The Eagles (2-2) opened up as 14-point favorites over the Jets (0-3) as the two teams face off at the Linc this Sunday.
The Eagles need to take care of business this week. The Jets haven’t won more than five games in a season since 2015.
To the matchups:
Jets QB vs. Jim Schwartz
There’s apparently some optimism out of North Jersey that Sam Darnold might be able to play the week.
But if Darnold doesn’t get cleared by Sunday, Luke Falk would start. If it is Falk, this will be his third career game and his second career start. He didn’t have much of a chance against the Patriots a couple of weeks ago. His stat line was ugly: 12 for 22, 98 yards and an interception. He was also sacked five times. The Jets scored 14 points against the Patriots in Week 3 but one touchdown came from special teams and one on defense.
Here’s a reminder of what the Jets’ offense did with Luke Falk at QB against the Patriots in Week 3:— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) October 3, 2019
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The #Eagles have no reason to not blow this team out on Sunday.
That’s 10 punts. There was just one 10-punt game in the NFL in the entire 2018 season and this game is the only 10-punt game so far in 2019.
Schwartz is a veteran defensive coach and should be able to feast on the young QB, even with a decimated secondary and a pass rush that has left plenty to be desired.
If Darnold plays, that would give the Jets a boost, but I’d wonder how much strength he’ll have and how good he’ll be.
Le’Veon Bell vs. Eagles’ stout run defense
Through three games, Bell has 56 carries for 163 yards. His average of 2.9 yards per attempt ranks him 31st out of 32 among running backs with at least 40 attempts this season. But it really isn’t all Bell’s fault. He's actually averaging 2.1 yards per attempt after contact and he’s broken 10 tackles this season, second-most in the NFL. He’s breaking a tackle every 5.6 attempts.
Meanwhile, the Eagles’ defense is giving up just 62.0 yards per game this season. Since Schwartz took over as defensive coordinator in 2016, the Eagles have had the league’s best rushing defense, giving up just 90.7 yards per game in 52 games.
Jamison Crowder vs. Orlando Scandrick
The Jets experimented with putting Crowder outside, but he should be back where he belongs in the slot this week. Crowder isn’t a great player, but he’s the best the Jets have to offer. And this matchup is worth watching because he’ll likely go against a 32-year-old guy who was on the couch this time last week. The Eagles’ secondary is decimated, but the Jets don’t have much of a passing attack. Their biggest playmaker is Crowder.
Since he was in Washington for four years, Crowder has faced the Eagles eight times before and has really been held in check. In those eight games, he’s averaged just 31.5 yards per game with one touchdown. Against the Cowboys and Giants (the other two NFC East opponents), he averaged 75.8 yards per game and 57.5 yards per game, respectively.
Overall, the battle between the Jets’ pass game and the Eagles’ secondary should be interesting. The Eagles’ are the NFL’s worst pass defense, giving up 323.8 yards per game. But the Jets have the worst passing offense in the league, putting up 131.0 yards per game.
Carson Wentz vs. Jamal Adams
Through four games, Wentz has played very well. Take it with a grain of salt, but he’s ProFootballFocus’s top-rated QB in the first quarter of the season. That might be going too far, but he has played well. And Adams is the Jets’ best player. No question. Adams is still just 23 and is coming off a Pro Bowl season that surely won’t be his last. He’s everywhere on the field and can do so many different things.
Eagles’ OL vs. Jets’ interior DL
This is a battle of strengths between these two teams. The Eagles’ offensive line is coming off its best game of the season in Green Bay and will face a Jets’ line that is pretty good. While the Jets have many injuries, they are at least expecting to have their first-round pick, Quinnen Williams, back in the lineup this week. Him next to Leonard Williams inside is a solid duo. Keep an eye on Isaac Seumalo, who has really rebounded after an awful game in Week 2.
And part of what makes Gregg Williams’ defense hard to face is its multiplicity. He disguises everything and moves his pieces around. That can make things tough on Carson Wentz. But if the OL can control the pace of the game like they did last week, it’ll make a big difference.
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