A view from Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the New York Jets. Photo courtesy of Andrew Nyr/Wikicommons
The Jets had never beaten the Eagles before. Since the Jets and Eagles first started playing each other once every four years in 1973, the Jets had never won. Until last night. Led by a stout performance on defense, the Jets were able to turn their 0-12 record to 1-12 last night.
The first quarter started out the same way people were expecting: the Eagles took an early lead in the first quarter off of a controversial Jalen Hurts rush that was ruled a touchdown after the play was reviewed. That play capped off a long 19-play drive that took almost the entire first quarter, which was the biggest roadblock for the Jets. If Philly could keep the ball on offense for a long period of time, that would wear down their defense and keep the Jets’ offense off the field, limiting the amount of damage they could do, which isn’t very much. However, on their first drive in the second quarter, the Jets would score a field goal to shorten Philly’s lead to 7-3.
Later in the second quarter, Hurts would find D’Andre Swift for a nine-yard passing touchdown after Swift broke multiple tackles thanks to sloppy tackling from the Jets defense. That would extend the Eagles’ lead 14-3. The Jets would score two more field goals to reduce the Eagles’ lead to 14-9. The turning point for the Jets would be during the second half of this game.
The Jets’ defense would blank the Eagles in the second half, allowing the offense to catch up even further, with a Greg Zuerlein field goal from 38 yards out, lowering the Eagles’ lead by three more.
The Jets’ and Eagles’ defenses would continue to keep points off of the board for the third and fourth quarters, but the Jets would finally break through after a clutch late fourth-quarter interception by Tony Adams. The Eagles had the ball on their own 45-yard line, threatening to end the game with a third down. Tony Adams would fake a blitz, fooling Jalen Hurts into thinking he had Dallas Godert open, which would allow Hurts to get rid of the ball quickly if Adams was blitzing.
Unfortunately for Hurts and the Eagles, Hurts threw it into double coverage, resulting in an easy interception that was returned to the 8-yard line. The Jets would take advantage, scoring on the next play as Breece Hall would run it in to give the Jets their first lead of the game, 18-14. Robert Saleh would then go for two, and the offense would deliver, as Zach Wilson hit Randall Cobb to extend the Jets lead to 20-14. The Jets’ defense would then force a four-and-out, and the Jets would win their third game of the season, ending the Eagles’ undefeated season.
For the Jets, this win gives them a massive boost in confidence and momentum going into their bye week, hopefully continuing the rest of the season, powering them to a playoff appearance without Aaron Rodgers. The Jets faced a gauntlet of tough teams to start the year in Dallas, Kansas City, Buffalo, and the Eagles. To come out with a 3-3 record is the best-case scenario for the Jets with Rodgers. Without him leading the team, that record becomes even more impressive, showcasing the Jet’s incredibly strong defense.
For the Eagles, this was a tough loss, marred by offensive turnovers and mishaps, including dumb decisions by Jalen Hurts and multiple drops that should’ve been completions. Thankfully, Lane Johnson seems to have escaped a serious injury on Metlife Stadium’s suspect turf, but the rest of the offensive line struggled against the Jet’s relentless pass rush. However, it is still early in the season, and there is plenty of time for the Eagles to figure out what needs to change on offense. The Eagles will look to leave this loss behind them in another AFC matchup against the wild offense of Miami next week.