DENVER - Winning over a banged-up Denver team in advance of a bye shouldn't have surprised anyone but the way the Eagles did it was very impressive.
Any concerns in this game were nitpicking as Philadelphia again road a dominating running game to an impressive offensive performance. This time that was complemented by a solid defensive effort that took advantage of the Broncos' two missing starting offensive tackles and even some special teams fireworks in the form of a blocked field goal.
By the time Darius Slay took a scoop and score 83 yards for a touchdown at the end of the third quarter, only bookkeeping was left, a result that read 30-13 on the scoreboard.
The Formula - The Eagles believe they've found the formula to offensive success or at least competence and it's got more to do with the run-heavy attack that kick-started in Las Vegas than the RPO-fueled stuff early in the season. Boston Scott was effective early and Jordan Howard mixed in from there with Jalen Hurts always providing the biggest threat himself.
After 60 minutes the totals were 214 total rushing yards - 83 by Howard, 81 by Scott, and 53 additional for Hurts.
DeVonta Smith's route-running - The rookie is quickly becoming a star and while the two touchdowns on his 23rd birthday will get the headlines, including some Alabama on Alabama crime when he won a 50/50 against old friend Patrick Surtain for a 36-yard TD, the separation Smith gets when he's locked in on a route is truly impressive.
Third Downs -The Eagles were a solid 6-for-13 on the game's most important down. More importantly, the defense held Denver to 1-for-11.
In and Out - Not the burger, the Eagles thought that the key to handling the elevation in Denver was arriving late and spending less than 24 hours in the Mile High City, thinking the reaction to the height happens after the body realizes it needs to adjust. Whether that's true or not is a debate for the scientists but you didn't see a ton of huffing and puffing by Philadelphia.
Darius Slay - Slay can still run and the veteran CB showed it on the biggest play of the game. Down 20-13, the Broncos were facing a 4th-and-1 from the Eagles' 23 and tried to convert with a run by Melvin Gordon. The veteran RB was stuffed and was going to be ruled short but kept churning when Davion Taylor was credited with ripping the football out. Slay scooped it up before dropping it and scooping it again racing by a business decision by Teddy Bridgewater for an 83-yard score that stole the heart of Denver.
Shaming - Shaming is way too big a part of our society right now and the Broncos joined by pointing out there were 6,202 no-shows at their own stadium. That's actually refreshing honesty rather than self-serving dunking so we will give it a thumbs up.
Kenny Gainwell's Pass Protection: Hurts' lone interception was a direct reflection of Gainwell failing to pick up a block in pass protection, not the end of the world in this type of game but certainly something you want to see cleaned up.
Dallas Goedert's concussion - The Eagles have been raving about the way Goedert has been playing since Zach Ertz was traded and it seemed to be shaping up that way again when he got loose 24-yard reception until a forearm to the head on the tackle resulted in a game-ending concussion.
The lull at the start of the second half - The Eagles got a tad complacent with a 20-10 lead at halftime, resulting in a three-and-out and then one first down on the next possession before the Hurts INT. Keeping the sense of urgency is paramount in the modern NFL.
Nate Herbig's snap - You read that right. Herbig replaced Jason Kelce, who got stepped on, for one snap in the fourth quarter and instead of putting Hurts under center, Nick Sirianni kept Hurts in the shotgun and Herby dribbled one back that Hurts was able to control. Luckily Kelce then returned.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.