Back to the scene of the crime for the defeathered Eagles (5-7)… the schedule-making gods send them again by bus to the bloody Meadowlands where they just dropped an embarrassing stinker of an offense on their uptown divisional rivals in New York (5-6). This time it’s the other gang from West Side Story— the Jets (3-8).
You gotta believe none of the won-lost records matter at this point. Confidence on the Eagles’ side must be as shaken as the gimpy ankle Jalen Hurts is dragging around at the moment.
The NFL is about how teams are trending. Right now, the arrow is up for the Jets, not so much for the Eagles.
The Jets are back in the win column.
New York fell behind by 11 points early in its recent trip to Houston, but responded and held on at the end for a 21-14 win over the Texans. Zach Wilson didn’t light Houston’s vulnerable secondary on fire in his return from a sprained PCL, making some familiar mistakes. However, he found paydirt on a rushing touchdown in the third quarter for the eventual game-winning score.
Tyler Calvaruso from Jets Wire fills us in:
“So much for Zach Wilson learning from Joe Flacco, Josh Johnson and Mike White while he was injured. New York’s rookie quarterback continued to make the mistakes that plagued him earlier in the season in his return to the field, missing wide-open receivers and throwing a mind-boggling interception in which he tried to shovel the ball to Ty Johnson, who wasn’t even looking at him.
“Some of Wilson’s mishaps are typical of any rookie quarterback. Some of them make you wonder if he’s been watching his own tape. The Jets are going to have to continue to ride out his peaks — like his rushing touchdown — and valleys and hope for the best.”
Funny, you could apply the peaks and valleys observation to Jalen Hurts right now, too.
And the Jets defense will be no pushover for the Birds in this one. At least the Eagles offensive line will have more of a say than Houston’s did.
The Texans have the furthest thing from a dominant offensive line and the Jets took advantage of that, registering five sacks. John Franklin-Myers, Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins and Ronald Blair brought constant pressure on Tyrod Taylor throughout the afternoon and kept him from sitting in the pocket to go through his reads. It was easily the best performance New York Jets’ defensive line has turned in this season.
Franklin-Myers enjoyed his return to Texas, where he went to high school and college. He batted a pass to himself and intercepted it in the first quarter and added two sacks and two tackles for loss. Franklin-Myers has been up-and-down since signing his contract extension earlier this season, but he turned in his best performance of the season against the Texans.
No Michael Carter, no problem. Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson and even Austin Walter delivered for the Jets, with Coleman leading the team in rushing and Walter scoring a key first-half touchdown. Johnson didn’t contribute as much as a pass-catcher as he has in recent weeks, but he was productive on the ground and broke off a key 24-yard run on 3rd-and-29 to get the Jets back into field goal range. The committee approach worked in Houston.
Jets linebacker QuincyWilliams turned in yet another impactful performance with seven tackles, one stop for a loss and a sack. The 25-year-old was viewed as a neat story when the Jets picked him up in September, reuniting him with his brother, Quinnen. Now, he is a key cog in Jeff Ulbrich’s defense and has done more than enough to earn himself a full-time role next to C.J. Mosley.
Jeff Ulbrich’s defense finally had a good game. After weeks of giving up tons of points and yards, the Jets held firm against the Texans. The 202 total yards the Jets allowed in Week 12 were the fewest the team has allowed since Week 9 of the 2018 season, according to team reporter Randy Lange. The Jets also shut out a team in the second half for the first time since 2019 when they did it against the Raiders in Week 12.
Javelin Guidry earned the start at outside cornerback and might hold onto it while Brandin Echols remains on injured reserve. Typically a slot cornerback, Guidry didn’t allow a reception on either of his two targets in 34 coverage snaps, according to Jets X-Factor’s Michael Nania. He had one pass breakup.
Week 12 didn’t feature much offensive action for the Jets or the Texans through the air. Zach Wilson and Tyrod Taylor combined for 215 net passing yards after a combined nine sacks and 88 sack yards. That’s the second-fewest net passing yards in a game this season after the Bears and Browns finished with 204 in Week 3, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
So the way Philly’s passing game is trending, Jalen Hurts should fit right into the mix at the Meadowlands…that is, if he plays at all. A sore ankle has Hurts’ status in question. Hurts injured his ankle in the Eagles’ Week 12 loss to the Giants. If Hurts can’t play, Gardner Minshew will likely make his first start for Philly.