Some consider Peyton Manning an offensive mastermind and football genius. Some have said the same about Chip Kelly. Manning may very well appreciate the Eagles' head coach’s offensive brilliance, but the Broncos’ quarterback hasn’t had much time lately to pore over Kelly’s schemes or philosophize about his ultra-fast tempo. In a conference call Wednesday with reporters covering the Eagles, the 12-time Pro Bowl quarterback seemed to suggest that his top-ranked Denver offense, which averages 42 points per game, can’t afford to slip even the slightest against the Eagles on Sunday when the two teams square off in Denver.
“I will say Coach [John] Fox has made it clear that our defense is in for a tremendous challenge playing against an explosive offense,” he said. “And so from an offensive standpoint we have to be on our game. We have to be executing. We have to protect the ball. “Because if you’re giving Philadelphia and Michael Vick and [LeSean] McCoy short fields, if you’re not doing your job, they are capable of scoring a lot of points and a lot of points quickly. It makes for a tough day.”
Sunday’s game at Sports Authority Field pits the league’s two most explosive offenses against each other. The Eagles have the league’s second-ranked total offense (461.7 yards per game), averaging just 25 yards fewer than Denver. The oddsmakers in Vegas have set the over-under at 59, the highest for an NFL game in nine years. Manning probably isn’t very worried about his team’s ability to match the Eagles point for point.
The Broncos dropped 49 points on the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens at home in the season opener, with Manning tying an NFL record by tossing seven touchdowns. They hung 41 on the Giants in Week 2 and on Monday night put up 37 on the Raiders. Manning and the Broncos’ cast of prolific receivers have been the league’s dominant storyline for the first month of the season, but Manning downplayed the hysteria surrounding the Denver offense.
“It’s so early in the season,” he said. “It’s the way things work now, everybody makes these summary statements after one game or two games. We talk about the process. This is the beginning of the process. We’re still figuring out who we are, what we do best, what our identity is. “We’re just trying to execute the game plan every week. We’ve made some big plays. We’ve made some mistakes. And we’re we’re still trying to iron some things out. It’s gonna be a tough day Sunday, I believe.”
- Geoff Mosher, CSN Philly