The Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) host the other team from up I-95, the New York Jets (8-5), at the Linc in a week 15 clash. The Eagles are coming off a blowout win over the Miami Dolphins, and looked really sharp with Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin back in the lineup. The Jets are currently on life-support trying to stay in the wildcard race for the playoffs, and are currently riding a three-game winning streak.
Here are five keys to a Philly win:
5. Contain Shonn Green and LaDainian Tomlinson on Defense
The Jets, much like their Giant counterparts, rely incredibly heavily on a solid and effective rushing game to keep their offense on the field and their defense rested on the sideline. New York has a solid trio of running backs with Shonn Green, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight all splitting carries. Realistically, the Eagles defense will only have to focus on containing Green and LT, and both can kill a team if they get rolling.
Overall, Philly’s defense has done a good job keeping running games contained, and this is a must for the Eagles to win this game.
4. Let Mark Sanchez Be Mark Sanchez
I’ll be honest, I am really puzzled at how Mark Sanchez is still a starting quarterback in the NFL. People will toss out the, ‘he’s been to two straight AFC Championship games,’ but the fact of the matter is he is not that good. His defense and running backs are winning games, not his quarterback play. If you don’t believe me, look over his stats. The reason I bring this up, is because Sanchez is great at throwing bad passes into coverage and turning the ball over at really inconvenient times. Just let him do his thing.
Asante Samuel is one of the best corners in the NFL at baiting quarterbacks into bad throws, and I expect him to snag at least one interception this game.
3. Keep The Ball Away From Darrelle Revis
Things have changed, and Nnamdi Asomugha is no longer the best cornerback in the NFL, Darrelle Revis is. No matter what coverage Revis is lined up in, or who he is assigned to cover, he shuts down an entire side of the field. More than likely, Revis will be matched against DeSean Jackson for the majority of the game, and the Eagles can count on him not doing anything for all four quarters. If Michael Vick even attempts a sketchy pass in the direction of Revis, it’s going to be picked off.
Vick has improved greatly as a passer since coming to Philadelphia, but he isn’t good enough to out-throw or out-smart Revis.
2. Keep The Offense Moving Early
Over the past few seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles offense has had a really tough time getting going early. There have been games, (last year against the Redskins), where the Eagles jump out to a huge lead and the offense is deadly from the opening snap. However, it has been the latter for the majority of the season and the Eagles have hardly scored at all on their opening drive this year. This has to change moving forward, and especially against the Jets.
The Jets defense is good, but they do have weaknesses. After losing Jim Leonard, New York is lacking a true safety, and the Eagles could really exploit the Jets over the top. Toss in a few big plays in the opening drive, and see if the Jets mediocre safeties get caught flat-footed.
1. Play With Intensity
The Eagles technically are still not eliminated from the playoffs. However, it is likely that any chance of winning the NFC East is essentially out the window, but Philadelphia should still go out and play like this is a must-win game. Following that big win over the Dolphins, Philadelphia has a lot of momentum going into this game, and this will be a great gauge of how much heart this Eagles team has.
Considering the Eagles have looked like a Super Bowl contender one week, and a JV high school team the next, it’s tough to gauge what team will show up this Sunday.
Last week, I predicted the Eagles to lose to Miami. This week, at home against a talented Jets team, I’m really not sure who to pick. Philadelphia is (8-0) all-time against the Jets, and the game is at home, and the Eagles have all of the momentum. However, I’m not sold after one big win over a bad Dolphins team, and the Eagles have been terrible at home dating back to last season. Philly will keep it close and give New York a run for their money, but I see the Eagles falling short at the end of the game. Jets 21 – Eagles 17
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