If there is one key to the Philadelphia Eagles pulling off a major upset it is this: Putting pressure on Peyton Manning. Manning can not be allotted consistent time in the pocket or else it will be game, set, match for the Denver Broncos.
Manning needs to be run off his spot; he needs to feel uncomfortable and be forced to throw off balance. If he is given space and time to make plays happen, he will find whatever weakness or little amount of separation a receiver has and exploit it with pinpoint accuracy.
The men up front need to show up for the Eagles, which means Vinny Curry has to see more snaps. He has proven to be one of the more effective pass rushers on the team, and needs to see the field more on Sunday. Brandon Graham also needs more snaps, and Connor Barwin and Trent Cole will also have to step up their game. They have been effective players thus far, but neither has been a dominant type of pass rusher. It should be pointed out that Cole has a favorable match up lining up across Chris Clark, who is filling in for the recently injured pro bowler Ryan Clady.
Manning has seen every type of defensive look known to man. However, this doesn’t mean that defensive coordinator Billy Davis shouldn’t mix up his coverage and show some exotic looks. Try anything to get Manning off of his game. None of it matters though, if the front seven doesn’t win the war up front.
The Manning led offense can not be totally stopped, that is for certain. For it to be contained and to give the offense a chance to pull off the upset of the year, the Eagles must generate consistent pressure on the quarterback.