DENVER -- The Eagles defense had no answers for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in the third quarter as Denver defeated the Eagles 52-20 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday.
"He's a coach on the field. He sees what we're running, changes the offense and everything's quick," said cornerback Brandon Boykin. "He's not giving anybody time to get back there."
The Eagles forced a Broncos punt late in the first half to go into halftime trailing only 21-13. Denver got the ball first to start the second half and never looked back.
- First drive of third quarter: 10 plays, 80 yards ending with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
- Second drive of the third quarter: Eight plays, 80 yards ending with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Thomas.
- Third drive of the third quarter: Seven plays, 65 yards ending with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Wes Welker.
Manning was 15-of-16 for 158 yards with three touchdowns in the third quarter as Denver extended its lead to 42-13.
"They made some throws on us. We got out leveraged. They made big plays," said linebacker DeMeco Ryans of the third quarter performance.
"Peyton Manning is just Peyton Manning," said defensive end Fletcher Cox. "He's the offensive coordinator on the field."
Manning's afternoon ended early in the fourth quarter after he completed 29-of-35 pass attempts (83 percent) for 332 yards with four touchdowns and a passer rating of 142.1. The Eagles tried to vary the looks up front to create pressure on Manning without sacrificing coverage. Denver ran a lot of crossing routes to free up its wide receivers. Thomas had nine catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Welker had seven catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Eric Decker had a 52-yard reception to finish with five catches for 88 yards.
"They were picking people and sending guys across," said safety Nate Allen of the crossing routes.
The Eagles wanted to force Manning to drive down the length of the field. What helped was the run game as running back Knowshon Moreno chipped in with 78 yards on 12 carries. Denver, as a team, finished with 141 yards on the ground.
"They have good skill guys all the way around," Cox said. "Peyton does a good job of getting everybody the ball and not just have that one dynamic person that he goes to."
If there is good news, the Eagles travel next Sunday to face a division rival in the New York Giants. New York has yet to win a game and they have scored just seven points on offense in the last two weeks.
"You can flip this thing on one Sunday," linebacker Connor Barwin said. "That has to be what we have to do next Sunday."
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider