Jets should be credited with breaking Eagles after postseason collapse

The Jets showed the league how it's done.
NY Jets, Quincy Williams, DeVonta Smith
NY Jets, Quincy Williams, DeVonta Smith / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

One of the more shocking individual results of any game in the 2023 NFL regular season was the New York Jets riding another average game from Zach Wilson to a 20-14 win against the previously unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles. Jalen Hurts' three interceptions highlighted what became a nightmare game.

Up until a loss against the San Francisco 49ers that sent Philly to 10-2 on the season, Wilson and the Jets became just the second team in Hurts' past 26 starts to beat the Eagles with a healthy QB1. Rather than keeping themselves composed, the Eagles spiraled to finish the year.

After starting 10-1 (which included some very unimpressive victories), the Eagles finished out 11-6, with their playoff dreams getting crushed almost immediately by Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their game plan was not that dissimilar to what the Jets did in Week 6.

The Jets helped create the blueprint that teams across the NFC would use to beat up on the Eagles. If you can get pressure up the middle against Hurts, prevent them from getting big plays on first down, and target their below-average cornerbacks, Philadelphia instantly becomes a less threatening opponent.

NY Jets created blueprint for beating Eagles after playoff embarrassment

Getting pressure against the Eagles' offensive line is much easier said than done, but the Jets were one of the few teams out there to heat Hurts up in the pocket. When paired with some quality cornerback play despite a host of injuries, the turnovers and bad decisions from Hurts were plentiful.

While the Jets and former New York head coach Todd Bowles have two different defensive philosophies, as Robert Saleh prefers to sit back and rush four linemen as opposed to Bowles' chaotic blitz packages, the results were the same. Without a pristine pocket, the Eagles' passing attack is quite vanilla.

Even after acquiring Kevin Byard, James Bradberry's shocking regression showed that Philadelphia was an old secondary that was not equipped for modern NFL passing attacks. Even with horrific quarterback play, Garrett Wilson was able to get free to the tune of eight catches for 90 yards.

Even after the collapse, the Eagles are several tiers better than the Jets as a whole. That doesn't mean Philly is so high and mighty they could walk right over this defense. New York and San Francisco showed the league the Eagles weren't untouchable, and their season ended after the veil of invincibility was shattered.