Eagles 51, Broncos 23: Studs, duds, turning point and more


The Eagles are heading into their bye week as the best team in football.

They proved it again Sunday.

Without arguably their biggest offensive playmaker in Zach Ertz (hamstring), the Eagles simply dominated one of the NFL's best defenses on their way to a 51-23 win over the Broncos at Lincoln Financial Field (see Roob's observations).

They put up over 50 points on the NFL's best defense.

Sunday was just the Eagles' seventh 50-point game in franchise history.

Carson Wentz was dynamic, Jay Ajayi had a tremendous debut and the Eagles' defense suffocated a Brock Osweiler-led Broncos offense. It was another big all-around team win (see report card).

With the win, the Eagles improved to 8-1 and are the frontrunners to earn the top seed in the NFC. The Broncos fell to 3-5.

The Eagles scored more points and gained more yards against the Broncos than any team this season.

The most points the Broncos had given up in a game before Sunday was 29. The Eagles scored 51.

The most yards the Broncos had given up in a game before Sunday was 276. The Eagles had 419.

The most rushing yards the Broncos had given up before Sunday was 148. The Eagles had 197. The Eagles had more than double the rushing yards six teams had against the Broncos this season.

It was an absolutely dominating performance by the best team in the NFL. 

After losing to Kansas City in Week 2, the Eagles have rattled off seven consecutive wins. This is their longest winning streak since 2003-04 and their longest winning streak during a single season since 2003.

Turning point
The game was close until Patrick Robinson's first-quarter interception. His nice return gave the Eagles great field position, and they capitalized, scoring on a 15-yard pass from Wentz to Corey Clement to take a 17-3 lead.

Key stat
The Broncos hadn't allowed more than 29 points in any game this season before Sunday. The Eagles scored 31 in the first half on their way to 51 on the game.

Offensive stud
Wentz had never thrown three touchdowns in a game before the Arizona game. He's now done it in four of the last five weeks. He continued to play at an MVP level in Sunday's win. 

He completed 15 of 27 passes for 199 yards and four touchdowns. He had a passer rating of 118.7.

Wentz now has three four-touchdown games this season. Only Donovan McNabb has had more in a single Eagles season. He had five in 2004.

Offensive dud
Torrey Smith didn't have a huge impact. He had one catch for 11 yards.

Defensive stud
Robinson gave up a play but then came up with a huge interception in the first quarter. He's been the best surprise of the 2017 season.

Defensive dud
Joe Walker got caught in coverage against Emmanuel Sanders in the first half and gave up a big play. Not really his fault though.

Key plays
• The Eagles added a late touchdown to put them over the 50-point barrier for the first time since 2013.

• The Broncos scored their first touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 44-16 and then got a defensive score to cut the lead even more. But the game was already in hand.

• Rodney McLeod intercepted a pass from Brock Osweiler and returned it 50 yards to put the Eagles deep in Denver territory. Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for a touchdown, putting the Eagles ahead 44-9.

• The Eagles went for it on 4th-and-1 inside the Denver 5-yard line, got it, and then scored another touchdown on a little pitch to Clement to go up 38-9.

• Jay Ajayi busted out for a 46-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter. It was his first as an Eagle and was the first rushing touchdown the Broncos had given up all season. The Eagles took a 31-9 lead into halftime.

• The Broncos got the ball all the way down to the Eagles' 5-yard line but the Eagles' defense held and forced a third field goal. Brandon McManus hit a 24-yarder to cut into the lead, 24-9.

• Wentz threw a beautiful 27-yard touchdown pass to Trey Burton in the near left corner of the end zone to put the Eagles up 24-6 in the second quarter.

• Denver punt returner Isaiah McKenzie returned a punt 44 yards to give the Broncos great field position. Corey Graham saved a touchdown with a shoestring tackle. The Broncos got three on a 53-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 17-6.

• Robinson jumped an Osweiler pass for an interception and returned it to the Broncos' 15-yard line. On the ensuing series, Doug Pederson dialed up a brilliant screen pass on third down and Wentz got the ball to Clement for a 15-yard score (see rookie report). It put the Eagles up 17-3.

• Brent Celek caught his second pass of the young game and took a few tacklers for a ride, picking up 15 yards. That catch helped the Eagles get in range for a 45-yarder from Jake Elliott.

• Wentz hit Jeffery with a beautiful touch pass over Aqib Talib to give the Eagles the lead. On the play, he faked the handoff to Ajayi, rolled right and hit Jeffery in stride. The play before, Talib was called for a huge defensive hold on third down to keep the drive alive.

• Robinson was able to cover Emmanuel Sanders on third down on the first drive of the game to force the Broncos to settle for a 52-yard field goal.

Injury report
The Eagles had to play Sunday without tight end Zach Ertz, who was out with a hamstring injury. He had some tightness in his hamstring during the week and was unable to go after pregame warmups. Ronald Darby (ankle) missed his seventh straight game. Maybe he'll finally return after the bye.

Up next
The Eagles are off next weekend. After the bye, they'll be traveling to Dallas for a Sunday Night Football matchup on Nov. 19.