October 04, 2019
The Eagles will head into Sunday's matchup against the New York Jets favored by nearly two touchdowns despite being just 2-2 on the season and playing from behind in every game so far this season. But there's a good reason why the Birds are such heavy favorites in this one...
The 0-3 Jets stink.
Now, that's not entirely at the feet of new coach Adam Gase or first-year general manager Joe Douglas — after all, Sam Darnold went down with a case of mono and the following week the team lost backup Trevor Simien to injury, leaving Luke Falk as the team's starting quarterback. That's some really bad luck.
And while the Jets were hopeful Darnold could return to action this week, following his team's bye, he has ruled out for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
The Jets now must face an Eagles team coming off a confidence-boosting win in Green Bay last Thursday — the Jets aren't the only ones coming into this week with some added time off — and looking to pick up another win before embarking on a three-game road trip that will provide the toughest test so far this season.
Can the Eagles take care of business at home on Sunday against the struggling Jets? Here's what our writers think...
TV: CBS | RADIO: 94.1 WIP
SPREAD: Eagles (-13.5) | TOTAL: 44.0 (via Bovada)
When this line originally came out, my first thought was, "The Eagles shouldn't be 14-point favorites over anybody." After all, they have faced at least a 10-point deficit in every single game they have played so far this season.
Then I took a close look at this Jets team, and Good Lord are they awful. As you know, Sam Darnold is unlikely to go in this matchup, which means that it'll be Luke Falk once again, playing behind what may very well be the worst offensive line in the NFL. The Jets have the 32nd-ranked offense, the 32nd-ranked passing offense, and the 28th-ranked rushing offense. They are an absolute mess across the board.
Five of the Eagles' top six cornerbacks are injured, and four of them won't play, but if there's a week where they can get by with a few guys signed off of the street, this is it. The Eagles should smash this team, and if they don't, it is cause for further concern.
The Eagles have the third best run defense in the NFL, allowing 62 yards per game and 3.2 yards per carry. They have one of the worst passing defenses — but if Sam Darnold is unable to return from his bout of mono, the Eagles banged and bruised secondary will have its easiest task of the season against Luke Folk and a makeshift group of NY pass catchers. Philly's red zone defense has also been ridiculous, coming through in the clutch most recently last week against the Packers twice to win the game late. Carson Wentz is, quietly, playing like one of the 3 or 4 best quarterbacks in all of football and he should be a force against the Jets. I expect the defense to shine at home vs. the lowly Jets and the Eagles to cover the spread.
Last week, I didn't bother crunching the numbers or doing any in-depth analysis before making my prediction. Instead, I went with my gut — and, shockingly, I was one of the few people to correctly pick the Eagles to win. This week, I don't think I need to do much of either. I can simply use my eyes (and some common sense).
The Eagles are the better team. There is no question about that. Even with a healthy Sam Darnold, the Eagles would still be favored by a touchdown in this one. Now, with no Darnold, it would take an epic collapse by the home team to throw this opportunity away. This isn't like the Lions team that came in here two weeks ago and upset the Eagles at home in a game almost everybody was picking the Birds to win. Not only that, but the Eagles' most glaring weakness, their pass defense, matches up perfectly with the Jets' biggest weakness, throwing the football.
Could I see it being an uncomfortable 10-6 lead for the Eagles at halftime? Sure, slow starts have kind of been their thing this season. But eventually, I think the Eagles put this one away and win comfortably on Sunday.
At the risk of sounding overconfident about a team I have been wrong about quite frequently already this season, I can’t see this team losing to an opponent being quarterbacked by Luke Falk. I would only be mildly more concerned if Sam Darnold and his spleen are able to play after a mono-induced layoff. Even an injury-plagued secondary should be able to be good enough to get it done.
Last week felt like a possible turning point for the Eagles, with contributions in every phase helping to secure a tough victory on the road. With the Eagles about to embark on a brutal stretch of games, securing this win is critical.
The Eagles have never lost to the Jets, and there’s no reason history won’t repeat itself this Sunday. This game should be won easily, with or without New York’s famous kissing bandit, salacious Sam Darnold.
After the gritty win against the Packers in Green Bay and a ton of rest there’s no reason the Eagles shouldn’t blow out the Jets. Without Sam Darnold, Le'Veon Bell can be answered for.
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