New York Jets: Top 5 reasons the Eagles won’t soar


Sep 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. New York Jets defeat the Indianapolis Colts 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday Night Football, the New York Jets pretty much made a ritual slaughter of the Indianapolis Colts which was one of the greatest games in franchise history.  Gang Green’s relentless defensive pressure took Indianapolis’ All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck out of his game — and he likely spent a long night soaking in the tub after a harrowing evening of sacks, fumbles, interceptions, rushed passes and unrelenting pressure coming from all sides of the field.  The Colts’ offensive line got so abused that they only seemed to be able to open holes when they were holding.

We all know that any game against the Philadelphia Eagles is going to be a nasty street fight.  Going into Week 3, the Eagles anointed genius head coach Chip Kelly is angry and embarrassed.  Historically speaking, the Eagles have never lost to the Jets in regular season play — 9-0 overall in 50-plus NFL seasons.  But records are made to be broken, and you’re only as good as your last win — which in the Eagles’ case came in the preseason or last December.

There’s been crazy big-time braggadocio emanating from The City Of Brotherly Hate about their football franchise.  But the Eagles still have to prove they possess a championship-caliber, high-soaring offense.  Or even an average defense.  Following their 20-10 beatdown to conference rivals Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Daily News pleaded on its cover for Pope Francis to help the Eagles during his upcoming visit.  God knows the Pope has more important fish to fry than absolving the sins of that forsaken fan-base.

Things played out as this column predicted last week.  And as picked in the Jets’ season-opening torching of the Browns.  Here are the top 5 reasons to believe in the Jets this Sunday afternoon at home against the brutal Birds.

Next: 5. Cry Like An Eagle

Sep 3, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley (2) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Jamari Lattimore (54) during the third quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Eagles 24-18. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

5. Cry Like An Eagle

The heat is on Eagles coach Chip Kelly.  Those lost souls who call up Philadelphia’s Sportsradio 94WIP are raging apoplectically for Kelly to sit new quarterback Sam Bradford, the #1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, in favor of last season’s savior Mark Sanchez.  Bradford, a lavishly-paid walking MRI, has yet to prove it on the field, either in St. Louis or Philly.  Sanchez, dismissed by Jet fans as The Buttfumbler, led two different Rex Ryan teams to the AFC Finals — and continues to play the good soldier in Philadelphia.

In all fairness to Bradford, there’s plenty of blame to go around.  It’s hard for him to throw the ball when The DeMarco Murray Experiment has not exactly gone as planned.  Murray’s mind-boggling-low 21 carries for 11 yards has been surpassed by two-thirds of the league’s QBs (few trying to run).  Kelly completely turned around his roster, and if all things work out, things could still pan out in this young season. Especially in an unbelievable weak NFC East.

But for now, the Eagles 2015 Super Bowl dreams looks like a nightmare.

Next: 4. It's A Hard MetLife

Sep 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Members of the New York Jets Flight Crew perform during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Browns 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

4.  It’s A Hard MetLife

The undefeated Jets are on a roll, and their fans will be out in full force Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.  The base is abuzz, so a sell-out is not out of the question.  We all know that nobody’s more loyal to their team than the followers of a winning New York franchise.  And the NYJ are the only 2-0 game in town.

No thanks to the online ticket marketplace, scores of winless Philly faithful will troll up the Turnpike with glints in their eyes,  geared and primed for parking-lot fistfights and beer-stand-bravado, while squawking their Bird noise.  But let them scream and taunt all they want because at the end of the day, their perennial preseason favorites have yet to prove anything.

The ideal post-game reaction would be for the Philadelphia fans to be streaming out of the MetLife stands, only to sit in traffic as part of their long ride home — likely hungover and even angrier with their Eagles.  Admit it, Philly in panic mode after an 0-3 start is every true New York sports fan’s (and every Chip Kelly critic’s) dream come true.

Next: 3. Run Like The Wind

Sep 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. New York Jets defeat the Indianapolis Colts 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3.  Run Like The Wind

The Eagles’ third-year defensive coordinator Bill Davis is under the hot seat for his aggressive but somewhat predictable schemes.  Philly went into this season considering themselves capable of a Top 10 “D” but predictions need to be backed up by results.  And let’s hope for the best, but the one-two of Eagles star linebackers Mychal Kendricks‘ recent hamstring pull and Kiko Alonso‘s possible season-ending left knee injury are troubling signs entering Sunday’s Showdown In The Swamp.

After watching Chan Gailey dissect the Colts defense on national television, you get the idea that he’s got a few answers to Philly’s version of Rob Ryan.  The truth of the matter is, the Eagles secondary can be exploited — Byron Maxwell, their $63-million cornerback, has been burned so often, he may inherit the nickname of infamous 80s Giants CB Elvis Patterson: Toast.  And upfront, there is certainly no All-Pro talent on their defensive line.

Maybe it’s time for Gailey to debut injury-recovering speed-burner rookie receiver Devin Smith.  Gailey also sees that his running back tandem of Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell is a force to be reckoned with, and could be one of the best in the league.  Remain cautiously optimistic about WR Eric Decker‘s knee.

Next: 2. Secondary Citizens

Sep 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts receiver Phillip Dorsett (15) and corner back Darrelle Revis (24) go for a pass at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

2.  Secondary Citizens

The Jets secondary is looking dominant. Darrelle Revis has been every bit the future Hall of Famer.  Buster Skrine and Antonio Cromartie are playing with reckless abandon.  Safeties Marcus Gilchrist, Calvin Pryor and Jaiquawn Jarrett look incredible so far.

In just two weeks, the front seven knocked out Josh McCown, and had Johnny Manziel and Andrew Luck running for their lives.  Even the much-maligned Quinton Coples has been outstanding.  Coach Todd Bowles‘ and his staff have created an opportunistic defense that is confusing both opponents and NFL lifers with their array of complex schemes and blitz patterns.

The scariest part is that the NYJ have been playing without 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year tackling-machine Sheldon Richardson.  Imagine when he slides along side Mo Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and first-year phenom Leonard Williams.

In the meantime, Sam Bradford better be ready for a very long afternoon.  Simply put, Bradford will have to deliver a career-defining game if he plans to shoot down the Jets’ devastating defense (a New York franchise record of +10 turnovers in the first two games).  He’ll be facing the closest thing to the 80s vaunted Sack Exchange.

Next: 1. Come Together

Aug 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87), New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) and New York Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson (60) celebrate Decker’s touchdown catch during the first half of their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

1.  Come Together

The Jets are coming together as a team, and looking stronger by the week.  IK Enemkpali‘s KO punch and Mo Wilkerson’s quasi-holdout seem light years ago.  The solid professionalism of Todd Bowles has captured the hearts and minds of the squad’s veteran-laden locker room — especially with his terse, parental-like 25-words-at-most pep talks.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, at this point, looks like the Jets best under-center tactician since the Bill Parcells days of the aging Vinny Testaverde.  And similar to Vinny and other veterans to shine later in their career (Jim Plunkett, Dan Pastorini, Rich Gannon), the 32-year-old Fitzpatrick quite possibly may have finally found home in the Green-And-White.  It’s abundantly clear that Chan Gailey has complete confidence in his former Bills flamethrower’s skill set.

The Eagles’ mothership has not sunk, but it’s taking on water.  This game has all the makings of similar results to Monday night’s crushing of the Colts.  Maybe it’s time to start thinking that New York really does have what it takes to make a run for the playoffs.

Say what you will, but as of today, the Jets are tied for first place with the Super Bowl champion Patriots.

Next: New York Jets: We are truly a contender

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