It’d be nice to finally have an easy Philadelphia Eagles win.
I’ve yet to take a breath during this first month of Eagles action, a nice anti-climactic victory over the hapless New York Jets on Sunday would be nice.
EAGLES PASSING GAME VS. JETS PASS DEFENSE
PHI- 94.5 PASSER RATING (16/32), 239.0 YPG (20/32)
NYJ- 83.2 PASSER RATING ALLOWED (7/32), 286.7 YPG ALLOWED (5/32)
The Eagles have a lot of kinks to fix and the Jets could be the perfect opponent for them to begin heading in the right direction in terms of cleaning them up.
Philadelphia has yet to figure out its first quarter scoring problems, it tossed up a zero for the third time in four games over the first 15 minutes against the Green Bay Packers. The Eagles were dead last in first quarter scoring a year ago with 41 points and they are essentially on the same pace, posting 10 first quarter points over their first four games so far.
You can get away with getting off to slow starts against teams like the Redskins, but the Eagles were unable to climb out of their holes against the Falcons and Lions. They got away with it against Green Bay after falling down 10-0, but they won’t get away with it consistently.
Carson Wentz needs to be more accurate coming out of the gates, his first half passer rating is 76.8 compared to a 109.5 rate in the second half. When he misses early, the ball sails high and this has been the issue with him so far this season.
So will the Eagles get up for the Jets and fix some of these problems? Here’s Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.
I mean, everybody knows what’s coming up. We all know what the schedule is. But listen, we’ve got a big test, a big challenge on Sunday. We are trying to figure out another way to win this week, and our goal doesn’t change. Just try to be 1-0. We’ll worry about next week next week, but obviously the schedule is out there, so we know who we play. We just haven’t got there yet.
Pederson officially ruled DeSean Jackson out during his press conference on Friday. After the Eagles dropped the ball seven times in their loss to the Lions, wide receivers not named Alshon Jeffery were targeted just three times last week. Jeffery, of course, exited early in that Lions game.
EAGLES RUNNING GAME VS. JETS RUN DEFENSE
PHI- 4.1 YPC (19/32), 118.8 YPG (14/32)
NYJ- 3.6 YPC ALLOWED (27/32), 88.7 YPG ALLOWED (25/32)
Dallas Goedert’s impact was felt last week, especially in the run game out of the 12 personnel packages. This was a package that Pederson had yet to unveil because Goedert played just nine snaps against Detroit.
The Eagles ran for 176 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry last Thursday against Green Bay. Jordan Howard carried the ball 15 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns, while Miles Sanders totaled 72 yards on 11 rushes. Philadelphia came into the Packers game averaging just 3.6 yards per carry.
Here’s what’s going to happen if the Eagles can continue to dominate running the ball out of 12 personnel, it’s going to open up huge chunks in the play-action passing game. They can also go five wide out of 12 because Darren Sproles and Sanders can line out wide along with Zach Ertz and Goedert. If Goedert and Ertz can stay healthy, they are going to give opposing defenses huge problems.
While the Jets won’t be doing much offensively without Sam Darnold, more on that soon, they do have a respectable defense and yield just 3.6 yards per carry, which is sixth in the NFL. Even without Quinnen Williams and C.J. Mosley, the Jets still feature Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams on the defensive side and Pederson had nice things to say about the D.
Yeah, it’s a good group up front. Their strength I believe is their front guys.
This is a [Jets Defensive Coordinator] Gregg Williams style defense where they are going to give you multiple fronts. They are going to move the front. They are going to stem. It’s an attack style of defense. Our angles have to be right with our offensive line and tight ends coming off the ball. It’s very similar to Green Bay in a sense, but probably a little more movement up front with these guys. More of a penetrating style.
And so they’re disruptive and that’s what causes holes to close quickly, ball carriers to either bounce the ball and if you do bounce it, there’s a DB waiting for you. So it’s an attack style, an aggressive style that we’ve got to be sharp with.
JETS PASSING GAME VS. EAGLES PASS DEFENSE
PHI- 94.7 PASSER RATING ALLOWED (16/32), 323.8 YPG ALLOWED (32/32)
NYJ- 94.5 PASSER RATING (29/32), 131.0 YPG (32/32)
Darnold will be held out Sunday as he continues to recover from mono. He was cleared for practice, but not for contact. So that means Luke Falk will start in his place for a 32nd ranked Jets offense, which has posted just six first downs in back-to-back weeks.
The Eagles have struggled immensely defending the pass and are dealing with a plethora of injuries in the secondary. They got good news Friday as Pederson announced that Jones will play despite a hamstring injury he suffered against the Packers. Ronald Darby remains out with his hamstring injury and Avonte Maddox will miss Sunday’s contest with a neck sprain. We’ll see if Jones’ snaps are limited.
Craig James was the hero last Thursday, tipping the Aaron Rodgers pass up in the air which led to the game-sealing interception by Nigel Bradham. He was set to man one of the outside cornerback spots along with Rasul Douglas if Jones couldn’t go. The Birds also signed Orlando Scandrick to man the slot after he spent time with the team during the summer.
New York possesses some weapons in Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder, but Falk hasn’t shown that he can get the ball to them.
An Eagles defensive end registered their first sack of the season last week against Green Bay after Derek Barnett suffered a strip-sack. Although it was Philadelphia’s only sack of the game, it pressured Rodgers throughout. Despite the fact that the Eagles have just three sacks on the year, they are in the top 10 in pressure rate according to outlets such as Pro Football Focus and Sports Info Solutions.
We’ll see if Philly can follow up last week’s encouraging performance with another one.
JETS RUNNING GAME VS. EAGLES RUN DEFENSE
PHI- 3.2 YPC ALLOWED (30/32), 62.0 YPG ALLOWED (29/32)
NYJ- 3.0 YPC (29/32), 65.7 YPG (28/32)
Le’Veon Bell was the prized offseason acquisition of the Jets, but he hasn’t had much to work with and holes aren’t being opened up. He’s averaging a measly 2.9 yards per carry, although he has caught 20 passes for 121 yards out of the backfield.
The Eagles are back to dominating in run defense just like they did in 2017. Opposing offenses have been behind the chains after first and second down all year, but they need to figure out how to get off the field on third down better. They are currently ranked 21st in third down defense.
PREDICTION: I want to see the Eagles pound the Jets into submission, that’s what elite teams do to bottom dwellers. I want to see the Eagles go into halftime with a two-touchdown lead and I think they will. Philadelphia is susceptible defensively to the pass, but the Jets have 12 total first downs their last two games and Falk is not getting it done.