The Eagles offensive line and "mad scientist" Doug Pederson (as right guard Brandon Brooks affectionately called him after the win) gave fits to the defense that was considered by many to be the best in the NFL coming into Sunday's game. Philadelphia reached the 50-point plateau for the first time since 2013 in large part to the offensive line's protection of Carson Wentz and their spectacular blocking in the run game.
In short, Lane Johnson and the rest of the players up front dominated linebacker Von Miller and the Denver Broncos defense.
The team rushed for 197 yards against a Denver defense that entered the game ranking second in rushing yards allowed per game (72.9 yards). Arguably more impressive, the Broncos were the only NFL team not to surrender a rushing touchdown all season. The offensive line seemed to take the challenge head-on, and the running backs scored three rushing touchdowns Sunday – the most in a game this season.
"That is a good defense and that's a good rushing defense and they are that way for a reason. I just think that when you hear that all week -- everybody's got a lot of pride. They want to do their jobs and do them right. It's a good test for our offensive line and they really stepped up to the occasion, and gosh, they rose up and did a nice job (Sunday)," Pederson said after the win.
As a measuring stick for just how well the offensive line has been of late, the Eagles have rushed for 100 or more yards in seven consecutive games, the club's longest streak since a 19-game span from 2010-2011. What can't be understated is the job Johnson has done this year. After going up against several talented pass rush players this season, Johnson faced a true midseason assessment against arguably the league's best defender. Johnson did not disappoint.
Miller had one sack on the afternoon and that came with Johnson on the sideline during the game's final minutes thanks to a strip sack late against backup quarterback Nick Foles. Aside from that, the Eagles kept Miller guessing and Johnson and the Eagles O-line kept him from being effective.
"Lane's the best right tackle in the league," Brandon Brooks said. "Probably this season, his biggest test would've been Von Miller and he went out there and handled it like he needed to do."
In addition, Halapoulavaati Vaitai performed well defending Wentz's blind side in his second career start at left tackle. On the day, the Broncos sacked Wentz just once, the fewest he's been hit in a game all season. Johnson and the rest of the line will enjoy the well-deserved bye week before taking Dallas' Demarcus Lawrence who sits second in the league with 10.5 sacks on the year.
"We're as good as we want to be. It all starts up here," Johnson said pointing to his head. "We can't get complacent. We have to just keep it going. This backstretch is really important; coming off the bye week against Dallas is a big game for us."