Broncos surrender 51 points in blowout loss to Eagles

A change at quarterback didn’t change the fortunes of the Denver Broncos, who lost for the fourth consecutive week under first-year head coach Vance Joseph and fell to 3-5 on the season. Brock Osweiler threw two interceptions in his first start in relief of the struggling Trevor Siemian as Denver were blown out, 51-23, by the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Osweiler passed for 208 yards on 19-of-38 passing with a touchdown, but the real story was Carson Wentz, who bolstered his case for MVP with another outstanding performance. Wentz was so good, in fact, that he did not play the game’s final 9:45.

Wentz finished 15-for-27 for 199 yards and four touchdowns in the victory, putting up points on seven of the 10 drives he commanded. Philadelphia found the end zone on six of those scoring drives. His backup, Nick Foles, led the Eagles to seven points.

The Denver defense, which entered the game allowing just 261 yards per game, allowed 419 for the game – 197 on the ground and 222 through the air.

Corey Clement scored three touchdowns for Philadelphia. Jay Ajayi scored in his first game with the Eagles since being traded from Miami. And Alshon Jeffery had a pair of touchdown receptions.

Coming out of a first half in which the Broncos allowed more points in the half than they had in an entire game to date this season, the Broncos were forced to give Wentz and the Eagles the ball to start the second half.

The second half started as poorly as the first half ended, with Corey Clement picking up 28 yards on the first play of the half. A holding penalty on Philadelphia occurred after the first down, and the net of the play was just 18 yards. Wentz kept up his hot pace from the first half, connecting with Jeffery for 17 yards as the Eagles again marched downfield at will. The second-year quarterback nearly converted a third-and-eight on a scramble, but Justin Simmons stopped him just short. A perfect pass to Nelson Agholor at the two-yard line, however, gave the Eagles a fresh set of downs. Clement was rewarded for his big run to open the drive with a touchdown run on the very next play and the rout continued for Philadelphia. The 13-play, 77-yard drive chewed up 7:28 on the clock and extended Philadelphia’s lead to 38-9.

Osweiler was nearly intercepted on Denver’s first play of the half, as the ball was tipped Mychal Kendricks and just missed by Jalen Mills as it fell to the ground. Riley Dixon was on to punt after a C.J. Anderson run and an incompletion thrown in A.J. Derby‘s direction.

The Denver defense, which entered the game as the top overall defense in the league (yards per game), finally registered its first sack of the game on Philadelphia’s second drive of the half when Brandon Marshall got to Wentz. A 55-yard punt by Donnie Jones gave Denver the ball back at the 19-yard line.

Osweiler threw his second interception of the game on second down of Denver’s second drive. Under pressure from Fletcher Cox, Osweiler heaved a ball deep only to have it come down in the hands of Rodney McLeod who returned the interception 50 yards to the Broncos’ 11-yard line.

That resulted in Jeffery’s second touchdown of the game, as he got away from Aqib Talib on third down. The throw was Wentz’s fourth touchdown pass of the game. Jake Elliott missed the point after, but Philadelphia’s lead grew to 44-9.

Osweiler nearly made it a third turnover when Chris Long stripped the ball from the quarterback on the third play of the drive, but center Matt Paradis fell on the ball to save the possession. Osweiler responded with a third-down conversion to Derby, then hit Cody Latimer 32-yards downfield along the near sideline to give Denver some life. It was tough sledding Denver later in the drive, though, as Osweiler was sacked for a loss of three yards on second down in the red zone. A delay of game penalty then set up a third-and-17, which Denver could not convert. Jamaal Charles picked up 11 yards on a screen to set up a fourth-and-six. A bubble screen to Demaryius Thomas gave the Broncos a goal-to-go from the two. Thomas found the end zone for the first time this season, hauling in a one-yard pass on a pick play with help from Bennie Fowler.

With a 44-16 lead and 9:45 remaining in the game, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson turned the game over to Nick Foles. Von Miller and Marshall made them pay, as Miller hit Foles while he was throwing on a third-down try. The ball came loose and Marshall picked it up for a 19-yard scoop-and-score. Brandon McManus connected on the point after and Denver had the lead down to 21 points.

The Eagles kept the ball on the ground, and Foles still in at quarterback, until a fourth-and-one play from the Denver 39. Nelson Agholor got behind the defense and pulled down a 35-yard reception from Foles. Vance Joseph challenged the play as a takeaway by Chris Harris, but was unsuccessful. Clement found the end zone for the third time on the day and Philadelphia eclipsed the 50-point mark with 4:44 still to play, 51-23.

It was the first time Denver had allowed more than 50 points since 2010, when they gave up 59 to the Raiders in Week 7 that year. The 2011 team allowed 40-plus points five times, but capped out at 49 against Green Bay in Week 4 that season. Philadelphia scored so many times that they actually ran out of fireworks for the scoreboard to celebrate an Eagles’ score.

The Broncos punted after five plays on their next possession. Philadelphia churned out 25 yards to take the clock past the 2:00 warning before giving the ball back to Denver on downs.

On Denver’s final possession, Garett Bolles took an unnecessary roughness penalty to punctuate a day that was marred with penalties. On the afternoon, Denver was flagged 14 times (with several declined) for a total of 105 yards.

The loss dropped Denver to 3-5 on the season, tied with Oakland (who played at 6:30 p.m. MST) and Los Angeles (who was on a bye) for a three-way tie for last place in the AFC West.

Here’s what the team at MHS had to say, along with thoughts from some of our favorite follows on social media, as the second half played out…

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