DENVER - Greetings from Sports Authority Field at Mile High, where the Eagles will be trying to snap a two-game losing streak against the unbeaten Broncos.
The Eagles face a daunting task. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is off to a terrific start this season, with 12 touchdown passes against no interceptions.
As you probably already know, I predicted a 38-31 Broncos victory. I think quarterback Michael Vick and the Eagles' offense will be able to score points against a Broncos defense that is missing some key players (Champ Bailey and Von Miller). But the Eagles' defense is going to be overwhelmed by Manning.
Here are a few Eagles players who could have an impact today. Now please excuse me while I try to catch my breath in this thin air.
1. Safety Earl Wolff - The Eagles' fifth-round draft pick is making his first career start today in place of injured Patrick Chung (shoulder contusion). Wolff got some playing time in the first three games, but coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis weren't impressed enough to make him a starter based on performance.
2. Defensive end Vinny Curry - After being inactive the first two games, Curry got his first career sack and applied constant pressure against Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith. The 2012 second-round pick and the entire Eagles' defensive line must find a way to put some heat on Manning and take him out of his rhythm.
3. Tackle Jason Peters - Peters, considered one of the league's best offensive linemen, is playing with a dislocated ring finger in his left hand. He first hurt it in the season-opener at Washington and it happened again against the Chiefs. As a result, he had his worst game as an Eagle. The team needs him to be able to handle one-on-one pass rushers so they can use a tight end to give some help to rookie right tackle Lane Johnson.
4. Wide receiver Riley Cooper - Cooper has taken some flak from fans and others for his lack of production, though he has one of the team's five touchdown receptions - a 13-yard grab against San Diego - and has received praise from Kelly for his downfield blocking. The Eagles need more production from their receiving corps, however, including wide receivers and tight ends.
5. Place-kicker Alex Henery - The third-year veteran has made 5 of 7 field goals this season, but both of his misses - a 46 yarder against the Chargers and a 48-yarder against the Chiefs - were costly. Henery only missed four field goals all of last season. Considering the way the ball carries in Denver, he could be a major factor today.