TOJ’s Know Your Opponent: Week 13 v Philadelphia Eagles

The New York football Jets are coming off their first road win of the season and now return home for a showdown against the mercurial Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets are 0-11 all time against Philly so the question is will this be the year they finally get off the mat!?

Coaching: Rookie HC Nick Sirianni has been a pleasant surprise in the NFL this season. A lot of people thought he’d be a disaster given his wacky press conferences and flower planting analogies but he has this team playing hard and coordinating the 12th best offense by DVOA with not a lot of talent.

Jonathan Gannon is the Eagles DC. He is a first time coordinator and a disciple of Mike Zimmer. The Eagles defense doesn’t have a lot of talent in their back 7 but Gannon has gotten a lot out of that unit.

Personnel: The Strength of this Eagles team is their offensive line. They are snatching souls every week they play. Jordan Maliatta has blossomed into one of the best AND maybe the most violent LT in that NFL, and, man, are alot of people eating crow after Howie Roseman gave him the biggest contract imaginable despite him having only played a handful of snaps. Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce are healthy again and have returned to all-pro form and this OL has been the driving force behind a strong running game this year. Jalen Hurts is out for this game so expect this group to get another heavy workload in the run game. Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and Myles Sanders are a solid skill group that are finally fully healthy this season.

The Eagles defense is built a lot like the Jets in that their DL is their biggest strength, except they’re actually consistent. Fletcher Cox is still Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrove is playing like a man possessed, while Josh Sweat has continued to be a disruptive player. The Jets catch a massive break with Brandon Graham missing this game through injury.

The Eagles back 7 lacks talent outside of CB Darius Slay who has had a nice return to form season in Philly in this defense with multiple pick 6s this year.

Potential Weaknesses : Gardner Minshew is playing in this game and, while he had a good rookie season, he was terrible in Jacksonville last year and hasn’t started an NFL game since last December. If the Jets sell out to stop the run and end up putting the game in Minshew’s hands, it could benefit them greatly. The Eagles back 7 outside of Slay is terrible: they especially have no serious NFL talent at LB so the Jets should be primed to take advantage of this.

Matchup: This time last week I hated this matchup for the Jets. Sirianni comes from the Frank Reich tree and, with the Eagles OL, I was expecting a repeat of the Colts game where they ran the Jets out of the stadium. Jalen Hurts does a lot for this running game though, as he always shifts the numbers in their favor given he’s always a threat to run. With Minshew, this threat is not there. I think the Jets defense can keep Minshew relatively in check and this game will come down to how well the Jets offense can do. We have seen this OL struggle to keep Zach upright and this is not the DL to play when you’re not on your A game. Zach needs to make quick efficient decisions to neutralize this pass rush, which is something we haven’t seen him do on a consistent basis yet.

Prediction: I think the Jets keep this one close. But ultimately Zach isn’t ready to do what it takes to win this game and the Eagles sneak out of MetLife winners by a 21-20 margin.