Let’s face it, a loss would have ended the season. Teams that begin the season 0-3 have made the playoffs 1 percent of the time. Looking at this game from afar, it looks like the Eagles had a nice game. They went into MetLife Stadium and knocked off the 2-0 Jets, who have one of the best defenses in the league. All of this coming off the single most embarrassing loss of the Chip Kelly era. Sure, was it a step in the right direction? Maybe it was. However, I am still not convinced.
The national media was so giddy about the New York Jets this past week. “They held Andrew Luck‘s offense to 7 points!” Now let’s give credit where it is due first. The Jets defense is phenomenal. Then I watched the end Colts-Titans game. After watching that game, it is obvious the Colts just aren’t that good. They struggled to beat the Titans in a game they had to win. The Jets other win was against a Brown team that got jumped on by the Raiders, who had to travel across the country for a 1 P.M. start.
The Jets are still the Jets.
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, they will have that back breaking turnover. Their defense will keep them in it, but if Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing 58 times a game, god bless you. The Jets are really just the Seahawks except with a backup quarterback and no “beast mode.” It is really that simple. Both teams have elite defenses with great secondary play. Both teams force a lot of turnovers and the offenses are predicated on the run. We may have learned more about this Jets team than the Eagles in this game.
When you looked at the score at the end of this game, what did you think? You were probably thinking, “Wow, Chip’s offense just put up 24 against the Jets!” or “This could be their division with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant out.” I am afraid that is just not the case. All 24 of the points the Eagles scored came in the first half. Only 17 of these points were scored by the offense as Darren Sproles returned a punt for a touchdown. Perhaps the most eye-popping stat of the game came in the receiving category. Jordan Matthews was the only Eagles wide receiver with a reception. That is extremely concerning. He has clearly been the only reliable receiver for this offense. So far this year, he has reeled in 22 reception for 231 yards and a touchdown. For a first round pick, Nelson Agholor has been very underwhelming this season. He has tallied only four catches this season. That is unacceptable production for him.
Now there were some positives to take away from this game. I thought the defense played very well again this week. They forced four turnovers in this contest. I was impressed by second round pick Eric Rowe and third round pick Jordan Hicks. Eric Rowe stepped in at corner back this game and recorded his first career interception. It is a big step for him as he was getting less snaps than special teams player Chris Maragos the previous two game. Jordan Hicks was a surprising pick in Spring’s draft. The Eagles had just acquired Kiko Alonso and decided to draft another insider linebacker instead of a guard (which I complained about last week). So far, Hicks has looked good. He has recorded 17 tackles, an interception, a sack, and a forced fumble in six quarters of action. With Alonso out for the foreseeable future, he is going to have to keep up the good play. Another positive is that the run game was, well, better than last week. Considering they rushed for a staggering seven yards last week, the 123 yards this week looks considerably better.
Next week, the Eagles will travel to Landover, Maryland for an NFC East clash with the Redskins. No matter what their record is, the Redskins always play division opponents tough. They defeated the Eagles in week 16 last season and Colt McCoy took down the Cowboys in Dallas. So this will be a close one, but the Eagles will come out on top.