The Philadelphia Eagles did what they were expected to do against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 29. Yet the Eagles inspired hope that they could at least hold the Broncos under 50 points in the first quarter-and-a-half. But by the time the second half started, the inevitable set in as Denver rolled to a 52-20 win over Philadelphia, like it was effortless.
The Eagles had little in their arsenal to stop Peyton Manning, and they proved it throughout the afternoon. Philadelphia needed touchdowns to keep up with Denver, yet it settled for two field goals in early drives. Meanwhile, not only did Manning breeze to the end zone in his opening drive, the Broncos got a second touchdown without even needing Manning to take the field, thanks to a Trindon Holliday kickoff return.
Nevertheless, there was some brief hope when the Eagles closed to 14-13 early in the second. Even if the Broncos’ offense couldn’t be stopped, the Eagles could still believe that Michael Vick and company might keep up for a while. With Denver only up by 21-13 at halftime, Philadelphia needed a defensive stop to start the second half and show it would put up a fight.
Instead, the Broncos drove to the end zone in their first second half drive, then did the same in their next two drives. For good measure, they blocked a punt and returned it for another touchdown to start the fourth quarter. At that point, Manning was finally taken out after a by-the-numbers 28-for-34, four touchdown and no interception performance.
The Eagles were finally allowed to limp off, after a by-the-numbers day of yielding 52 points and 472 total yards. Under normal circumstances, this would be cause for panic and fear, but there was a sense of predictable resignation to this loss. Everyone in Philadelphia knew it was coming and everyone had about 10 days to come to terms with a 1-3 start, along with another defensive steamrolling.
Since the Eagles are still one game removed from first place and face two winless teams next, this defeat really meant nothing. In fact, Philadelphia could still be a first place club in a couple of weeks when all is said and done. The Eagles didn’t play like one in Denver, but it’s not like no one saw that coming.