From .500 to nine games for the first time in five years, the Broncos (5-4) will look to post their second three-game winning streak of the season when they host Philadelphia on Sunday (2:25 p.m.). The Eagles (3-6) don’t win at home, but 3-2 on the road. Here are three talking points for Week 10:
1. Creating an Identity
The Eagles, under first-year coach/first-time play-caller Nick Siriani, failed to score 22 points five times (four losses) the first seven games while spinning their wheels aggressively. But over the past two weeks, the Eagles have committed to running football and taking the pressure off second-year quarterback Jalen Hirts. Philadelphia ran for 236 yards 46 times in a 44-6 win in Detroit and 39 times for 176 yards in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Hurts lead the team with 494 rushing yards and ranks 13th in the NFL. Starting running back Miles Sanders (ankle) is on injured reserve, but Jordan Howard and Boston Scott have covered 228 yards in the last two games.
2. Teddy’s Throwing Time
Philadelphia’s defense has allowed five quarterbacks to complete at least 80% of their efforts this year: Dallas’ Dak Prescott (80.8%), Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (80%), Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady (80.8%), and Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady. 81%), Las Vegas’ Derek Carr (91.2%) and Chargers’ Justin Herbert (84%). Herbert was 38 out of 32 passing for 356 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. First-year defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon isn’t big at blitzing, throwing short throws to Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (70.2% this year; Philadelphia’s opponents are at 75.5%) to receiver Jerry Judy and tight end Albert Okwegbunam and longtime receiver Cortland. should be allowed. Sutton and Tim Patrick.
3. The Pressure of the Mobile Quarterback
There are two directions to go when facing a mobile quarterback: use the rush four and the defender to spy or send extra rushers to throw under pressure. Broncos coach Vic Fangio took the latter approach in Week 4 against Baltimore, rushing five or more players to 26 of Lamar Jackson’s 43 drop-backs (60.5%; the highest rate of his tenure). Jackson ran only seven times for 28 yards, but threw for 316 yards. So what’s the plan for Hurts when he moves back? At this stage of his career, he may be more willing to give up pockets to gain yards, but Fangio has been criticized for his corner injury condition and his playing man coverage in Ronald Darby, Kyle Fuller and potential Nate Hirston. Trust should also be accounted for.