Broncos Report Card vs Eagles

Check out how the Broncos graded out against the Philadelphia Eagles.

PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Kyle Orton had three touchdown passes, but the Broncos simply didn't get enough yards through the air. Orton had 41 attempts for 189 yards. The Broncos tried to get the ball to Brandon Marshall as much as possible once again, and he had eight catches, but for only 39 yards. The Broncos were shorthanded at receiver for most of the game because Eddie Royal was inactive, Brandon Stokley was ejected and Kenny McKinley suffered a season-ending injury.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Aside from a 33-yard run by Correll Buckhalter, the Broncos had very little on the ground. Broncos coach Josh McDaniels blamed the offensive line, saying it didn't win the line of scrimmage. Outside of Buckhalter's one big run, Broncos top backs Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter had 13 carries for 27 yards.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- The Broncos gave up way too many big plays in the first half. Then after making some adjustments and playing better in the second half, Denver gave up some big plays near the end that cost it a chance to win. Donovan McNabb had 322 yards passing, and his 27-yard throw to Jeremy Maclin set up a game-winning field goal in the final minute. Communication has been good for the Broncos' secondary all season, but broke down Sunday. Particularly troubling was when tight end Brent Celek was wide open for a 47-yard touchdown pass.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Donovan McNabb had the big run of the game, a 27-yard scramble on third and 25, but that falls more on the pass defense than the run defense. When the Eagles tried to get their running game going, the Broncos played it pretty well. The longest run by a back was 11 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D-plus -- Mitch Berger did not have a great game, trying to directionally punt to nullify dangerous returner DeSean Jackson. His short punt at the end of the game set up the Eagles in Broncos territory with less than two minutes remaining. The Broncos did cover Jackson pretty well, and Alphonso Smith played pretty well when pressed into duty as a returner.

COACHING: D -- The Broncos made some great halftime adjustments, but that didn't make up for a painfully slow start. Denver was unable to establish much on either side of the ball in the first half, as the Eagles masterfully spread the field and forced the Broncos' defense into a position of weakness. When Denver needed a big play to complete its comeback in the fourth quarter, nothing seemed to work.



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