The “WinnersandWhiners.com” short version of this upcoming game at the Linc (1 PM, Sunday):
“The Jets enter this game off a bye and they will be hoping that the week off will help them find the winner’s circle. The Jets are off to a 0-3 start and in their last game, they lost by a score of 30-14 to the Patriots on the road. The offense has been their biggest issue in the early going as they have averaged a paltry 196.7 ypg of total offense, which is last in the league, while also averaging just 11.0 ppg, which is 31st in the league. Did the Jets find their missing offense during the bye week? We shall see.
“The Eagles started their year with a five-point win over the Redskins on the road, before losing their next two games in a row. Last week, they bounced back with a solid 34-27 road win over the Packers. Now they will be looking to get over the .500 mark for the 2nd time this year when they face the lowly jets. The offense has been solid for the Eagles as they are 7th in the league in scoring, putting up 27.5 ppg but if they hope to make a run at the Super Bowl, their defense will have to improve on the 26.2 ppg they have allowed thus far, which is 26th in the league. Can the Eagles get their act together on defense against the offensively challenged Jets? ”
There’s your storyline. But the real drama is more about the fact that the NFL is a week-to-week proposition. The Eagles could regress, the Jets could over-achieve. This is the kind of game in which the Birds have to make a statement. They’ve got to rock steady and rock hard to make a point.
6th-round-pick (2018) Luke Falk will start at QB for the Jets. Falk’s numbers through two games played: 32/47 (68.1% completion), 296 yards (6.3 yards per attempt), 0 TD, 1 INT, 76.2 passer rating. Seven sacks taken. No rushing stats.
You just can’t lose to this young guy. It’s not his time yet. But they said that about Mitch Trubisky not too long ago. Don’t be mesmerized by Falk’s imitation of a rookie Trubisky’s game plan, which could end up being a 15 pass attempts/45 rushing attempts kind of balance. Sometimes that approach can actually work against a defense which is focused only on pressuring the inexperienced QB.
Le’Veon Bell is the Jets’ leading rusher with 163 yards through three games. He’s averaging a mere 2.9 yards per carry. You cannot allow this guy to get on a roll. Not here, not now.
The Jets’ starting offensive line consists of left tackle Kelvin Beachum, left guard Kelechi Osemele, center Ryan Kalil, right guard Brian Winters, and right tackle Brandon Shell. This is not an elite group to say the least, although I wish the Eagles had Osemele.
Jamison Crowder and Robbie Anderson (Temple) are the Jets’ top receivers, but honestly haven’t accumulated anything much in the way of threatening stats. But the Eagles’ secondary must not take either of them for granted. There is enough talent there to make an occasional fool out of any Eagles’ cover guy right now.
Jets’ defense is actually okay. DC Greeegg Williams has worked his guys into a fairly cohesive unit. The Jets rank sixth best in opponent yards per rush attempt—although small sample size.
The projected return of 2019 No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams should help the Jets’ defensive line. Williams missed the last two games with an ankle injury.
Jets’ linebackers are not so hot without C.J. Mosley in the middle (he’s out with a groin injury).
Jets’ safeties are good— Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are former high draft picks who will be keying on Carson Wentz’ eyes. Their corners are as depleted right now as the Eagles’ are. The highly paid Trumaine Johnson has been awful. Darly Roberts is really struggling in coverage.
And of course there is always a local flavor to the Jets— they just picked up former Penn State kicker Sam Ficken.
Please don’t let this game come down to a FG attempt by Ficken inside the 40.
Another reason you must win this game— the Jets are banged up worse than we are. Wednesday’s practice status for the Jets:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
As South Philly Ben would say, don’t sleep on these guys. In a way, the Jets are due to come up with something special. They usually do about twice a season. The Eagles better be ready for an emotional struggle which could get physical, South Philly style.