The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 30, 2013

Manning masterful in Broncos' 52-20 rout of Eagles

(Continued)

Five reasons why the Eagles (1-3) couldn't knock the Broncos from the unbeaten ranks:

BRONCOS BASH: After Chris Polk's 4-yard touchdown run cut Philly's deficit to 14-12, first-year Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who was famous for never taking his foot off the gas at Oregon, went for the PAT instead of the 2-point conversion. The Broncos scored the next 31 points.

"Might have to give old Thunder an I.V. after this one," Manning said of the white Arabian gelding who trots around the Sports Authority Field following touchdowns.

If there's any I.V. bags left, that is.

With two TD passes each to Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker, Manning completed all but a half dozen of his 34 throws for 327 yards, and he didn't even step on the field in the fourth quarter.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The Broncos' special teams got into the act again, scoring on Trindon Holliday's 105-yard kickoff return and Steven Johnson's 17-yard return of his own blocked punt.

"I was just unblocked," Johnson said. "I was going to rush the center and he got out of the way, and I said, 'OK, I'll go block the punt."

Those special teams contributions helped Denver surpass the franchise scoring record of 50 points set against San Diego on Oct. 6, 1963.

LINEBACKER LAMENTS: Only the 1966 Dallas Cowboys, with 183 points, scored more than the Broncos' 179 in their first four games.

Just think, if linebacker Danny Trevathan hadn't fumbled his would-be pick-6 in the opener in premature celebration, the Broncos would be the most proficient point-producer in NFL history.

"We all learned from that," said Johnson, who nevertheless held out the football as he neared the goal line on his punt return TD before tucking it in just as he saw punter Donnie Jones swooping in from his right.

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