The Denver Broncos’ losing streak now stands at four.
The Philadelphia Eagles blew out Denver 51-23 in a game that probably wasn’t even as close as the score indicates. Carson Wentz led a dominant offensive attack that completely overpowered the Broncos’ defense.
Wentz seemed to throw a perfect ball every time he dropped back. The 24-year-old switched seamlessly between firing rockets into his receivers’ chests with laser-precision and beautifully feathering touch passes into their fingertips.
In just his second NFL season, Wentz continues to put on a quarterbacking clinic week after week, no matter the competition.
The same can’t be said for the Broncos’ passers.
Brock Osweiler replaced Trevor Siemian as Denver’s starting quarterback this week, after eight weeks of generally sub-par play.
Early in his first start for the Broncos since 2015, Osweiler appeared to be the spark Denver had been searching for.
The Broncos elected to receive the opening kickoff and scored a field goal after a penalty-riddled nine-play, 41-yard drive. Osweiler threw two near-interceptions, one of which Cody Latimer stole from a defensive back for a 19-yard gain. The fourth-year wide receiver made a key block to open a hole for C.J. Anderson on the next play.
After the field goal, things fell apart for Denver.
The Eagles waltzed 75 yards down the field for a touchdown with virtually no resistance on their first drive. Alshon Jeffrey beat Aqib Talib outside after a fake receiver screen and Wentz dropped a perfect pass into his hands down the sideline for the score.
The Broncos totaled eight yards on their next four possessions and found themselves trailing 24-6 with 9 minutes left in the first half. Wentz had already thrown three touchdown passes.
Eagles running back Corey Clement scored three touchdowns Sunday, the first through the air and two more on the ground. He totaled 66 yards from scrimmage on 13 touches.
Demaryius Thomas served as Osweiler’s safety blanket in the quarterback’s return to the starting lineup. Osweiler targeted Thomas 12 times, seven more than the second-most targeted receiver, Emmanuel Sanders. Thomas caught eight passes for 70 yards, one of which was a touchdown and ended a 13-game streak in which Thomas failed to find the end zone.
The Broncos never got their ground game moving against an elite front seven. Vinny Curry, Chris Long, and Fletcher Cox sniffed out and stuffed nearly every rushing attempt. Denver finished with 35 rushing yards on 19 attempts. Devontae Booker had the team’s longest run of the day, a nine-yard burst late in the first quarter.
Von Miller strip-sacked Nick Foles in garbage time, with Brandon Marshall scooping up the loose ball and returning it for a touchdown.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Carson Wentz played like a top-tier NFL quarterback on Sunday. The second-year gunslinger out of North Dakota State only threw for 199 yards, but his day was nearly mistake-free. On Philadelphia’s first drive of the day, Wentz dropped a beautiful ball into Alshon Jeffrey’s hands down the right sideline for the first of four passing touchdowns.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Earlier this week, Brock Osweiler told reporters that “ball security is job security.” The Broncos have been plagued by turnovers this season, and Sunday was no different. Late in the first quarter, the Broncos faced a seven-point deficit after Jake Elliott converted a 45-yard field goal for the Eagles. After a touchback, Brock Osweiler led his offense onto the field at the 25-yard line.
On the first play of the drive, Osweiler threw the ball toward Demaryius Thomas who was running a slant. But Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson was blanketing Thomas and stepped in front of the 6-foot-3 receiver. Robinson picked off the pass and returned it 17 yards to Denver’s 15. Three plays later, Corey Clement found the end zone and gave Philadelphia a 17-3 lead.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"I can't keep losing games like this. This is breaking my heart." -Derek Wolfe
BY THE NUMBERS
7 - Touchdowns allowed by Denver’s defense, the most since Oct. 2, 2011, when they lost to the Packers 49-23
197 - Rushing yards allowed by Denver’s defense, more than double their season average
-11 - The Broncos’ turnover differential this season, second-worst in the league
Denver’s loss to the Eagles makes a playoff berth for the Broncos highly unlikely. The Chiefs hold the AFC West’s best record at 6-2 heading into a matchup in Dallas Sunday afternoon. A win over Dak Prescott’s Cowboys would give Kansas City a 3.5 game lead over Denver with eight weeks of regular season football to be played.
New England Patriots, 6:30 p.m. MST, Sunday, November 12; NBC
After a slow start to the season, the Patriots are starting to figure things out. New England will be well-rested when they arrive in Denver, after sitting out this weekend with a bye. The Patriots have had trouble playing in Denver, recently, losing three of their last four in the Mile High City.