New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Jets Will Defy History and Win
Yes, you read the headline correctly, the Jets have yet to win a regular-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The two franchises have eight games against each other, all of them ending with Philadelphia being the victor.
This week, the Jets not only have to overcome their 0-8 record against the Eagles, they will have to do it in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field, a tough place to play for opposing teams.
The last time these two played, the Eagles were able to win 16-9 late in the game during the 2007 where the Jets went 4-12.
Sunday should have a completely different outcome, as the shoe is on the other foot now. The Eagles are now the team in a horrible position, while the Jets are still trying to slip into the playoffs for a third year in a row.
So, without further ado, here is why the Jets will improve their record to 1-8 against the Eagles on Sunday. As always, feedback is welcome. Enjoy!
1) Who Wants It More?
"Below average" would not even suffice as a description for the Eagles' 2011 season. They only have one win at home, and a losing record of 5-8 to go along with the disappointment of being the "dream team" that is struggling to have a winning record. It goes without saying that the Eagles are also out of playoff contention.
Meanwhile, the Jets are 8-5 and still trying to fight their way into the playoffs. In order for them to make the playoffs, they need to win their last three games of the season, and right now Philadelphia is another team that stands in the way.
This Jets team is better than last year's, and anything short of winning a Super Bowl means failure for them. It is this that creates the urgency that has affected the way they have been playing over the last few weeks, and with the way the playoff situation is this year, that urgency is not going away any time soon.
Aside from the big loss to Jim Leonhard last week and the small absence of center Nick Mangold earlier this season, the Jets have remained healthy.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles have been battling injuries all season long. Some of the players that are pretty banged up for Sunday's game include: Michael Vick (ribs), Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) and Cullen Jenkins (groin).
The Jets have the advantage when it comes to health; for the most part, they will be rested and prepared for Sunday's game. Meanwhile, the Eagles continue their limp to the end of the season.
3) Offense Is Firing on All Cylinders
Despite a very shaky first 12 weeks of the season, the Jets offense seems like it finally hit its stride as we have entered the home stretch of the 2011 season. With the help of offensive guru Tom Moore, the Jets have been able to turn their slow offense into a point-producing machine.
It started with Shonn Greene, who struggled to run the ball all season long. He only had one game with 100 yards or more on the ground going into last week's game against the Chiefs, but then he had a 129-yard outburst to increase the number of 100-plus yard games.
Being able to run the ball efficiently again has done wonders for the passing game, which was average for most of the season. Now that Shonn Greene's rushing attempts have been more successful, the Jets can get back to their play-action passes, which is one of Sanchez's best attributes.
It has been a while since the Jets' offense has been stopped, and with the way they have been playing, the Eagles may put up a good fight, but will likely ending up losing.
4) Learn from Getting Tebowed
If there is anything positive that the Jets can take out of their agonizing loss to Tim Tebow and the Broncos, it is that they can learn from the mistakes they made and use them against Michael Vick and the Eagles.
While the Eagles and Broncos use two different systems on offense, playing against a playmaker at quarterback like Tebow can help them prepare for someone like Michael Vick. Both quarterbacks are great on their feet and can extend plays by scrambling.
Luckily for the Jets, they have talented cornerbacks to defend against Philadelphia's quick receivers so they can have one or two more guys watching Michael Vick rather than putting a ton of people in coverage.
For the most part, playing against Michael Vick with a poor offensive line, with Revis and Cromartie shutting down Jackson, Maclin and/or Smith, it should be a good day for the Jets' defense.