The Eagles take on the New York Jets this Sunday in a matchup where the birds are favored by 13.5 points. As much as this should be a check in the win column for the Eagles, one has to really just temper expectations because of the obstacles the team is facing health-wise.
The team will be without CB Ronald Darby (hamstring), TE Alex Ellis (knee), WR DeSean Jackson (abdomen), DT Timmy Jernigan (foot), CB Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck). A tough list to just sweep under the rug as Pederson has to continue to adjust on the fly with all of these injuries.
The impact of not having DeSean Jackson out there is plain to see. Jackson showed flashes of how lethal this offense can be when he’s healthy in week 1, scoring two touchdowns and registering over 150 receiving yards. Now, Wentz will have to rely on his big 3 in a now-healthy Jeffery, Ertz, and Goedert. Agholor is healthy but the drop issues have been obvious and Jeffery’s return that is now unimpeded by a sprain could mean big things for a receiving corps begging for dynamicism.
Now on the other side of the ball, the Eagles dodged a huge bullet in their secondary as Sidney Jones will be suiting up, barring any setbacks. That alone is a huge sigh of relief as Schwartz won’t have to heavily rely on anybody outside of Douglas and Jones. Sure, King Craig James may make an appearance but let’s be honest, you feel better knowing that he won’t be the starting corner.
Also listed as limited was Derek Barnett who has been having a stellar campaign thus far. Fortunately for the defense, they’ll be going against QB Luke Falk and the shaky Jets offense.
Falk was held to a measley 99 yards, no touchdowns and a single interception against the Patriots one week ago, completing just 12 of 22 passes. This also bodes well for the Eagles defense as it presents a heavy workload for Le’Veon Bell. This may sound scary, but the Eagles have allowed just 97-rushing yards in TOTAL this season. Kerryon Johnson posted the most…with 36. This should be a marquee matchup and one the Eagles have to win.
While no team should be taken lightly, the defense could use this game to not only take it down a notch but also find their swagger and confidence again. They had a huge goal-line stand against Aaron Rodgers multiple times throughout the game, so if they can carry the momentum into not only this game but the games after, it could pay huge dividends for an injury-riddled defense.
While the Jets will be missing their franchise QB, they’ll also be without their free-agent acquisition in CJ Mosley. Kelechi Osemele also hasn’t practiced while big names like Quinnen Williams and Brian Poole have been limited.
One team will catch a huge break in this game while the other could continue to spiral down the rabbit hole due to injuries, it could be an interesting matchup but it could also be the big break that the Eagles need right now.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports