Prolific passers vs. the Eagles

ASSOCIATED PRESS Peyton Manning has won three of four starts in his career against the Eagles.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Peyton Manning has won three of four starts in his career against the Eagles.
Posted: September 27, 2013

IT HAS BEEN just three games, but Peyton Manning is on his way to one of the all-time seasons. He's probably not going to continue his pace of 64 touchdown passes, but he who doubts No. 18 does so at his own peril.

Plus, he's playing the Eagles on Sunday.

Manning has won three of four starts against the Eagles with eight touchdowns, three interceptions and 1,031 yards. Not too bad, really.

Nine times in history have NFL quarterbacks thrown for 40 touchdown passes. Four of those players did so in seasons they also faced the Eagles.

The Birds did admirable jobs on Tom Brady and Dan Marino, got carved up a bit by Drew Brees and were just infants under Big Red when they met Kurt Warner in a meaningless game.

A look at the four most prolific touchdown passers the Eagles have played against:

Tom Brady, 2007: 50 TD passes

vs. Eagles: One TD, 380 yards

Nov. 25, 2007: The Eagles, colossal underdogs partly because A.J. Feeley was starting at quarterback, nearly pulled off the biggest upset in franchise history before falling to the Patriots, 31-28. Brady, who set the NFL record with 50 touchdown passes that season, managed just one against Jim Johnson's defense.

Pregame chatter: "It's almost like a challenge, a personal challenge," linebacker Chris Gocong said of the 23-point spread. "You feel like you're being disrespected. It kind of puts a chip on your shoulder."

Dan Marino, 1984: 48 TD passes

vs. Eagles: One TD, 246 yards

Nov. 11, 1984: Just two teams held Marino to fewer than two touchdowns in a game that season. The Eagles in Week 11 and the 49ers in Super Bowl 19. The Birds flubbed away a chance to upset the 10-0 Dolphins when Paul McFadden's extra point was blocked after the Eagles had just scored to make it 24-23 Miami with 1:52 left.

Pregame chatter: "Winning this would be of astronomical proportions," nose tackle Ken Clarke said. "To beat Detroit last week would have been great [Eagles lost in overtime]. To beat the Dolphins would be unreal."

Drew Brees, 2012: 43 TD passes

vs. Eagles: Two TDs, 239 yards

Nov. 5, 2012: The Eagles, in Todd Bowles' second game as defensive coordinator, were flattened by the Saints, 28-13, on Monday Night Football. Brees had a modest fantasy outing, but had a season-best 77.8 completion percentage (21-for-27). The Saints, still staggered by bounty-related suspensions to key players and coaches, entered the game 2-5.

Postgame observation: "I don't know if the linebackers were really covering a lot better earlier in the season, or if it just looked that way, because opposing QBs were under more pressure," wrote Daily News sports writer Les Bowen. "BTW, Brees in the second half: 12 of 13 for 129 yards."

Kurt Warner, 1999: 41 TD passes

vs. Eagles: Two TDs, 141 yards

Jan. 2, 2000: Warner was lifted early in the third quarter as the Rams, having already clinched homefield advantage, took it easy on the Birds. Warner's first score, to Marshall Faulk, made him just the second quarterback ever to reach 40 touchdown passes in a season (Marino was the first). Five others have done it since.

Postgame remark: "You can't be happy with this," owner Jeffrey Lurie said of the 5-11 season under first-year coach Andy Reid. "But this [season] was about changing the culture here."

London Fog

The median number of combined points in the six previous regular-season games played at London's Wembley Stadium is 47. In other words, benching a Viking or Steeler this week solely because of the travel should not be a consideration.

Position watch

Quarterbacks: Since the only way the Browns will move the ball is through the air, Cleveland's Brian Hoyer is worth adding in leagues of 10 or more. Hoyer isn't a starter, but could be a bye-week replacement . . . At 6-7, 225, Buccaneers rookie quarterback Mike Glennon is more Nick Foles than Russell Wilson. Glennon has a plus-arm, decent receiving options, a good running game and nothing to lose. The Yucs get Arizona, a bye and the Eagles the next 3 weeks. Those in 12-team leagues could do worse than Glennon.

Running backs: Bengals' rookie Giovani Bernard is now up to a flex/RB3 for fantasy purposes. He had four catches last week - and teammate BenJarvis Green-Ellis committed a crucial fumble - as Cincy rallied for a win. According to the player database, Bernard is the first player in league history named Giovani. That alone should be worth another point for every 25 yards he rushes for . . . If Baltimore's Ray Rice is ruled out or doubtful, Bernard Pierce deserves a look as an RB2 against the Bills and their 30th-ranked run defense.

Wide receivers: The production isn't there yet for Washington's Leonard Hankerson, but the playing time has increased. He should at least be on the radar in leagues of 12 or more . . . Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon will be eligible to play next week. Blackmon had 25 catches over his final four games in 2012 . . . As Kenny Britt's swoon out of Tennessee continues, it looks like rookie Justin Hunter will be the beneficiary. Hunter caught the game-winning touchdown last week as Britt sat on the sidelines after quarterback Jake Locker personally requested Hunter to be in the lineup.

Tight end: The Patriots playing in the night game this Sunday makes Rob Gronkowski a risky play. It might be worth grabbing Miami's Charles Clay (assuming fellow weekend prime-timers Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham are not available) just in case Gronk's ruled out just before kickoff.

Ed Barkowitz, who is quietly picking Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell in several of his leagues, has been writing about fantasy football in the Daily News since 2001 - or, since Bell was 9 years old.

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