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Offensive Fireworks Set to Explode when the Eagles and Broncos Collide

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Two of the season's more prolific offenses do battle on Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Denver Broncos.

No question, the 1-2 Birds have their work cut out against Peyton Manning's 3-0 Broncos.

And if the stats so far are any indication, we're in for quite a show.

Here's the breakdown:

-- Denver and Philly are first and second, respectively, in total offense through three games, with the Broncos putting up 486.7 yards and the Eagles 461.7.

-- Denver leads the league in passing offense, at 374.7 yards per game.

-- Philadelphia leads the league in rushing offense, at 209.0 yards per game.

And here's the part where something's got to give:

-- The Broncos have been the NFL's stingiest defense when it comes to the run game, allowing just 43.3 rushing yards per game.

So what gives? I'm thinking it'll be Denver's defense, at least a little bit. No way the Broncos hold league rushing leader LeSean McCoy to fewer than 50 yards. But can McCoy and the Birds fly high enough in the thin air at Mile High Stadium to pull off a huge win?

Las Vegas doesn't think so, favoring the Broncos to win by 11 or 12.

McCoy says take the points.

"Well, if I was a betting man, I'd take the Eagles," he told "I don't get wrapped up in point spreads and being the underdog; that's why you play the game. I'm sure they're preparing to win the game, we're preparing to win the game. I think it will be a good matchup. I'm excited.

"I have a lot of confidence in our offense. [The Broncos] will put points up - and I have tons of confidence in the defense - and I think we'll put points up."

For sure. But can they put up enough?

McCoy rushed for 184 yards in the opener against the Washington Redskins, and is coming off a 158-yard performance in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He says he's feeling good after injuring his right ankle against KC, and the Eagles will need him to be if they're going to put up those points.

And somehow, the defense is going to need to slow Manning. All the Denver QB has done is put together the best three-game start of his career, throwing for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions in the Broncos' three wins. His yardage and touchdown totals each lead the NFL.

If you're an Eagles fan, you gotta like McCoy's enthusiasm and confidence in his defense, but is it warranted? Philadelphia is 30th in the NFL in yards allowed per game, at 438.3.

The Birds are 29th against the pass (323.0), a stat that seems alarming -- if not downright scary -- when you consider that Manning is up next.

McCoy might be right about the spread, and I suspect we're in for some entertaining offense, if nothing else. But I see no way Philadelphia beats Denver without at least slowing down Peyton Manning.

And after three games, there's nothing to indicate that Manning will be slowed at all this season.


Adam Sparks has followed the Philadelphia Eagles since the 1980s, and has written about the team as a freelancer since 2010.

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