Mercury must be in retrograde again! The QB Controversy carousel is about to start spinning once more after the Eagles decimated the Jets in a convincing 33-18 win thanks to the help of none other than Gardner Minshew. Here’s all you need to know!
Just doing the Gardening
It was announced on Saturday night that Jalen Hurts would miss the game with a minor ankle injury. Gardner Minshew started in his place and wasted no time in making his mark and showing how much a gun-confident quarterback can add to the offense.
After the Eagles surrendered a 79-yard kickoff return to Braxton Berrios, Minshew run out onto the field and looked to hit a wall. A bad snap saw the alarm bells rung, but the sounds didn’t travel far. Minshew led the Eagles down the field on a Six-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a big-time touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert, the first of two on the day.
Minshew ended the game with 242 passing yards to his name. He completed 20 passes, but like Hurts, wasn’t asked to throw that much, throwing only 25 overall. With a pair of touchdowns and no picks, it was a clean and efficient day at the office by a quarterback who had clearly stayed fresh and ready for this moment.
The former Jags Quarterback showed plenty of poise and was able to make post-snap reads very easily, leading safeties with his eyes and taking whatever the defense were willing to allow underneath. This helped Dallas Goedert breakout for his biggest game of the year.
It’s too soon to say whether or not Minshew is in the legitimate conversation. But if Hurts does miss more time, the fact that the Eagles have a starting caliber quarterback who possesses confidence in the pocket and is more refined in his ability to read defense will certainly make for an interesting debate.
Miles Sanders is back…until he isn’t
It took nearly an entire year, but fans finally got to see a healthy dose of their favorite running back. Miles Sanders rushed for 120 yards in what was oh so nearly a career-day for him. He amassed a career-high in carries and was far more assertive between the tackles, while still showing that slippery ability to shake off tackles and break away on big runs.
Sanders was unfortunately pulled from the game late on with an injury. This is slightly concerning given that he was listed on the injury report this past week and if his ankle concerns have been aggravated, it can’t mean anything good. However, with a Bye on the horizon, there’s at least room to breathe.
Aaaaand the defense we all know is back
Watching the New York Jets tear up a defense that looked to have finally find its identity wasn’t exactly fun. Zach Wilson was able to cut up the unit time and time again. He only completed 23/38 passes, but some big-time drives early negated all of the impressive work by Minshew and the offense until the ground game really got going.
When the Eagles’ passing attack softened in the second half, the Jets failed to capitalize. Forcing a rookie quarterback to throw 38 times is always good, especially one as inconsistent as Wilson. He had 10 interceptions on the year and it felt like it was only a matter of time until one floated gently into harms way.
They had a huge run called back late in the game, and T.J Edwards continued his hot run of form, almost coming away with a pick. However, it was Marcus Epps who sealed the deal at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Wilson completely missed Jamison Crowder.
We saw some flashes from Josh Sweat, including a big sack, but the defense were unable to get consistent pressure on Wilson. Against an offense as putrid as this, Gannon got lucky. The second half performance was encouraging, but it helped that a rookie QB was having to throw time and time again.
It wasn’t great…and the Eagles will want to correct a few things heading into the Bye.
Where are we now?
When they return, it’s nothing but divisional matchups. The easy part is done. The Eagles now sit at 6-7 after taking care of business without their QB1 and are in the thick of the wildcard hunt. With two games against WFT, who are also among the lead contenders, the Eagles will need to knock off their rivals on both occasions to secure a playoff spot, as well as handle themselves against the Giants and Cowboys.
But that’s a tale to discuss in a week and a half or so. For now, Nick Sirianni can be proud of his teams’ efforts today and the fact that he has a very young team fighting for postseason football.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire