4:25 PM ET, September 29, 2013
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Peyton Manning finishes with 16 TD passes in Sept. as Broncos roll
DENVER -- Forget fast-break football. This was steel-cold efficiency.
The Denver Broncos scored more points than they ever had in their 54-year history on Sunday, blowing out the Eagles 52-20 behind Manning's four touchdown throws and two special teams scores.
More Eagles-Broncos Coverage
In the growing avalanche of career bests and team records, the scary thing is that the Broncos can still do more, Jeff Legwold writes. Blog
The Eagles can't afford to hang their heads, and coach Chip Kelly said he'll know Tuesday if his team can move on, writes Phil Sheridan. Blog
"Might have to give old Thunder an IV after this one," Manning said of the white Arabian gelding who trots around the Sports Authority Field following touchdowns.
If there's any IV bags left, that is.
He didn't even step on the field in the fourth quarter and cooled his cleats on the sideline for a 12-minute stretch in the first half, no less.
Just another day in the life of Manning, whose 16 TD passes are the most in the first month of a season, besting the previous mark of 14 set by Don Meredith in 1966 and tied by Kurt Warner in 1999.
Manning also joined Milt Plum in 1960 as the only quarterbacks to throw that many touchdown passes without an interception.
"We have high expectations for ourselves and want to go out there and score a lot of points," Welker said. "We were able to do that today."
Just as they have all season, piling up 49, 41, 37 and 52 points, thanks mostly to Manning, who's off to the best start of his storied career and helped Denver outgain Michael Vick and the Eagles 472 yards to 450.
Manning got off to a rather slow start but drove the Broncos (4-0) on a trio of long touchdown drives in the third quarter to make this one another laugher. Those drives covered 80, 80 and 65 yards and not once did the Broncos face a third down in any of them.
"He's efficient, man," marveled Champ Bailey. "And hopefully he gets better -- I don't know how, but hopefully he does -- because this guy's a prime example of what it takes to be a great quarterback in this league.
"I know a lot of quarterbacks wish they could do it like that."
Denver collected 35 first downs overall and only five of them were on third-down conversions.
Something In The Air
Denver has scored at least 40 points in three of its four games this season. The Broncos' 52 points Sunday were the most in team history. Here's a look:
|2013 Week 4||52||Eagles|
|1963 Week 4||50||Chargers|
|2013 Week 1||49||Ravens|
|2010 Week 10||49||Chiefs|
|2005 Week 8||49||Eagles|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
"I think it is disconcerting," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. "But you're also playing against an offense that four teams have tried to stop them and they haven't yet. I don't have an answer."
No one has figured out the Broncos after their halftime adjustments yet.
"We find kind of our second wind," Eric Decker said. "That's something we've trained for, to be able to play 60 minutes, to be able to finish in the second half.
"That's what we do best. We have a lot of confidence coming out of the locker room that we're going to score or shut them down defensively and put this game away."
The Eagles (1-3) also allowed two TDs on special teams in losing for the third straight time, all to AFC West opponents: Trindon Holliday's 105-yard kickoff return and Steven Johnson's blocked punt, which he scooped up himself and returned for a 17-yard score.
Matt Prater's 53-yard field goal capped Denver's 15th straight regular-season win, which bested the franchise mark of 14 set in 1997-98 and also broke the previous franchise scoring record of 50 points set against San Diego on Oct. 6, 1963.
Only the 1966 Dallas Cowboys, with 183 points, scored more than the Broncos' 179 in their first four games.
Holliday's sixth TD return in 21 career games oddly worked in Philadelphia's favor, keeping Manning on the sideline for more than 12 minutes on the game clock.
"I think it did have a little bit of an effect on us," Manning said. "We probably had our worst series, had a three-and-out, after that."
After throwing a 6-yard scoring pass to Welker, Manning stood impatiently on the sideline for the final 10:19 of the first quarter and the first 42 seconds of the second quarter, and when he did get the ball back, his 40-yard pass went off a wide-open Decker's fingertips.
Then, Welker slipped on a third down screen pass and Manning was back on the sideline watching Chris Polk's 4-yard touchdown run cut it to 14-13.
Knowshon Moreno's 4-yard TD run made it 21-13 at halftime.
The Eagles became the first team in NFL history to accumulate at least 1,000 yards passing and 750 yards rushing through the first four games of the season.
That was of little consolation.
"We couldn't stop them," Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said.
Holliday's TD return rate of 1 per every 3.5 games played is the best since the 1970 merger. ... Vick finished 14 of 27 for 248 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions and ran eight times for 41 yards.
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 29: Jeff Maehl #88 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after scoring a touchdown during...(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||6.5||6.6|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-5||5-5|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||2|
|TD||10:24||Wes Welker 6 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 74 yds, 3:52
|FG||6:07||Alex Henery 35 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 11 plays, 65 yds, 4:16
|TD||6:03||Trindon Holliday 105 Yard Kickoff Return (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:13
|FG||14:22||Alex Henery 25 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 15 plays, 73 yds, 6:32
|TD||11:12||Chris Polk 4 Yard Run (Alex Henery Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 64 yds, 2:10
|TD||5:10||Knowshon Moreno 4 Yard Run (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 6:01
|TD||9:59||Demaryius Thomas 1 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 5:06
|TD||5:17||Demaryius Thomas 15 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 3:12
|TD||0:28||Wes Welker 4 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 65 yds, 3:35
|TD||14:04||Steven Johnson 17 Yard Return of Blocked Punt (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 24 yds, 1:28
|FG||6:58||Matt Prater 53 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 7 plays, 30 yds, 3:49
|TD||4:40||Jeff Maehl 6 Yard Pass From Nick Foles (Alex Henery Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yds, 2:18
- Peyton Manning was off-target on just two throws in Sunday's rout, bringing his season total to 14 through four games. Since the start of 2008, there have been 36 games with a quarterback missing on at least 14 throws. - In the second half, Manning was 15-of-16 for 158 yards, three touchdowns and 12 first downs. His lone second-half incompletion was a 1st-and-10 throwaway from the Eagles' 15-yard line, which he followed up by connecting with Demaryius Thomas for a 15-yard touchdown on the next snap. - Changing pressures didn't affect Manning. Manning completed all six of his pass attempts for 59 yards and two touchdowns against added pressure, while the Eagles' standard rush "held" Manning to 22-of-28 for 268 yards and two touchdowns. - Wes Welker, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas each had at least five catches for 76 yards, making Denver the only team to have multiple games this season with three receivers reaching the five-catch and 75-yard marks. - Manning's average throw distance this year is 7.9 yards downfield, which would be his shortest in a season since the start of 2006 (Stats & Information's data set). Broncos' receivers are averaging 179.5 yards after catch per game this season. No team has finished a season averaging more than 162.0 yards after catch per game since the start of 2006.
The Broncos scored 52 points Sunday, their most in franchise history. Denver has scored at least 40 points in three of its four games this season.[+]
Most Points in Single Game - Broncos History
On the Broncos 52 points: - Franchise record - Most points in a game for anyone this season - Most points by anyone since Week 16 last season (Packers 55 vs TEN) - Most pts vs an Eagles team since Nov. 26, 1972 (NY Giants with 62)
With four touchdown passes against the Eagles, Peyton Manning broke the NFL record with 16 touchdown passes through four team games.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information