Week Five Preview: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Eagles are coming into this week soaring after a thrilling victory last week against Green Bay. It was a game they had to win and they got the job done. They proved me wrong.

This week, the Birds return home to face a depleted and uninspiring New York Jets team that has yet to win a game this season.

While the Jets have nowhere near the same level of talent that the Eagles do, this team is not as bad as some may think. They have some solid players in running back Le’Veon Bell and safety Jamal Adams.

This game will be determined by which Eagles team shows up. Will it be the Eagles team that won in Green Bay last week, or will it be the team that laid eggs against the Falcons and Lions.

Eagles Offense vs. Jets Defense

The Eagles offense got back on track last week. 34 points against that Packers defense is a very good sign. Doug Pederson called a great game, and did exactly what I’ve been begging him to do all year long: run the dang ball. The Birds rushed for 176 yards last week. They were paced by Jordan Howard, who had 87 of those yards and three touchdowns.

The Eagles actually had more yards on the ground than through the air. Carson Wentz only had 160 yards passing, but he was extremely efficient when he did throw the ball. He tossed three touchdowns to three different receivers, and didn’t turn the ball over. In fact, the Eagles had no turnovers all game. This was far different from the games they lost the previous two weeks, when it felt like they were turning the ball over at any opportunity.

One gripe that I did have with Philadelphia’s offense last week, however, was that they once again started sluggish in the first quarter. Over the past 20 regular season games, the Eagles offense remains dead last in first-quarter scoring.

The Eagles cannot just continue to rely on being a second-half team to get them wins. While last week was as close as they’ve come to playing a full 60 minute game, they still aren’t there yet. Look for the offense to start quickly against the Jets mediocre defense this week.

Speaking of the Jets defense, they are by far the strength of this team. That’s really not saying much when you look at their current state on offense. The Jets defense ranks as a very average unit compared to the rest of the league. They are in the middle of the pack in terms of yards allowed and points allowed.

However, New York ranks eighth in the league against the run. That has a lot to do with a very solid front seven that includes stud defensive end Leonard Williams, number three overall draft pick Quinnen Williams, and big free-agent signing C.J. Mosley. However, Mosley is yet to practice this week and has been out since week two with a nagging groin injury. Quinnen Williams has also been limited in practice this week with an ankle injury.

Where the Jets defense is really vulnerable is against the pass. They rank fifth-worst in the league in pass yards allowed. New York’s secondary gets torched about as much as the Eagles does, which is really saying something. Their cornerbacks, Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, have not played well at all. Safety Jamal Adams is a playmaker though, in both the run and the pass game. You will see him make a lot of plays on Sunday.

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Eagles Defense vs. Jets Offense

The Eagles defense showed up when they had to last Thursday night. They were burnt between the 20’s, per usual, but resembled the ‘85 Bears defense in goal-to-go situations in the fourth quarter. Not only with Nigel Bradham’s interception, but also when they forced the Packers to turn the ball over on downs when they had four plays from the one-yard line the possession prior.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but the Birds cornerbacks remain the liability of this team. With Sidney Jones nursing a hamstring injury, Avonte Maddox recovering from a concussion and Ronald Darby out at least a few weeks, it’s a possibility the Eagles could be trotting out two back-up corners.

Although, I will say Rasul Douglas has played the best of any Eagles cornerback this year. If Jones can’t play, expect Orlando Scandrick or last week’s hero, Craig James, to play the opposite him.

The Eagles pass rush was much better last week, with a huge sack-fumble from Derek Barnett. They got pretty decent pressure against Rodgers last week, but only ended up with that one sack from Barnett. Hopefully the defensive line is able to get some pressure this week against a below average offensive line. The more pressure they get, the less Jim Schwartz will be forced to blitz every defender we have. I’m not a big fan of a blitz that leaves our corners in man coverage with no help over the top.

The Jets offense is well, not good. Starting quarterback Sam Darnold remains out with (checks notes)…mono? The Jets will be trotting out third-string quarterback Luke Falk, a rookie from Washington State. He made his first career start against New England two weeks ago. You can guess how that went.

The Jets best offensive weapon is running back Le’Veon Bell. However, Bell has not had a good start to this season. I attribute that more to him having absolutely no help around him, and the Jets not being able to run the ball much because they’re always behind in games. The offensive line is also not that great, having allowed 13 sacks through only three games.

My Prediction

The Eagles are coming off of a season-defining win. The Jets are a winless team playing with their third-string quarterback and dealing with a boatload of injuries on defense. If the Eagles lose this game, don’t listen to Philadelphia sports radio next week.

The Eagles win, 30-14. The Eagles will start slow in the first quarter again, and it will actually be a close game in the first half, with the Jets defense keeping them in the game. The Birds will pull away in the second half with a pair of rushing touchdowns, one from Jordan Howard and the other from Miles Sanders, the first of his career. Carson Wentz will be efficient again, although with unimpressive stats. Zach Ertz will go another game without breaking a tackle.

Broadcast Information

Time: 1:00 p.m.


Radio: 94.1 FM WIP

Online: NFL Gamepass

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