PHILADELPHIA — Confined by a short week and amid a record-setting opening month, Peyton Manning's attention is now consumed by the Eagles' defense.
Even as an aficionado of offensive football, Manning has had little time this season to assess the offense that Eagles coach Chip Kelly has brought to the NFL.
But Manning has heard enough about Kelly's offense — especially from Broncos coach John Fox in the last two days — to know that the Broncos offense cannot have an off day on Sunday when the Eagles visit.
"From an offensive standpoint, we have to be on our game," Manning said Wednesday in a teleconference. "We have to be executing. We have to protect the ball, because if you're giving Philadelphia and Michael Vick and (LeSean) McCoy short fields and not doing your job, they're capable of scoring a lot of points and a lot of points quickly."
That might be an overstatement from Manning, but he's right that both offenses can move the ball. The Broncos and the Eagles have the most yards of any offense in the NFL, with 486.7 yards per game for Denver and 461.7 yards per game for the Eagles.
The Broncos average an NFL-best 42.3 points per game — more than two touchdowns better than the Eagles' 26.3 points per game. Manning's the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 12 touchdowns through the first three games.
The Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants and Oakland Raiders have each failed to stop Manning. But Manning was hesitant about overhyping the Broncos' offense, even if analysts and oddsmakers have been doing it for him.
"Everybody makes these summary statements after one game or two games," Manning said. "We talk about the process here, and we're just going through the process. This is the beginning of the process. We're still figuring out who we are and what we do best, what our identity is."