Eagles can’t afford to slip up against the Jets

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) celebrates his touchdown with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during the preseason game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 12, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

It’s only six days since the Eagles found a way to lose to the New York Giants. Despite so many opportunities to change the score, Philadelphia came up short and the criticisms have been loud and harsh. They’ll face a 3-8 New York Jets team on Sunday which serves as the perfect platform for redemption, and it’s one they cannot afford to squander.

The bigger picture

Let’s forget the macro for a second. The Eagles missed a perfect opportunity to pull closer to the Dallas Cowboys in the race for the NFC East on Sunday and they were punished as a result. Dak Prescott led his team to a big win over the Saints last night, largely thanks to Taysom Hill throwing 4 picks, but hey.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. The path to the playoffs for Philadelphia doesn’t necessarily begin and end with the NFC East crown.

The Cowboys now own a three-game lead over both Washington and Philadelphia. The Eagles will quickly see their schedule turn to nothing but divisional games after the bye, making this their last non-divisional opportunity to gain ground. Two of those divisional games will come against the aforementioned WFT. That alone would be enough to turn the tides, but the more momentum the Eagles can establish before their clashes in weeks 15 and 17, the better.

After the Bye, it’s all business that will be settled within the confines of the NFC East. The Saints taking a loss to Dallas might have actually helped the Eagles in the race for a wildcard spot, who slipped to 5-7 as a result. But it’s absolutely integral that they take care of business and don’t allow another huge opportunity to pass them by.

The opponent

The Jets are infamously terrible but even more so when it comes to facing the Eagles. They’re 0-11 when playing against Philadelphia, which is actually the worst record against a current NFL franchise.

It’s not like they’re in a great place to change that narrative. The Jets have ended up fielding more quarterbacks this season than I’ve had crumpets, and although Elijah Moore has been on a tear recently and Zach Wilson is gradually going, his WR1 will now go up against some incredibly stiff competition in the way of Darius Slay, negating one of the offenses only playmakers. Given that the Jets lead the NFL in INT’s, Darius Slay will undoubtedly be licking his lips.

The backfield has been decimated by injury and will see the duo of Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson try to hold down the fort, but over the last 3 weeks, the Eagles rank 10th in rushing yards allowed, a 21-yard improvement over the 112 yards they were previously allowing per game.

This isn’t a gimme by any means, but it’s a game that the Eagles should be heavily favored to win. A failure to do so would not only end a historic run, put dramatically decrease the chances of Nick Sirianni establishing a playoff run in his rookie season.

Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire

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