By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles will need everybody they can possibly get to take the field if they are going to leave Denver with an upset against the best team in the NFL right now, the Denver Broncos. As it turns out, the Eagles are in pretty good shape entering their first road game since the Monday night opener.
The Eagles will need to have a stable offense capable of providing protection to quarterback Michael Vick and clearing running lanes for running back LeSean McCoy. This means the offensive line will be critical for the Eagles. The starting line-up looks solid on the line with just one player appearing on the injury report. Tackle Jason Peters is listed as probable due to a finger injury, but has taken part in full practices all week. This should be encouraging news for Eagles fans after watching the mash unit of an offensive line take the field last season. Entering the fourth week of the 2013 season, the offensive line has been pretty consistent and having Peters remain on the field is crucial for that success to continue.
On defense, the Eagles secondary has been abused at times and that should be the team’s top concern this weekend as it looks to slow down Peyton Manning and his MVP-caliber start to the season. Safety Patrick Chung has struggled as much as any other player in the secondary, and he could be out of action this weekend. Chung is listed as doubtful for Sunday afternoon’s game in Denver. A shoulder injury has kept Chung out of practice all week, so it is not likely he will get on the field Sunday.
Kurt Coleman is listed behind Chung on the depth chart and could likely be the first option to fill his starting spot. Another option may be rookie Earl Wolff, who is listed at strong safety and would be making a slight adjustment to free safety.
Regardless of who ends up playing free safety for the Eagles on Sunday, it will be difficult to crack Manning and the kind of production he has been putting together in the first three weeks of the season. However, the Eagles should be well rested after playing in last week’s Thursday night game. The Broncos played on Monday night in week three, beating the Oakland Raiders.
OT Jason Peters (finger)
S Patrick Chung (shoulder)
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.