What was supposed to be a battle of the two top defenses in the NFL quickly turned into a defensive showcase by the Eagles.
While the offense smashed the Denver Broncos defense to the tune of 51 points, the Eagles defense smothered one of the league's best rushing offense. The Broncos came into Philadelphia averaging 123 rushing yards per contest. The Eagles clamped them to 35 total rushing yards on Sunday.
"We were talking about wanting to keep them under 50 (yards) and that would be impressive so we did a good job with that," defensive end Chris Long said.
Running back CJ Anderson, Denver's top rusher on the year, had just 13 yards on nine carries. As if having trouble moving the ball on the ground wasn't enough, Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler had trouble throwing downfield all afternoon.
For the second consecutive game, the Eagles finished with ten or more quarterback hits and Osweiler collided with the ground more often than not. His lone touchdown came late on a short pass to Demaryius Thomas, but by that point, the damage was already done. Not only was Osweiler sacked three times but he also threw two interceptions that led directly to 14 points for Philadelphia.
"The D-line got pressure and the ball kind of came out high and I was there to make a play," safety Rodney McLeod said of his interception. "Obviously I tried to get into the end zone and it didn't happen but I'm still happy about it."
The defense has set the offense in prime scoring position all season, and that was again the case on Sunday. Cornerback Patrick Robinson nabbed his third interception of the year late in the first quarter to bring the Eagles offense inside the Denver 15 yard-line. Quarterback Carson Wentz and Corey Clement hooked up for a touchdown moments later.
"This week we had a little extra motivation with their defense. Everybody was mostly talking about their defense the whole week coming into this game," linebacker Nigel Bradham stated after the win. "We pretty much wanted to make our own statement and continue to put the league on notice."
Point blank, the Eagles defense put on yet another commanding performance. Head coach Doug Pederson was delighted with the unit's effort in Sunday's win.
"Defense is unbelievable. Takeaways. To stop that team, I think they were 30-something yards rushing at the time. It's fun to watch our defense right now," head coach Doug Pederson said. "They are playing at a high level. They are playing well together. Pass rush is there, getting after the quarterback and the takeaways, and it's like the offense. They are getting better every week, too, playing together. It's fun to watch those guys."