The NY Jets snapped a three-game losing streak last week against the Broncos as they look to make it two in a row against the Eagles. The Jets have never beaten the Eagles, and this contest certainly won’t be easy.
The Eagles are 4-0 and one of the best teams in the NFL — the Jets can’t afford to make the mistakes they did against the Broncos. Here are three things that must improve against the Eagles.
1. Offensive play calling
After falling behind by 17 early in the game against the Chiefs, the Jets were forced to throw the ball and be aggressive to get back into the game, and that saw Zach Wilson have one of his best games.
Last week against the Broncos, the Jets were a lot more conservative. They had a clear game plan to run the ball, and Breece Hall had a huge game. That is not going to work against the Eagles.
The Eagles have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards in the NFL (306) — they are going to have to throw the ball.
Zach Wilson has had a lot of success throwing on first down and on play-action passes. The Jets need to lean into that. Over the last two weeks on play-action plays, Wilson has completed 11-of-13 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. It is where we see some of his best work.
The worst thing they could do is start their first few drives with a run, run, pass, and go three and out. They will undoubtedly fall behind early and will be playing from behind, just like the Chiefs game.
2. First-half defense
The Jets defense has been odd this season. They look very good for the majority of the game, but for the first few series, it always seems to be a struggle.
The Broncos' early touchdown last week was a good example of the things that have beaten the Jets' defense so far this season. Screen passes and quarterback scrambles where the Jets miss a tackle or two, and a play that should not have gained that much goes for 15-20 yards.
That has been the Jets kryptonite so far this season. As the game starts to go, the Jets' defense gets better. The Jets have given 74 points in the first half of games this season – they have allowed just 31 in the second half of games this season. They have only given up over 10 points in the second half in one game, 12 to the Cowboys.
If the Jets can clean up some things early on, the defense can be truly dominant.
The Jets have the seventh fewest penalties in the NFL. However, that has not been the case over the last few weeks. They had seven penalties against the Chiefs and nine against the Broncos after only 10 total in the first three games.
Especially with the Jets' red-zone struggles last week, a hold and a false start making it 1st-and-goal from the 20 instead of from the 10 hurts.
The Jets were able to overcome these penalties against a bad Broncos team, but they cannot afford to make those mistakes against the Eagles.