An inside look at Sunday’s Jets-Eagles Week 13 matchup at MetLife Stadium:
The Eagles’ offensive line vs. the Jets’ defensive line
These two units got to know each other a little bit during the summer when the Jets and Eagles had joint practices in Florham Park. It was a fun battle to watch then, and it should be again on Sunday.
The Eagles come into this game with the No. 1 rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 157.9 yards per game. They have rushed for 1,078 yards since Week 8 and have produced 175 yards or more rushing in five straight games for the first time since 1950. They have gone over 200 yards four times in that stretch.
Tackles Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata are two of the best in football and center Jason Kelce has come to define Philadelphia.
“They’re very talented,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “It’s probably the most talented O-line we’ll be facing this year. Their O-line coach [Jeff Stoutland] is one of the best in the business also, and it’s a challenge for sure.”
The Jets’ defensive line played a great game last week in Houston. John Franklin-Myers led the way with two sacks and an interception, but the overall unit did a good job of stopping the run (96 yards) and pressuring the passer (five sacks) in the win over the Texans.
No Jalen Hurts is going to really hurt the Eagles and their vaunted rushing attack. The Jets capitalize on that and Zach Wilson plays his best game of the season as the Jets get their first win in franchise history over the Eagles.
Jets 24, Eagles 20
Minshew mania: The Eagles reportedly will be without starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in this one. Hurts injured his ankle in last week’s loss to the Giants and his status had been a question mark all week, although it sounded like he would play against the Jets. Reports emerged Saturday night, though, that Hurts will be sidelined for this game.
Gardner Minshew is expected to make his first start of the season for the Eagles. He has appeared in one game for them this season after coming over in a trade from the Jaguars before the season. Minshew faced the Jets as a rookie in 2019 when he was with the Jaguars. Minshew beat the Jets in that one, completing 22-of-34 for 279 yards and three touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see how much the Eagles offense changes with Minshew at quarterback. The Eagles have been relying on Hurts as a runner this season and that has been a key to the offense. Hurts has run for 695 yards this season, the 10th most in the NFL among all runners and second among QBs, trailing only Lamar Jackson. Minshew has run for 497 yards in his 24 career games.
Going streaking: The Jets have had some nice wins this season, after which they have felt good about themselves, only to fall apart in their next game. They have not won two in a row since the end of last season, when they beat the Rams and Browns for their only two wins of the season. The Jets would love to go on a run to end this season after beating the Texans last week.
“It’s great to get a win, but in this league it’s about the next week and what you can do the next Sunday,” tight end Ryan Griffin said. “We’ve got one win. But we’ve got to get better. We can always improve and get ready for this Eagles team coming in. I know they’re hungry after losing at MetLife last week. We’ve got a good challenge ahead of us.”
All-time ugliness: The Jets are 0-11 all-time against the Eagles. The two teams first played in 1973 and don’t play too often, but it is an odd chapter in Jets history that they have never beaten Philadelphia.
“That’s history,” head coach Robert Saleh said this week about the 0-fer.
Saleh is right, but this season’s Jets surely would love to be the one to end this odd streak of futility. It is currently the most losses without a win for any NFL team against another franchise. The Jets have come close to beating the Eagles numerous times before finding ways to lose. Can they break the curse on Sunday?
Rush hour: The Jets’ running game has shown signs of life lately after being a rumor for most of the season. The Jets rushed for 157 yards against the Texans last week and the run game played a key role in the win. The Jets have averaged 129.5 rushing yards per game in the past two weeks after averaging 86 in the first 10 games.
“We challenged them early in the week,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said, “just like we do every week, but the guys really showed up and we needed to lean on it, particularly early on. And it just kind of kept on going to the point where you just felt comfortable with whatever run play we were going to call, it was going to work.”