The Philadelphia Eagles came into week 5 looking to build on last weeks’ huge win at Green Bay. Other than the Miami Dolphins, the only other team you’d rather play to keep a winning streak alive is the New York Jets. The Jets came in 0-3 and were really struggling on offense. They lost their starting Quarterback to mono in week 2 and have sputtered ever since. The Jets came in averaging under 190 yards a game and they didn’t even crack the 130 yard barrier against the Eagles.
The Eagles defense would end up being the bright spot of the afternoon, even though we all knew the Jets offense is horrific. The Eagles racked up 10 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 for a TD, and 2 forced fumbles, 1 also returned for a TD, in a 31-6 beat down on Sunday afternoon.
After forcing a three and out to to start the game, the Eagles would get the ball and march right down the field for a TD. Highlighted by a 15 yard run, Jordan Howard six plays later would cap off the drive with a 1 yard TD run. The Eagles have been struggling scoring early in games, so to see a solid opening drive was encouraging.
On the ensuing drive, the Jets would get some momentum building, getting the ball into Eagles territory. After failing to convert on a 3rd and 1 run up the middle, Jets QB Luke Falk would be intercepted on 4th down by Nathan Gerry, and returned for a TD. The Eagles were up 14-0 before New York realized what hit them.
The defense was just getting started. They would cause problems all afternoon for Adam Gase and the Jets offense. Eagles LB Nathan Gerry, Orlando Scandrick, and Brandon Graham starred all afternoon. “Once I saw (Le’Veon Bell) take off I knew that’s where the ball was going. Like I said earlier, we knew how they were going to attack us on short yardage especially on third and fourth down.” said Gerry. Gerry jumped the out route by Bell out of the backfield, and coupled by pressure by Brandon Graham, was able to intercept the pass and return it 51 yards for the score.
Offensively the Eagles were not stellar by any means. However, the Jets defense is really good and very well coached by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Wentz finished with just 189 yards and 1 TD on 17 of 29 passing. It’s his 2nd consecutive week with less than 200 yards throwing, but the Eagles will take it as they are now 3-2. Jordan Howard led all Eagles in rushing with 62 yards on 13 carries to go along with a touchdown.
With just under 8 minutes to go in the game, the Jets seemed to be moving the ball, in hopes of scoring on their second consecutive drive. Luke Falk would drop back and while standing up right, get the ball ripped out of his hands by Orlando Scandrick who would return it 44 yards for a TD. After the game, Falk, took the blame on the sack-fumble; “We just have to get on the same page on what we’re doing. I can’t afford to get sacked on that situation with the line giving me that much time. Worst comes to worst, I have to get rid of it.”
The Eagles needed to win this game convincingly and did just that. With a tough 6 game stretch coming up for the Eagles, 3 on the road against Minnesota, Dallas, and Buffalo, followed by 3 at home against Chicago, New England, and Seattle, with a bye week sandwiched in there, the Eagles needed to win this game. The next 7 weeks will say a lot about this team. With a banged up secondary, the offense will need to step it up a gear if this teams has hopes of making it to Miami in February.
The team will be headed to Minnesota next week for a battle with Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. The Vikings have weapons all over on offense, but the question that follows them is the play of their QB. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been very outspoken in recent weeks about Cousins play. Despite their talented WR pairing, the Vikings have been running the ball extremely well with third year back Dalvin Cook. Minnesota is third in the league in rushing averaging 155.2 yards per game. The Eagles have done an excellent job so far this year in shutting down some good NFL running backs. However, Minnesota’s rushing attack will by far be the best one they’ve seen so far.