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Eagles vs Broncos preview: Denver looks to build on win over Cowboys

If the Broncos are able to get the win, they’ll improve to 6-4 and in serious contention heading to their bye.

Man, that stomping of the Dallas Cowboys was fun.

But now what?

Do the Denver Broncos parlay that 30-16 win over Dallas to a home win over the Philadelphia Eagles? Or do they revert back to the team that lost four straight earlier this season?

If the Broncos are able to get the win on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High, they’ll improve to 6-4 and head into the bye week in contention to make the AFC Playoffs and the AFC West.

To the surprise of no one, DraftKings Sportsbook has Denver as the -3-point favorite. It’ll be interesting to see how much the line moves from that current number. The other popular betting play is the total. The over/under sits at 44.5. Keep in mind the over has hit just twice in Broncos games this season, for whatever it’s worth.

Offensive Rankings

Philadelphia: Seventeenth in overall offense (346.1 yards per game), tied for sixth in rushing (136.6), 28th in passing (209.6), 11th in scoring offense (25.2 points per game).

Denver: Eighteenth in overall offense (345.9 yards per game), 13th in rushing (113.2), 19th in passing (232.7), 22nd in scoring offense (20.8 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Philadelphia: Fifteenth in overall defense (355.3 yards per game), 20th in rushing defense (119.7), 12th in passing defense (235.7), 20th in scoring defense (24.2 points per game).

Denver: Sixth in overall defense (321.8 yards per game), sixth in rushing defense (98.3), eighth in passing defense (223.4), second in scoring defense (17.0 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

Keep running the ball

Broncos Country has wanted to see Javonte Williams get more carries, and the rookie delivered against the Cowboys. On 17 carries, Pookie got 111 yards rushing, good enough for 6.5 yards per rush. Williams is so much fun to watch and brings angry running to this offense. Keep feeding him. Heck, keep feeding Melvin Gordon. As long as the offensive line run blocks as it did in Dallas, that’s how Denver keeps winning games. — Ian St. Clair

Pat Shurmur to continue to wing it on game day

Williams noted that they had no “legit plan” going into the game against the Cowboys, which means Shumur called the game based on what was working in the game. Shurmur has always been a pretty good play designer, but he has been a shit play caller and maybe that was due to his scripting of the game in the week leading up to the game. It would be amazing if his change to winging it on game day turns out to be a massive improvement in offensive play calling during games. It’s one game, though, so I have to see more of it this week against the Eagles. — Tim Lynch

Keep playing angry

The Broncos need to keep playing angry (or inspired or motivated or whatever they would call it). Last week was the first time I saw a football team actually play like it had the proverbial “chip on the shoulder” - like it finally was mad enough about its own poor performance to do something about it. To “prove” to the naysayers (who were not without much justification for their doubt) that it could play good football. Do. That. Every. Game. — Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

The Jerry Jeudy impact

The Broncos converted 46.67 percent of their third-down tries in Week 1. Then Jeudy got hurt and, despite winning in Weeks 2 and 3, Denver’s third-down conversion rate plummeted to 18.18 and 30.77 percent in those games. In fact, the Broncos averaged just a 28.77 percent conversion rate in Weeks 2 through 7 without Jeudy on the field. Then Jeudy returned and the offense converted 7 of 13 third-down attempts in Week 8 vs WFT and 8 of 15 third-down attempts in Week 9 against Dallas for a combined 53.57 percent conversion rate. Now: Correlation doesn’t equal causality, and it’s true that the team was trending up with conversion rates of 35.71 and 45.45 percent against the Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns. But a guy with Jeudy’s separation skills can and should draw the defense’s focus. So, despite what Vic Fangio told the media a couple of weeks ago, I think it’s pretty clear that Jeudy’s presence on the field changes the game for the offense. Until or unless that’s proven not to be the case, I’d like to see Shurmur find ways to maximize Jeudy’s role and impact, both when the ball is coming his way and when it isn’t. — Taylor Kothe

Turnovers

Win the turnover battle, win the game. — Adam Malnati

What are your keys to Sunday’s game?