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New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Week 13 preview: 12th time’s the charm?

Quinnen Williams, Fletcher Cox
Quinnen Williams, Fletcher Cox, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, MetLife Stadium, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

The 2021 New York Jets will get a chance to earn the organization’s first-ever victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13 at MetLife.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Could it possibly be this year? Could the New York Jets finally snag their first-ever victory over the Philadephia Eagles?

Could the 12th time actually be the charm?

Well, the city that Denzel Mims doesn’t care much for certainly hopes not. Philadelphia’s 11-0 all-time series record is riding into the team’s Week 13 matchup with the Jets this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Jets vs. Eagles game info

  • New York Jets (3-8)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
  • NFL, Week 13, Dec. 5, 2021, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
  • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, 2021, Week 13 Preview
New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, 2021, Week 13 Preview, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

New York faces an opportunity to win two-straight games for the first time this season—courtesy of a come-from-behind 21-14 victory over the Houston Texans last week. Interestingly, however, the Jets were forced to prepare for two quarterbacks.

Jalen Hurts’s status remained up in the air all week. This uncertainty forced Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich to game plan for Hurt and backup quarterback Gardner Minshew.

While this isn’t a complete rarity in the NFL, the situation is much more unique than first glance would suggest.

Hurts’s ground game, along with the Eagles’ top-ranked rushing attack, presents unique problems as opposed to a Minshew-led offense. Everything changes for a defense’s front seven when quarterback responsibility is a top priority.

Saturday’s news that Hurts won’t suit up means the Jets will face a much more traditional offense, and they’ll do so while wearing their alternate black uniforms.

Another item of note is the fact that this one will be televised by CBS, not FOX. Historically, FOX handles all NFC games and matchups featuring NFC road teams, whereas CBS handles AFC games and contests with the AFC squad on the road. These days, that’s not a hard-and-fast rule, especially with the 17th regular-season game in play.

Jets vs. Eagles history

  • The Eagles lead the all-time series, 11-0.

No matter the situation, year or decade, it’s been all Philly, all the time.

The last matchup, Oct. 6, 2019, featured a Jets team with Luke Falk at the helm. Adam Gase’s offense could do nothing aside from a Vyncint Smith end-around touchdown in the fourth quarter (a 31-9 Eagles victory).

Three of the four previous meetings ended in seven-point decisions.

In 2015, Todd Bowles’s squad fell by a 24-17 final, 2007 saw a 16-9 outcome (with wide receiver Kevin Curtis making the difference via five receptions for 127 yards and the game’s lone touchdown), and 2003’s matchup ended in another 24-17 final mark.

The closest of the results came in 1996 when one of Rich Kotite’s final losses as the team’s head coach resulted in a 21-20 score. Philadelphia’s 14 unanswered fourth-quarter points completed the comeback.

Jets vs. Eagles odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Spread: Jets +5.5 (-115), Eagles -5.5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Jets +184, Eagles -220
  • Over/Under: 43.5 (O: -110, U: -110)

The Hurts news saw some movement late Saturday night. The over-under dropped a bit and the moneylines also moved (Jets moved from +190 to +184, whereas the Eagles moved from -230 to -240).

Betting in favor of the Jets still comes with an at-your-own-risk warning, but 5.5 points at home is a tempting line with the Eagles’ starting quarterback set to sit on the sideline.

Jets vs. Eagles injury report

New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, 2021, Week 13, Injury Report
New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, 2021, Week 13, Injury Report, New York Jets Communications

New York Jets

  • Sheldon Rankins (Knee): Doubtful
  • Trevon Wesco (Ankle): Doubtful
  • Corey Davis (Groin): Questionable
  • Foley Fatukasi (Back): Questionable
  • John Franklin-Myers (Hip): Questionable
  • Quincy Williams (Calf): Questionable
  • Morgan Moses (Knee): Questionable

Of all the questionables, wide receiver Corey Davis is the true uncertainty. On Friday, Saleh told the media that he currently looks like a true “game-time decision.”

As long as both Foley Fatukasi and John Franklin-Myers play, Ulbrich’s unit can most likely overcome the loss of Rankins for a game.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Jordan Howard (Knee): Out
  • Jalen Hurts (Ankle): Out (Updated Saturday night)
  • Boston Scott (Illness): Questionable

As previously mentioned, Jalen Hurts will miss this one, paving the way for Gardner Minshew. Expect Nick Sirianni to lean on the rushing attack as much as possible, but also expect them to have to feel their way through it early in the game.

Without the threat of the quarterback’s legs, the entire scheme changes.

If Boston Scott can’t go, Penn State product Miles Sanders will see much more work as the lead horse.

New York Jets’ keys to victory

Allow Zach Wilson to capitalize on first down

At this point, everybody understands Zach Wilson’s deal: It’s all going wrong in between the ears.

The kid’s mind is moving a million miles a minute which has forced his usually accurate balls to fly everywhere, his evident touch on the football to rocket to backs in the flat, and his defaulted calm demeanor to resemble anything but.

There’s no question that Mike LaFleur wants to keep the ground game on the productive side—while building off a strong performance in Houston—but ensuring that his young quarterback gains confidence is much more important.

The Jets allowing Wilson to feel comfortable—by way of first-down dropbacks—could go a long way against this Eagles defense that’s been blitzing more as of late.

Be mindful of the defensive freedom

Suddenly, the buttoned-up defensive responsibilities that honed in on Hurts in the ground game are no more. This means edge players such as John Franklin-Myers, Ronnie Blair, Tim Ward and Shaq Lawson won’t have to be stoic off the edge (when thinking read-option).

As great of a plus as that is, the front-seven must be mindful that it cannot play too freely.

What gets this Jets defense into serious trouble is when defenders aren’t rigorously attending to personal responsibility. Instead of focusing in on his individual read, as part of one of 11 unique responsibilities, Jets defenders will often freelance a bit too much and play hero ball—what severely hurt them in New England and Indianapolis.

Against Philly, each of Ulbrich’s players needs to focus on his individual responsibility.

Jets vs. Eagles prediction

  • New York Jets 23, Philadelphia Eagles 16

Anybody who picks the New York Jets to win a game outright should at least think about having their head examined by a local doctor. Then again, I picked the Jets last week in Houston, and they came away victorious after falling to a 14-3 early deficit.

The Eagles are a different animal than the Texans, admittedly; but the Jets have already produced two bust-out offensive games at MetLife Stadium this season (Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals).

Let’s go with a mini-Zach Wilson breakout and a Jets victory, for the franchise’s first-ever win over the Eagles in this program starting point of a crazy season.

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