th (25.48). The Saints, without Sean Payton, were second (25.44). With the general back, the Saints are 25th (29.31). Don’t really know what that means. I just find it interesting.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com predicts a 37-17 Broncos victory:
Two major issues exist for the Eagles in this game:
1) They aren’t good enough on offense.
2) They aren’t good enough on defense.
At least they make up for that by screwing up on special teams.
Oh, you want “real” analysis? How’s this: Speeding up the tempo will prove difficult in Denver, while the secondary will be completely overmatched by the Broncos’ passing attack. The thing Philadelphia needs the most is for its quarterback to protect the football, thus keeping the NFL’s top-ranked offense (topping 20 major and sub categories) from getting short fields. No, Nick Foles is not starting.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com predicts a 37-27 Broncos victory:
Five years from now, we’ll all look back at some of the headlines, beautiful things written, and insane stuff said by talking heads following the Eagles’ performance Week 1 and we’ll be amazed. Chip Kelly hasn’t quite reinvented the game of football, now, has he? Peyton Manning on the other hand? Well, we’re watching history every week with this Denver team.
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com weighs in with his thoughts:
The numbers are starting to pile up and they are impressive. The Broncos average 42.3 points a game, 487 yards of offense a game and 375 yard passing a game. And Peyton Manning is on a record pace with 12 TD passes in the three wins. Here come the Eagles, who were supposed to change the way pro football is played on offense. They may get a big lesson in how NFL offense is really played.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com predicts a 35-23 Broncos victory:
This has the makings of a big-time shootout. The Eagles will have 10 days between games, and the Broncos are playing on a short week. Does that matter? Not here. Denver’s offense will do what it wants when it wants. The Eagles can’t keep up. In the Up-tempo Bowl, the Broncos get the best of it.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com predicts a 33-27 Broncos win:
At 58 points, Philly-Denver predictably has the highest over-under of Week 4 and any game to date this year. The Broncos and Eagles rank Nos. 1 and 2 in offense, respectively, and Philly’s sieve-ish defense doesn’t hurt the scoring projections on either side.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has Denver in a 42-27 victory:
Chip Kelly returns to Colorado to play someone other than the local college team. He’ll end up feeling like he’s been trampled by actual buffaloes after Peyton Manning puts up the kind of points that even an offense playing against air would have a hard time matching.
All 13 ESPN.com experts pick the Broncos.