Eagles at Broncos: Five matchups to watch

In Week 10, the Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Denver Broncos in the Birds’ fourth and final game against AFC West. Here are our five matches to watch.

1) Eagles’ defense vs. ’80 Percent Club ‘

In nine games this season, the Eagles have allowed five quarterbacks to complete at least 80 percent of their passes. They were, in chronological order, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Derek Carr and Justin Herbert.

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It’s a pretty good group of quarterbacks. At least two are future Hall of Famers, and one or two more may join them. A look at their numbers against the Eagles:

Player Comp-Att (Comp%) Yards (YPA) TD-INT QB rating
Dak Prescott 21-26 (80.8%) 238 (9.2) 3-0 143.3
Patrick mahomes 24-30 (80.0%) 278 (9.3) 5-1 131.0
Tom Brady 34-42 (81.0%) 297 (7.1) 2-1 102.1
Derek Carr 31-34 (91.2%) 323 (9.5) 2-1 113.6
Justin Herbert 32-38 (84.2%) 356 (9.4) 2-0 123.2
TOTAL 142-170 (83.5%) 1492 (8.8) 14-3 123.3

The Broncos’ Teddy Bridgewater is not as good as any of the five quarterbacks, but he completes a high percentage of passes. In 2021, he completed 70.2 percent of his passes, which is no luck, as he completed 69.1 percent of his passes in 2020 and 67.9 percent of his passes in 2019, all with different teams.

Since 2019, Bridgewater has the highest completion rate in the NFL (minimum 300 passing attempts) among active quarterbacks.

So he thinks and thumps enough, right? Eh, not really. He has an average of 8.7 “intended airyards” per. throughput, which is the ninth highest average in the NFL, according to NFL NextGen statistics.

So why is he completing passes at such a high a cut? Well, he sticks to the ball for a long time, which gives his receivers more time to open up, but it also makes him take on a lot of negative games. On average, Bridgewater gets the ball out of snap to throw of 2.92 seconds, which is the seventh-slowest time in the NFL. Bridgewater has taken 26 sacks this season, third most in the NFL.

Against a quarterback with such a high completion rate, the quick-twitch analysis might be saying, “The Eagles would rather not play soft again on Sunday.” And while that may be true just generally speaking, the Broncos’ two best receivers – Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick – are averaging 14.3 and 15.0 yards per carry, respectively. They are able to win on games down the field.

2) So who is going to party?

Because Bridgewater has taken 26 sacks this season, the Eagles’ defensive line should take advantage, right? Last Sunday, they faced a Chargers offensive line with major problems on the right side of the line, and the D line did not produce a single QB hit, much less a sack.

They will face an offensive line from Denver that has three major injuries to monitor:

  1. LT Garett Bolles missed the Broncos’ Week 9 game against the Cowboys with a high ankle sprain. His status for this Sunday is unknown. Calvin Anderson started in LT against Dallas.
  2. RG Graham Glasgow is finished for the season with a broken ankle. Senior Bowl darling Quinn Meinerz is likely to fill in.
  3. RT Bobby Massie injured his ankle Sunday against Dallas, and Cameron Fleming filled in.

A snapshot of the Denver line:

LT LG C RG RT
Garett Bolles or Calvin Anderson Dalton Risner Lloyd Cushenberry Quinn Meinerz Bobby Massie or Cameron Fleming

Bolles is really the only above average starter on this list. In other words, it is an already bad line that has now also been beaten up.

In my opinion, the Eagles’ defensive line should try to hit Bridgewater more than zero times on Sunday. #Analysis.

3) The Eagles ‘commitment to the race versus the Broncos’ running defense

Over the past three weeks, the Eagles have faced a trio of defenses that give up a whole lot of rushing yards:

Opponent Urgent yards allowed per. game NFL rank
Raiders 133.5 28
Lions 134.5 29
Chargers 161.6 32

In honor of the Eagles, they ran the ball against all three of those teams and were effective, at least against the Lions and Chargers. This Sunday, they will face a Broncos defense that allows 98.3 rushing yards per game, which is the sixth-best in the NFL.

I’m just curious to see if it was matchup-based, or if the Eagles’ staff came to the realization that Jalen Hurts is not an ideal quarterback to lead a pass-happy offensive, and their staff is better suited to to run. early and often.

If they commit to the run-up to Denver, then the Eagles might try to establish it as their offensive identity, even if it’s only for the rest of this season.

4) Dallas Goedert vs. Broncos’ linebackers

The Broncos’ two leading tackles of the 2020 season were Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell, who are both on injured reserve. Justin Strnad, who has started five games in their absence, went on the COVID list on Tuesday. They are thin for linebackers.

The Broncos’ starting lineup is currently Kenny Young, who is on his third team since joining the league in 2018, and Baron Browning, a newly selected third round.

The Eagles should look to attack them with Goedert, especially if the running game is effective and they can get a positive look in the passing game via game action etc.

5) Eagles’ special team vs. The Broncos’ shocking special team

The Broncos are number 29 in the Football Outsiders’ special team DVOA rankings. 34 of their 45 kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks, but when teams return kickoffs against them, they have gotten some big returns. The Broncos allow a league-worst 35.7 yards per carry. return, including four returns of at least 35 yards.

  1. CJ Board, Giants: 38 yards
  2. Jamal Agnew, Jaguars: 102 yards, TD
  3. Tony Pollard, Cowboys: 54 yards
  4. Tony Pollard, Cowboys: 35 yards

In general, when the ball is kicked into the goal zone, the Eagles are probably best served by just taking the ball at 25. But if there is a match where they might need to be more aggressive, then it is against this team.

The Broncos also blocked a point against the Cowboys last Sunday, but were able to retain possession of the ball on an odd game where a player on the Cowboys’ return team touched the ball past the line so it worked the same way a subdued punt would.

If you remember, the Eagles won a game earlier in the season in Carolina in large part due to a punt block. They could use a large special team to play in this match.


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