By Rick Brown
The Denver Broncos (3-5) were looking to put an end to their three-game losing streak when they traveled to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, but were unable to stop the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles (8-1). The team remains winless away from Denver, as the 51-23 loss to the Eagles marks the Broncos’ fourth road loss this season.
Denver’s new starting QB, Brock Osweiler, and the Broncos offense could not stop the Eagles defense from forcing two turnovers. To make matters worse, the Broncos defense finally ran out of steam in Week 9. Unable to continue the high level of play they’ve been exhibiting all season, Denver’s defense gave up 51 points to Philadelphia, as the Eagles demonstrated to the rest of the NFL why they’re the best team in the league.
On Offense: F
The Broncos offense did not receive a boost with Osweiler starting at quarterback, as the 26-year-old threw two picks during his first start of the season.
The Broncos offense continued to be ineffective and the team only put up 6 points in the first half. Throughout the rest of the game, Osweiler did not do enough to connect with his wide receivers. While the QB was able to complete some passes Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, he was unable to properly place the ball. There were also a couple of underthrown passes that had the opportunity to be turned into possible points. Thomas and Osweiler were able to connect for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but far after the outcome of the game had been decided.
On Defense: F
After playing really well the past few weeks, the Broncos defense finally broke. A first quarter interception from Osweiler put the the Broncos defense in a bad spot; the Eagles got off to a fast start and scored a touchdown. It did not stop there, as the Eagles were able to score 17 points in the first quarter. Things only got worse as the the Broncos defense gave up a rushing touchdown to Jay Ajayi. A mid-season trade brought Ajayi to the Eagles and most people were expecting a light load, but Ajayi was able to go for 77 yards on Sunday. Overall, the team rushed for 198 yards and was in complete control throughout the game.
On Special Teams: B-
Even during a complete blowout, the Broncos special teams was able to perform well. Denver kicker Brandon McManus was able to convert on all three of his field goal attempts. Punter Riley Dixon had a busy afternoon, punting the ball six times throughout the game. Dixon did a good job of helping to flip the field for the Broncos, as he averaged 50.3 yards per punt with a long of 55 yards.
The Broncos got off to a slow start as the defense allowed 17 points in the first quarter. Denver has not performed well in the first half of the last several games, but each week the coaching staff seems shell shocked. With the change at quarterback, it’s a shame that the Broncos offense was unable to score any touchdowns through the first half. The coaching staff seems to be unable to adapt to football situations when the team is consistently experiencing the same scenario over and over. The Broncos were unable to get into the end zone through three quarters and the defense was unable to stop the Eagles. There are a lot more problems happening on this Broncos team than just a bad quarterback and a bad offensive line. Things are not going to be get better any time soon.
The Broncos travel home to play the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (6-2) on Sunday, Nov. 12. This looks to be another blowout as the Broncos continue to struggle on offense. Denver’s defense finally caved in against a good offense this week against the Eagles, so look for the Patriots to be able to put up a lot of points.