The Eagles have faced Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts three times during head coach Andy Reid's tenure. Sean McDermott has been with the Eagles organization during all three of those matchups, but this Sunday's battle will be his first as the defensive coordinator.
Yes, the previous three results "haven't been very favorable," as McDermott succinctly put it on Thursday. How will he game plan for the 10-time Pro Bowl and five-time All-Pro quarterback who has thrown 15 touchdowns against just two interceptions while being sacked a league-low seven times this year?
"You want to play aggressive and some teams change a lot. They go in there and see Manning at quarterback and I understand that. He keeps you up at night," McDermott said. "He's unlike any quarterback I've ever seen. He leaves a very small margin for error - in the run game, in the pass game, from an execution standpoint, from a game plan standpoint. He's as good as they come."
The Eagles have had two weeks to prepare for Manning, although that hasn't helped other teams. Manning told Philadelphia reporters on Wednesday that this is the third team the Colts will face coming off of a bye week. The Colts won those other two games - at Kansas City and on Monday night against Houston. The Eagles are coming off a performance against Tennessee in which the Titans scored 37 points with 27 of them coming in the fourth quarter. Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt gained the most receiving yards in a single game against the Eagles in franchise history.
On Sunday, the Eagles will have a new right cornerback in Dimitri Patterson, who is making his first career start. The Eagles have a rookie in free safety Nate Allen and expect a lot out of first-round draft pick Brandon Graham. McDermott likes the approach his players have taken this week and is not afraid of putting young or inexperienced players out there against one of the game's all-time great quarterbacks.
"We're not going to back down. I don't expect our players young or old to back down. I think, again, it goes back to the types of players, the character and the integrity of the players we have in that room," McDermott said. "We have a lot of respect for our opponents and Peyton Manning just earning the utmost respect from us as a team and as a staff, but we're not backing down."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:21 p.m., November 4