Know your Eagles enemy: The New York Jets

The Eagles have righted the ship and now sail into this Sunday’s match up against the Jets with a record of 2-2.

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and now sit one game ahead of the Eagles in the division. The importance of this game is high as the Eagles look to be over .500 since being 1-0.

The Jets are coming off a bye and enter this game 0-3. Before diving into the key players, let’s take a look at their offseason:

Key additions:

Head coach Adam Gase, running back Le’Veon Bell (free agency – Steelers), linebacker C.J. Mosley (free agency – Ravens), defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (first round draft pick), wide receiver Jamison Crowder (free agency – Redskins), guard Kelechi Osemele (free agency – Raiders), general manager Joe Douglas (sad face), center Ryan Kalil (out of retirement)

Key departures:

guard James Carpenter (free agency – Falcons), cornerback Buster Skrine (free agency – Bears), cornerback Morris Claiborne (free agency – Chiefs)

After a quarter of the season, even though the Jets have played three games, it’s a good time to look at team rankings.

The Jets come into this game with the following statistics (league ranking in parenthesis):

  • Total offense: 196.7 YPG (32nd)
  • Passing yards: 131.0 YPG (32nd)
  • Rushing yards: 65.7 YPG (28th)
  • Total defense: 375.3 YPG (20th)
  • Passing yards allowed: 286.7 YPG (28th)
  • Rushing yards allowed: 88.7 YPG (8th)

So as you can see, the Jets really just have their rush defense to be happy about. Wentz and the receiving corps should be licking their chops. 

The defense should be excited as well, as they will probably be facing Luke Falk, who is coming off a 96 yard passing performance before the bye.

Good news for the Jets is that they will finally have a starting quarterback who has started two consecutive games. (Update: in Wednesday’s news conference, head coach Adam Gase said “I like our odds better than what they’ve been” in regards to Darnold’s health)

Game one was Sam Darnold, who came down with mononucleosis, the “kissing disease” if you will.

Game two was Trevor Siemian, who exited in the second quarter due to an ankle injury.

The rest of game two and starting game three was Luke Falk. Hurray for continuity!

But in all seriousness, the Jets do have two players worth being excited over.

Ring the Bell

After a year off in hopes to land a mega deal in free agency, Le’Veon Bell found just that with the Jets. At the start of free agency, Bell signed a four year, $52.5 million contract (worth up to $61 million), with $35 million guaranteed. His first year with the Jets hasn’t gone as planned so far, however. 

He is averaging 2.9 yards per carry, well below his career 4.3 yards per carry average with the Steelers. It doesn’t help that he is running behind ProFootballFocus’ 28th ranked offensive line. 

According to Football Outsiders, the Jets are last in the NFL in run blocking. 

Where Bell lacks in rushing this year, he makes up for it in the passing game. He is currently ninth among all running backs in receiving yards, with seven of those eight running backs ahead of him having played one more game than him. 

Despite the struggles of the Jets’ offense this season, Bell is still a dynamic player to be reckoned with. 

Since 2013, Bell ranks fifth among all running backs in rushing yards (remember, he missed ALL of 2018).  He is also first among all running backs in receiving yards (again, he missed ALL of 2018). He still has all the tools to make the Eagles’ defense go crazy. Jim Schwartz will have to make sure Bell is accounted for on every play. 

The Big (Adams) Apple

One of the most dynamic defensive players in the entire NFL can be found in the secondary of the Jets. 

Jamal Adams is in his third year with the Jets and he has already made his mark in the NFL. Having yet to miss a game, Adams has 211 tackles in 35 career games, to go along with two interceptions and 5.5 sacks. One of those interceptions has come this year, which ended up as a pick six (off Tom Brady). 

Adams was targeted three times against New England and he allowed one reception for -6 yards. No, that – is not a typo. Negative six yard reception. 

ProFootballFocus ranked him as the sixth best safety coming into 2019, and graded out as the third best at the end of 2018. 

Adams is a relentless pass rusher as well, which can be seen in the clip below (pay no mind that he was fined for this, clean hit):

The Eagles will have to keep in an extra blocker on many of Wentz’s drop backs in order to keep Adams at bay.  But with Adams rushing the quarterback, that leaves the rest of the Jets’ 28th ranked pass defense to defend against the Eagles’ passing attack.

Check out some Jets versus Eagles history and some predictions on the next page!

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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