Eagles up for huge challenge ahead

When Peyton Manning finally decides to hang up his cleats, he’s a sure-fire lock for the Hall of Fame. But Manning, unlike 41-year-old Brett Favre, doesn’t plan to linger way past his prime.

“It’s not something I think I’ll probably do,” Manning said.

Good thing for the Eagles. Manning is 3-0 all-time against Philadelphia, completing 48-of-69 passes for 737 yards and seven touchdowns. The only time the Eagles sacked Manning was when Mike Mamula got him way back in 1999. But neither side wants you to put too much stock in stats.

“Three different teams, three different game plans,” Manning said. “For whatever reason, we had good execution on those three days.”

Quintin Mikell was a special teams player when the two met in 2006, a 45-21 win for the Colts. Now the Eagles’ starting strong safety, Mikell expects a different outcome.

“This is a different team. I’m playing, right?,” Mikell joked. “It’s a big challenge, but we’re ready for it. We’re not going to sit back and be scared.”

Manning heaped tons of praise on the Eagles’ defense, which had the late Jim Johnson running the show in their previous three meetings. Maybe he didn’t get the memo that new defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is on the hot seat.

“Very sophisticated, well-coached,” Manning said of the defense. “Some teams just blitz to blitz. They blitz for a reason.”

Rookie Nate Allen thinks he has the answer to breaking the streak.

“You have to stay disciplined, you have to let him make his calls and then react,” Allen said.