Good morning, Broncos Country!
There’s a great scene in Silver Linings Playbook where Robert DeNiro’s character (Pat Solitano Sr.) - a diehard Philadelphia sports fan - blames Jennifer Lawrence’s character (Tiffany) for coming into his son’s life and jinxing the Eagles, specifically blaming her for their loss that day to the hated New York Giants.
“You think I f*&%$# up all the Eagles juju, don’t you? You think I am the reason why today happened?”
In her defense, Tiffany spews out a long list of recent scores, proving that on the days she was with Pat Jr., the Eagles and Phillies had in fact won.
She finishes with a mic-dropping, “I did my research.”
No one but the Broncos f*&%$# up all their juju yesterday, and there was no doubt which team did their research before yesterday’s pathetic excuse for a game.
(hint: it wasn’t the Broncos).
Because all the Broncos coaches could express after the game was surprise that their “really good week of practice” and “great game plan” didn’t translate to a win while players promised once again to “watch the film, learn from it and not make the same mistakes.”
Except that they did make the same mistakes. And a few more.
14 penalties for 105 yards.
197 yards rushing, 234 yards passing and 51 points against what used to be the NFL’s best defense.
Nearly 100 yards and 1 TD given up to the Eagles’ tight ends.
“Yeah, it was all part of our game plan,” Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson said about their reliance on the tight end, an Achilles Heel for the Broncos defense. “[Tight ends coach] Justin Peelle does a great job of getting them ready to play. We had to make some last-second adjustments prior to the game, but you know what, as coaches, that’s what our job is, to make those adjustments. Guys were ready to play and did a nice job.”
Pederson also recalled the 32-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Alshon Jeffery midway through the first quarter and noted that it’s “just a play...a Day-One-Training-Camp, Day-One-OTA play” for his young QB.
That was some play.
.@Eagles @cj_wentz @TheWorldof_AJ put the great #VonMiller and #AqibTalib in a box on this play action fake #BaldyBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/m7kOtJ85GZ— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 6, 2017
“It’s just a one-step hitch-and-go, and we got 21 [Aqib Talib] to bite on the play,” Pederson said after the game. “Did a great job throwing the ball on the run and Alshon getting in the end zone. ...It was one of the plays that we had worked on all week. Just kind of dusted it off and worked on it all week and executed it to perfection.”
Shifting the spotlight, quarterback Carson Wentz was quick to give credit to the offensive play-calling as a major advantage for the Eagles’ success yesterday.
“You nailed it – [Pederson] keeps them off-balance,” Wentz said of the diversity in the playbook. “With the nakeds that we do, the sprint-outs, the drop-backs, the quick game – we have a bunch of different running sets and everything as well. We did some unbalanced [sets] today. We just mix it up so well. Being able to mix it up well like that - and I talked about spreading the love the way we do - it makes us really tough to defend.”
Wentz, who threw 97 touchdown passes on Sunday (ok, just four), didn’t completely reveal to reporters that the Eagles’ offense knew the Broncos’ defensive scheme, but he might as well have.
“I think we felt really confident in our plan, and then the looks that they were showing us. We study the tape every week; you dive into it,” Wentz said. “With some of the blitz pickups today, we felt really confident, and it worked out. We had a great plan and executed it well.”
Chris Harris Jr. even noted this phenomenon to CBS reporter Sean Wagner-McGough.
"They knew everything that we were going to be doing [on defense]," Harris said. "They had a great game plan. Carson Wentz is a great quarterback. It seemed like the Chiefs' offense. They just executed a lot better. We played a great offense. It's the best offense we've seen."
Jeffery caught six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns, and he believes the Eagles’ offense really rose to the challenge this week of going up against the NFL’s best.
“We got guys on our team [who are so competitive] that we feel like practice should be the games,” Jeffery said. “And not to take away, [Broncos] have a great pass rush – like Von and Talib and Chris Harris and those guys in the secondary – but at the same time, we take pride. We’ll step up to those times with competition as well.”
Von Miller was certainly impressed.
“They were just connecting on everything. Thirds downs, running the ball, everything,” the pass rusher noted. “We didn’t play well at all, period, tonight. Fifty-one points is tough. I don’t feel like anybody quit or gave up on the game...it’s just really tough when nothing is going your way.”
But even Miller sounded like he was trying to convince himself of the positive outlook for the remainder of the season more than anyone else in the press room.
“Right now today, we’re not a good football team. The positive thing about it is we still have time. We still have time to be great,” he said. “We’re not a great football team right now, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a great football team within us. We have all the pieces in place from top down. But today, we’re not a good football team. Offensively, defensively, special teams, whatever - we’re just not good right now.”
Time is running out though, and the Broncos would do well to comprehend how one team actually did have a great game plan before Sunday while one team just talked about it all week.
“We gotta go win. It’s the pros. There are no moral victories or ‘young teams’ like in college,” Miller said. “We’ve got stars across the board, and we just got beat today.”
As usual, Derek Wolfe’s narrative was slightly more succinct.
“We got our ass kicked,” he said. “What else needs to be said?”
Derek Wolfe: “I can’t keep losing games like this. This is breaking my heart.”— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) November 5, 2017
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What would be the best outcome of the season right now?
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Win out, finish strong
Lose out, get a top draft pick and start over
"Trust the process"