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October 06, 2019

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Jets game

The Philadelphia Eagles improved to 3-2 after an easy, stress-free win over the absolutely horrendous New York Jets on Sunday afternoon. As always, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Thank You For Being Awful' Award: The Jets

Yes, the Eagles deserve credit for winning this game, but we can all be honest and acknowledge that the Jets are absolutely awful, right? As in, like, worst team in the NFL awful? Like, as currently constructed, with their No. 3 quarterback, even worse than the -137 point differential Dolphins awful?

Yes? OK, good. With that disclaimer out of the way, we can praise the Eagles appropriately.

2) The 'Hand It To Him' Award: Nate Gerry

Oft-criticized linebacker Nate Gerry has had a nice start to the season, making several big plays. He had a clutch INT vs. the Falcons Week 2:

I don't know what he was thinking trying to run it out of the end zone there, but whatever. And against the Jets, he had a pick-six off of Luke Falk. Look at Nate, from the opposite side of the field (well, sort of) work his way through the trash, accelerate, make the catch, and finish. 

I don't care if it's the Jets and their crappy — that is really well done.

MORE: The good, bad and ugly from Eagles-Jets | Eagles leave meat on the bone, but still cruise to dominating win over Jets

3) The 'Best Cowboys' Acquisition Ever' Award: Orlando Scandrick

The Eagles have had some awful acquisitions from the Cowboys, from DeMarco Murray to Miles Austin to, um, Roger Ruzek? Well, they finally found one who is not actually killing the team, in Orlando Scandrick. In his one-game Eagles career, Scandrick had 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a TD. In the fourth quarter, he yoinked the ball away from Luke Falk and took it to the house: 

But seriously though, getting to the quarterback is actually part of Scandrick's game. Back in 2016, in our Cowboys dumpster fire piece, we goofed on the Cowboys because Scandrick was the team's active career sack leader.


So he has that ability, and credit Jim Schwartz for using his blitzing skills accordingly.

4) The 'They Come in Chunks' Award: Brandon Graham and the Eagles' pass rush

Through the first four games of the season, the Eagles had 3 sacks as a team, and Graham had no sacks. Against the Jets, the Eagles had 10 sacks, and Graham had 3. Graham did a lot of his damage from the inside working against Jets RG Brian Winters, who was simply overmatched.

In the fourth quarter, with the Eagles fully aware that the Jets would have to pass to play catch-up, it was a jail break to the quarterback.

Yes, the Jets' offensive line may very well be the worst in the NFL at the moment, but credit Graham and the Eagles' pass rush for a great game regardless.

5) The 'Comeback Player' Award: Rodney McLeod

"I feel great," said every player ever when asked about their rehab from ACL surgery. "I feel like I'm even stronger than I was before."

In McLeod's case, that's actually true, as McLeod has been very good this season, and arguably looks better than he ever has with the Eagles. Against the Jets, he hauled in an interception with one hand on a tipped pass.

McLeod also had a big hit on a 3rd and 1 run play to Le'Veon Bell that preceded Gerry's pick-six on fourth down.

6) The 'Fine's A-Comin'' Award: Derek Barnett

For the second week in a row, Barnett had a dirty play, and the expectation here is that he's going to be fined once again. On Gerry's interception return, Barnett dove at the knees of a Jets offensive lineman far away from the play. You can see it here, via Erock:

He was provoked into it, but that is still unacceptable. If you look, Barnett committed his penalty before Gerry entered the end zone. That touchdown should not have counted. He has to cut that crap out.

7) The 'Sloppy' Award: The Eagles' offense

Take away the Eagles' two defensive touchdowns, and their offense only scored 17 points. They scored early, on their first drive, and then got Gerry's INT return TD on the Jets' ensuing possession, so it helped that they jumped out to a comfortable lead from the get-go.

But the offense cannot commit penalties (five, by my count) and have as many unforced errors against legitimate NFL opponents going forward or the result isn't going to be the same.

MORE: First half observations: Eagles 21, Jets 0 | Week 5 non-Eagles Sunday rooting guide

8) The 'All-Purpose' Award: Darren Sproles

Sproles didn't really have a positive effect on this game in any way, but congratulations to him for passing Tim Brown, and putting himself fifth all-time in NFL all-purpose yards:

  1. Jerry Rice: 23,546
  2. Brian Mitchell: 23,330
  3. Walter Payton: 21,803
  4. Emmitt Smith: 21,564
  5. Darren Sproles: 19,683
  6. Tim Brown: 19,682

9) The 'Road Warriors' Award: The Eagles' schedule

The Eagles are now entering into a difficult part of their schedule in which they'll be on the road three straight weeks, a major disadvantage. 

  1. Week 6: At Minnesota
  2. Week 7: At Dallas
  3. Week 8: At Buffalo

However, after that stretch, the Birds won't board a plane for a game until their Dec. 1 matchup in Miami against the Dolphins.

10) The 'NFC East Leaders(?)' Award: Maybe the Eagles

As of this writing, the Packers are up 17-0 on the Cowboys in Dallas. So, there's that.

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