Coach Fox: “What’s better than 3-0?
Bronco players: 4-0!
If only Winners get Wings, the Philadelphia Eagles were completely plucked. The Denver Broncos scored a franchise record 52 points on the way to burning the Birds from the city of Brotherly Love. 52-20 is what the final score says, but this game was pretty much over when Trindon Holliday matched his own record 105-yard Kick return for a Touchdown with less than 6 minutes remaining in the first frame. That took the wind out of Philly’s wings. But Steven Johnson made an outstanding play near the start of the 4th Quarter that broke their back. S.J. blocked Donnie Jones’ punt, recovered it and ran it in from the 17 for a second Special Teams Touchdown.
Peyton Manning will end up with a third (extending another of his records) AFC Player of the Week. He broke an NFL record with his 24th career game with at least 4 TD passes.
Manning’s 16 TD passes are the most in the first month of a season, besting the previous mark of 14 set by Don Meredith in 1966 and tied by Kurt Warner in 1999. Milt Plum (1960) is the only other Quarterback to throw that many touchdown passes without an Interception in league history.
In his first 20 games with the Broncos, Manning has 6,129 yards and 53 touchdowns. Those marks are the most by a player in his first 20 games with a team. The Broncos have won 15 consecutive regular-season games and each by at least seven points. That is the second-longest streak in NFL history trailing only the 1941-42 Chicago Bears (16 games).
8 different players caught at least one pass from Peyton Manning. Demaryius Thomas was targeted the most (10 times) and caught 9 of them for 86 yards and two scores. Wes Welker made 7 catches for 76 yards and two TD’s on 9 targets. Peyton threw away one pass and had a pass dropped, so he was only off target 4 times. I can live with that. I find it hard not to split the Game Ball between Demaryius and Welker.
Orlando Franklin graded out as the best player on Offense. Yes, even higher than Peyton. In 41 pass blocking situations, he allowed 1 Hurry. Chris Clark was the 2nd highest rated Linemen and kept Manning clean throughout the day. Louis Vasquez also did well and along with Franklin, really stood out with their Run Blocking. Center Manny Ramirez allowed the lone Sack given up by the Line, but other than that, he was steady and consistent. Zane Beadles had a rough day, allowing 3 Hurries and grading out poorly in both facets. Still, overall it was Mission Accomplished. The Broncos won, they ran for a 4.3 yard average with a Touchdown and Peyton was only dropped once.
The Denver Defense did rather well despite allowing 20 points. Philly’s weapons were limited. DeSean Jackson was held to 2 catches for 34 yards despite being targeted 6 times. Sure the Eagles ran the ball and even had some success. They are the No. 1 ranked rushing Offense in the league, so it was expected. However, the Broncos have yet to allow a 100 yard rusher through the first month. LeSean McCoy had 73 yards on 17 carries (4.6 avg) and Mike Vick ran 8 times for 41 yards. Philadelphia got a TD on the ground on Chris Polk’s 4 yard run in the 2nd Quarter. Overall, the Eagles rushed for 166 yards and a 4.7 yard average.
Starting with the guys up front, Shaun Phillips (4 TKL, 1 SK, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 2 Hu) had the highest overall grade Defensively, followed very closely by Robert Ayers and Mitch Unrein (1 TKL, 1 QBH, 2 Hu). Michael Vick attempted 27 passes and the Broncos disrupted him on 25 of those drop backs with 22 Hurries, 3 Sacks and 4 Hits. Five different guys tallied three Hurries, LB Wesley Woodyard and 4 Linemen. Malik Jackson (3 Hur), Derek Wolfe (2 TKL, 1 SK, 1 QBHit, 1 Hu, 1 TFL), Terrance Knighton (1 TKL, 1 QBH, 3 Hu), Robert Ayers (5 TKL, .5 SK, 1 QBH, 3 Hu)
Because of the effectiveness of the big men up front, namely Knoghton and Vickerson, the Linebackers could run around and make Tackles. Danny Trevathan led the Defense with 10 Tackles, 1 TFL and 1 PBU. Wesley Woodyard made 8 stops, a half Sack, 1 QBH and 3 Hurries.
Safeties Duke Ihenacho (9 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 Hu) and Rahim Moore (7 TKL, 1 Hu) had busy days, but Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie broke up two passes and only allowed 2 catches in 5 Targets. Of those two receptions, DRC allowed 7 yards after the catch. Tony Carter was the guy the Eagles picked on, throwing 6 passes his way. Carter allowed 5 of them to be caught, including the Touchdown pass to WR Jeff Maehl with 4:35 left in the game (garbage time in prevent Defense). I’m going to continue doubling up and split the Game Ball between Shaun Phillips and Robert Ayers, simply because they are the pass rush in the absence of Miller and Doom.
What else is there to say but, 14 points by the third Unit? Trindon Holliday tied his own record with a 105-yard Kickoff return and Steven Johnson not only blocks a Punt, but has the presence to pick it up and run it in for the score as well. Needless to say, they both get a Game Ball, but lets look at the rest of the squad.
Matt Prater was money yesterday. 7 for 7 on Extra Points, nailed his only Field Goal Attempt, a 53 yarder and booted 8 of 9 Kickoffs out of the End Zone. Damaris Johnson returned his lone attempt out to the 26 yard line before Steven Johnson made the stop.
Britton Colquitt punted twice, both in the 1st half. The first was a 60-yarder that Damaris Johnson returned 21 yards before Long Snapper Aaron Brewer made the Tackle. The second was a 32-yarder that was Fair Caught at the 11 with 18 seconds left before Halftime.
This was a great win, but next week will be a bit more challenging; a trip to Jerry’s house in Dallas.
– Kaptain Kirk