4:15 PM ET, October 30, 2005
4:15 PM ET, October 30, 2005
Philadelphia (4-2) at Denver (5-2), Sunday 4:15 pm EST
Philadelphia has victories over AFC West foes Oakland, Kansas City and San Diego.
Last week, coach Andy Reid again showed a complete disregard for the running game but the Eagles escaped with a 20-17 victory over the Chargers when Matt Ware returned a blocked field goal 65 yards for a touchdown with 2:25 remaining.
Against the Chargers, Donovan McNabb completed 35-of-54 passes for 287 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He has attempted at least 45 passes in four of six games.
Since Reid has refused to commit to running the football, the Eagles are last in the league in rushing offense, averaging 57.5 yards. The Eagles have thrown the ball 268 times, compared to just 102 running plays.
Reid again may be in a throwing mood since the Broncos rank 26th in the NFL in passing defense.
Philadelphia, which ranks 12th in total offense, has scored just one offensive touchdown in its last two games.
The Broncos are facing an NFC East opponent for the second straight week after having their five-game winning streak stopped last Sunday with a 24-23 loss to the New York Giants.
It was a disappointing loss for the Broncos since they dominated much of the game before squandering a 23-10 lead in the second half. Mike Anderson rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown and Jake Plummer completed 18-of-29 passes for 194 yards and a score last week.
Plummer, who used to face the Eagles twice a season while he was with Arizona, has thrown for 2,012 yards in 11 games against them, his highest total against any opponent. He is 6-4 in 10 starts against the Eagles.
Series: The Eagles lead, 6-3. The teams have not met since 1988.
Next week: Philadelphia visits Washington, November 6 Denver has its bye
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Conference powers meeting in Denver
This promises to be an intriguing and telling matchup of contrasting styles. For the Eagles, who presently share first place in the parity-filled NFC East, finding a running attack will be a must. QB Donovan McNabb can only hold up so long if forced to throw 54 times as he did in Philadelphia's narrow-escape versus the Chargers last week. Unfortunately for RB Brian Westbrook, getting the ground game on track versus DE Trevor Pryce, WLB D.J. Williams and the rest of the NFL's fifth-ranked run defense will be no small chore.
On the flip side, the Broncos' remain a team that runs to set up the pass and wants to limit QB Jake Plummer's opportunities to fail. RBs Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell continue to roll up the rushing yards on a weekly basis, but the tandem could be walking into a buzz-saw versus a Philly defense that stifled San Diego star RB LaDainian Tomlinson (17 carries for seven yards) last week. In short, this game of first place teams could be decided by the one most capable of overcoming its biggest weakness, not just masking them.
|Avg Points Allowed||23.9||19.0|
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||PHI|
|Rush Yds Allowed||PHI|
|Denver leads 1-0|