The New York Jets are coming out of their bye week looking for their first win of the season. Standing in their way are the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s preview week 5 with storylines, stats, and predictions as the Jets try once again to put up a good fight.
Return of the rookie
It’s been a rough season on the injury front for the Jets but they’ll be getting one player on defense back from a long absence. Quinnen Williams will make his second appearance of the season for the Jets and there will be plenty of eyes on his performance. The Jets need a strong performance from the front seven against an Eagles team that managed 176 rushing yards against the Packers last week. This will only be his second NFL game but the Jets need to see some flashes from of why Williams was a 3rd overall pick in the 2019 draft. Especially with some of his peers already performing at a high level this season. Quinnen’s play could also go a long way in the Jets long term decision making at defensive line around the trade deadline and in the offseason.
Offensive Line: Shaken and Stirred
The Jets will be debuting rookie Chuma Edoga at right tackle on Sunday. Edoga was one of their 3rd round draft picks in the 2019 class. He takes over for Brandon Shell who has followed up an rocky 2018 season with another disappointed effort so far this season. Shell was far from the only issue with the offensive line, however. Starting center, Ryan Kalil was on record saying poor communication and bad habits were a big part of the issue. It doesn’t seem like just throwing a rookie in would help with those. However, it would be a great sign for the future of the Jets offensive line if Edoga can be a noticeable upgrade this season.
The Jets also are starting Alex Lewis in place of the injured Kelechi Osemele. This could be an even more concerning development given how much trouble Osemele has had with injuries the last two seasons. For Lewis, it will be his first start for the Jets since they traded for him in the offseason. I don’t think anyone is happier about this development than Fletcher Cox.
If the Jets win…
Hero: Le’veon Bell
Zero: Jim Schwartz
A Jets win would likely mean an out of body performance by Le’veon Bell. We’re talking about over 200 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns. The Jets have no choice but to center their offense on their star playmaker. A victory can only come if he’s effective on Sunday. It would also mean Adam Gase outsmarting Jim Schwartz which wouldn’t be a completely outlandish idea. The Eagles right now have the worst pass defense in the NFL. The Jets might not have an ideal situation at quarterback but they should have some opportunities on Sunday for big plays. Even more so if they can establish Bell and the run game effectively.
If the Eagles win…
Hero: Fletcher Cox
As we mentioned earlier, with the Jets already struggling offensive line and the absence of Osemele on Sunday, this is the perfect setup for a career game from Fletcher Cox. He’s yet to record a sack this season, so you can imagine how hungry he is coming into week 5. From the Jets side of things, they gave Darnold first team reps in practice this week before finding out he would not be available on Friday. Luke Falk is an already limited quarterback now playing with limited midweek reps with his fellow starters. It sounds like a recipe for disaster. Falk might start seeing ghosts if the Eagles front starts to get to him early on.
The Jets have every excuse in the book covered for this week and you can already tell how badly the players want Sam Darnold back leading the offense. Given the current morale it’s hard to envision a win this week, particularly on the road in a rowdy environment. The Eagles’ franchise is part of the mould that current Jets GM Joe Douglas wants to build the team after. The Jets will get a first hand experience of that. Expect the Eagles to control the game with a balanced attack on offense and stifling defense. Expected the expected this week as all of New York turns their sights towards Darnold’s next ultrasound at around 4pm.