GREAT win today, but let’s not go nuts celebrating it. It was just the Jets, being piloted by an inflatable QB.
Most of what we were able to do on Defense today (10 sacks, 2 touchdowns) came by virtue of their inexperienced QB, not getting many reps this week. As a result, the poor guy was a wounded lamb, fed to a full-grown lion. He repeatedly held the ball as if he had called “spots” and was counting to 10. It was almost too sad to watch. Almost.
Meanwhile his coach seemed indifferent to offer him any help. The play-calling was horrid, as literally (no typo or exaggeration here) EVERY play in the 1st quarter was run through RB LeVeon Bell (15 – 43 – 2.8 – 0 – 0 / 7 – 45 – 6.4 – 0). No other Jet player touched the ball until the second quarter. The Jets pay actual money for this level of coaching.
The Defensive line FEASTED, with 8 sacks in this one. DE Brandon Graham (4 – 3 – 0 – 0) grabbed 3 sacks. Also getting a piece of the action were DE Derek Barnett (2 – 1 – 0 – 0), DT Hassan “Chop” Ridgeway (1 – 1 – 0 – 0), DE Vinny Curry (1 – 1 – 0 – 0), DE Josh Sweat (1 – 1 – 0 – 0) broke his cherry, and Dasheon Hall (1 – 1 – 0 – 0) showed some of that preseason flash. It was like a drop of blood in a piranha tank.
Again, we also scored twice. The first was on an interception in the 1st quarter by LB Nate Gerry (0 – 0 – 1 – 0) on a pass intended for Bell. The second was the play of the day. CB Orlando Scandrick (4 – 2 – 0 – 2) ran up to the Jets QB, and just took the ball from him. Just took it. Not like a big hit, just a straight-up “YOINK!”. Then he returned it 44 yards for that tasty treat. It was almost too sad to watch. Almost.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Scandrick was a Cowboy for 9 years. We signed him in the offseason, but he didn’t make our final roster. Because of injuries at CB, we signed him off of his couch this week, and he gets two sacks, two forced fumbles, a recovery, and a score.
On Offense, QB Carson Wentz (17/29 – 58.6% – 189 – 1 – 0) had it in cruise control yet again, as the Eagles functioned as a full team. That’s not to say that Wentz didn’t do some of his typical magic, but there was no need for a lot of it. TE Zach Ertz (5 – 57 – 11.4 – 1) found the end zone for the first time in 2019.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Show up: I literally said that if we didn’t get lost crossing the street to the stadium, we were 40% of the way to a victory. Well, we showed up. We were sloppy at points (C Jason Kelce’s bad snap, the muffed punt that either hit a foot or didn’t), but we showed up. (DONE)
2) No liberty for Bell: In regards to covering LeVeon Bell I said “We need to sit on and jump a couple of passes to him. Maybe we can get a defensive touchdown or two out of it.” Well kiss my grits, we got our first defensive touchdown doing just that. We also kept him, and thus the Jets offense, under wraps all day. (DONE)
3) Run ‘em down: Heavy dose of RB Jordan Howard (13 – 62 – 4.7 – 1 – 0) delivered? He led us in rushes and rushing yards. CHECK. Other backs sprinkled in? 12 carries for 19 yards (yikes!) CHECK. Wentz’s jersey staying mostly clean? CHECK. (DONE)
4) Paint by numbers: We did nothing fancy. Aside from a 3rd and 1 where we threw an incompletion, which set up a 4th and 1, that we didn’t convert, we almost looked like a preseason team that was trying not to give too much away. Toward the end we even sat Carson and put LT Andre Dillard in for a few snaps. It was glorious. (DONE)
This week we put up a perfect 4 for 4, even though admittedly one of them was really low hanging fruit. That brings the season tally to 10 of 20. Next week we travel to Minnesota for the start of a three game road trip, that will remind everyone of why we want to set up home field advantage.
On The Whole:
We could have looked better. Aside from Jordan Howard, our RB’s were pretty ineffective running the ball. If getting off to fast starts is important to this Offense, HC Doug Pederson is going to have to stop trying to make a starter out of rookie RB Miles Sanders (9 – 15 – 1.6 – 0 – 0 / 4 – 49 – 12.2 – 0) who was hitting holes in this game with as much heart as Bernie Sanders.
Again, it seemed we weren’t trying to show much, and we may be getting WR DeSean Jackson back next week. So I’m not very concerned about the Offense.
My concern is with the Defense. The way we played today still allowed a “deer in the headlights” QB, to complete 57% of his passes, to a less than stellar receiving corps. Next week we get QB Kirk Cousins throwing to WR Adam Thielen. It would be nice to get one or two CB’s back by then.
In the meantime, because of this
the Eagles appear to be atop the NFC East. At least according to the NFL Standings page. They may change it later, but for now it looks good to be up there.