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How many points must Eagles score this time?
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He was talking about what happened on that specific day. And yet his comments were prescient in a way he might not have realized at the time.

A couple of weeks ago, the Eagles scored 30 points -- and still lost to the San Diego Chargers at home. Afterward, Michael Vick was asked about the performance, about what went right and what went wrong. He gave a quick outline before offering an interesting summation:

“Maybe we need to score 37 points,” Vick said (see story). “I think that’s what had to happen to win this football game.”

They didn’t win that football game. Now you wonder what it might take -- how many points will be required -- to win the next one.

The Eagles will head out to Denver to play the Broncos this weekend. Despite Peyton Manning’s complaint that the NFL schedule makers helped the Birds out by giving them a few extra days off before the matchup (see story), the Broncos are the prohibitive favorite. Various Vegas oddsmakers have installed the Eagles as double-digit underdogs.

It makes sense. The Broncos are 3-0, and they’ve looked excellent in each outing. Manning leads the league in passing yards, touchdowns and quarterback rating. Wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are both in the top 20 in receiving yards, while Wes Welker is second in receiving touchdowns and tied for 11th in catches. They have weapons. Lots of them.

Not surprisingly, the Broncos have all but broken the scoreboard this season. They’ve scored 49, 41 and 37 points in three respective games. They lead the league in points per game by a wide margin. Denver averages 42.3 points. Green Bay is second at 32.0. The Eagles are eighth at 26.3.

After the first game, the national storyline focused on whether the competition could keep up with the Eagles’ hyperactive offense. How quickly things change. This week, the question is whether the Birds will score enough to make it a game in Denver.

“We definitely have to score some points this week,” Vick said. “And that’s every week. You want to be as productive as you can on offense. … We just have to play, not to match them, but do what we can to defeat the opponent.”

The Eagles scored a combined 63 points in their first two games. In Week 3, the Birds' offense managed just 16 points in a home loss to Kansas City. The Eagles had 431 yards of total offense against the Chiefs, which was close to the production in the previous two games (511 total yards against the Chargers; 443 total yards against Washington). But the Birds struggled on third down against K.C. (they converted 3 of 10 third downs) and also committed five turnovers.

“As an offense, we just feel we have to go battle for battle with [the Broncos] and be able to score as many points as they can, hopefully more,” DeSean Jackson said. “The past two games were a little rough for us, kind of shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties and things like that.”

Those kinds of mistakes are obviously detrimental to an offense that wants to push the tempo. The Eagles ran 63 plays against the Chiefs. (They ran 58 against the Chargers and 77 against Washington.) For the season, the Eagles average 66 plays, which is tied for 15th in the league. Denver runs 71 plays per game (fifth most).

“We always want to be hot and run as many plays as we can,” Vick said. “That’s the offense staying out on the field, converting third downs, finishing drives, doing all the little things that make an offense successful. We have to focus in on what we’re doing, try to get the tempo up, try to get the number of plays up.”