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Old 12-23-2009, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default Eagles' big plays present big problems for Broncos

Eagles' big plays present big problems for Broncos
By Jeff Legwold
The Denver Post
Posted: 12/23/2009 01:00:00 AM MST


Forgive Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan if he has to move his chair back when he pops in the video of the Philadelphia offense.

The Eagles are so hot, they almost throw sparks when they have the ball.

"They're tough to beat," said Nolan, whose Broncos (8-6) play the Eagles (10-4) on Sunday. "They've always been explosive."

With wide receiver DeSean Jackson leading the way, the Eagles have 61 plays of at least 20 yards this season seven runs and 54 passes a total that includes 13 touchdown plays of at least 20 yards.

The Eagles' variety on offense is what presents the biggest challenge. They have three players with a run of at least 40 yards this season and seven players with a reception of at least 40 yards. That's with quarterback Donovan McNabb missing two starts and running back Brian Westbrook missing eight games because of injuries.

With the playmaking Jackson as the centerpiece, the Eagles have more pop on the outside than they have had almost at any point in Andy Reid's tenure as their coach. Since the start of 2001, Reid's third season, the Eagles have not had a wide receiver finish among the league's top 10 in receiving yards. Jackson ranks 10th with 1,087 yards.

"It's a credit to Andy and the job he does," Nolan said. "The players come and go . . . and he continues to perform at a high level offensively."

Knowledge no power.

With quarterback Charlie Frye, who had yet to take a snap this season, starting for Oakland last weekend in Denver, the Broncos knew the Raiders would try to pound the ball on the ground. That can't-miss ex- pectation was the most disappointing thing to Denver about the Raiders' 241 yards rushing in their 20-19 victory.

"We just didn't step up to that challenge," Broncos defensive end Vonnie Holliday said. "We knew it was coming, and we didn't stop it."

New wrinkle.

The Broncos are preparing for the return of Westbrook in the Eagles' offense. He hasn't played since Nov. 15, when the running back suffered his second concussion of the season.

Westbrook has missed eight games in all since suffering his initial concussion against the Redskins in October. The Eagles are 7-1 in those games, but his return would give them a quality receiver out of the backfield.

"And if they do (get him back), he's an outstanding player," Nolan said.

Rookie running back LeSean McCoy will still be the Eagles' primary ball carrier.

Footnotes.

The Broncos rank 17th in the 32-team NFL in yards gained on offense and 20th in scoring. Their run defense ranks 21st. . . . The Broncos did their Pro Bowl voting last weekend. The Pro Bowl teams are expected to be announced Tuesday.

Jeff Legwold, The Denver Post

http://www.denverpost.com/premium/br...#ixzz0aWSay2FS


They are playing really good right now and we better be on top of our game or this could get ugly
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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With wide receiver DeSean Jackson leading the way, the Eagles have 61 plays of at least 20 yards this season — seven runs and 54 passes — a total that includes 13 touchdown plays of at least 20 yards.


Wow we only wish our offense was this explosive

With all the playmakers we have we should be, I hope McD opens up the offense
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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We have no one that throws a deep ball close to what McNabb does and thier offensive line is way ahead of what we have. Also I think the are alot faster than we are at the skill positions.

The Eagles offer us a very difficult challenge this weekend, If we are able to pull off a victory most here on the mane will be suprised. Do you remember that last time Vick play in Denver on Halloween day.... he flat out killed us running the ball.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:51 AM   #4
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We have no one that throws a deep ball close to what McNabb does and thier offensive line is way ahead of what we have. Also I think the are alot faster than we are at the skill positions.

The Eagles offer us a very difficult challenge this weekend, If we are able to pull off a victory most here on the mane will be suprised. Do you remember that last time Vick play in Denver on Halloween day.... he flat out killed us running the ball.
I dunno, have you seen how open the Eagles receivers have been on those long plays? I honestly don't think the QB would matter much at this point.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:55 AM   #5
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I dunno, have you seen how open the Eagles receivers have been on those long plays? I honestly don't think the QB would matter much at this point.
their playcalling sets up those wide open recievers
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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their playcalling sets up those wide open recievers
That may be part of it. Their offensive line is playing ridiculous in pass protection as well. A lot of the long routes that Jackson has been running actually come from the opposite side of the field, they take a looooong time to develop. Of all the teams I've watched this season, Mcnabb has had the best protection.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:24 PM   #7
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So how do you think Nolan will defense their aerial attack
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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If Andy Reid gets pass happy as he is prone to do, the Broncos might be able to pin their ears back.

If they have to honor the run, it could be a long day for the defense.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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So how do you think Nolan will defense their aerial attack
If I were Nolan, I would

1. stop their run game to make them one-dimensional - which could work since they will want to knock the rust off of Westbrook
2. bracket Desean Jackson or just run cover two in passing downs to take away the big plays
3. create pressure up the middle away from their talented tackles and TEs
4. hope and prey McNabb is throwing everything five yards short in the dirt.

Honestly, the Eagles are like the Chargers of the NFC, there obvious talent really shows up in the last quarter of the season because they can exploit matchups so well. There is not much you can do to stop them. If you blitz them all day, they will run screens. If you don't bring pressure, they will pick you apart. If you play man to man they exploit you with their speed. Best we can do is stop the run and confuse McNabb presnap with creativity.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:41 PM   #10
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So how do you think Nolan will defense their aerial attack
Wish I was smart enough to know. Denver is such an enigma this season, on both sides of the ball. It wouldn't surprise me to see a similar defense to what Nolan used against Indy. My personal worry is that Denver has gotten pretty soft in the middle of the secondary. Dawkins is a warrior, but he loses a lot when you get him running downfiled in coverage. Reid knows this, and I expect them to attack the middle of the field a lot. Personally I'd like to see Barrett as the deep man instead of bruton this week. That or at least put him on the TE instead of Woodyard.

I just hope this is one of the good weeks for the defense. 250 yards rushing can't happen, and a 21 point hole before making a stop can't either.
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