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oubronco
12-22-2009, 08:14 AM
Eagles sure to look for passing lane against Broncos
By Jeff Legwold
The Denver Post

Posted: 12/22/2009 01:00:00 AM MST


If veteran cornerback Ty Law, who missed the Oakland game Sunday because of a hamstring injury, can't play this weekend in Philadelphia, the Broncos will need to adjust their passing-down packages.

Without Law, the Broncos would have an undrafted rookie (Tony Carter) and another rookie (second-round pick Alphonso Smith) as the cornerbacks in their nickel (five defensive backs) and dime (six defensive backs) packages.

And with the Eagles ranking 11th in the 32-team NFL in pass attempts, and with coach Andy Reid's ability to find matchups he likes in the passing game, the Broncos can expect to be spread out on defense.

The Raiders' game-winning drive Sunday covered 62 yards against Denver's nickel package. The Raiders scored with 35 seconds left, winning 20-19, when wide receiver Chaz Schilens got loose against Smith, who was in the game because Carter was on the sideline with muscle cramps. The Raiders used three quarterbacks Sunday and have a passing game ranked 31st in the league.

The Broncos are battered in the secondary. Renaldo Hill, a safety, is hurting, and star cornerback Champ Bailey, who suffered a stinger Sunday, is expected to receive treatment this week as well.

Much like the Chargers and Colts, the Eagles can threaten a defense at three levels of coverage. With playmaker DeSean Jackson, the Eagles can push the envelope deep, both from the slot and to the sideline. They have one of the best receiving tight ends in the league, Brent Celek, and also are proficient throwing the ball to their running backs.

That versatility is difficult to stop especially when a veteran quarterback such as the Eagles' Donovan McNabb knows that if the defense drops into zone coverage to take away big plays, he can dump it down to Celek and his backs to get first down after first down.

McNabb also can hurt a defense that blitzes him by running out of trouble.

Which is why the Eagles are one of just seven NFL teams averaging 5.9 yards per play and why the Broncos can expect their passing-down packages to get tested this weekend.

Jeff Legwold: 303-954-2359 or jlegwold@denverpost.com

http://www.denverpost.com/premium/broncos/ci_14044355#ixzz0aQl6AvFd



McNabb and their passing game is what has me worried the most when they are clicking on all cylinders they put alot of points on the board. But they haven't faced our Defense yet