Eagles – Jets: 7 Miracles

Pope Francis came to Philly and blessed the Eagles with a sainted victory. Let’s count the many miracles:

1. The Eagles’ offense showed up

Clearly the NFL now runs on anti-logic. Whatever a normal, rational person thinks is going to happen, you can count on the opposite.

The Eagles had the worst offense in the NFL this year going into game 3, despite playing two teams not expected to shut anyone down. The Jets had one of the most fearsome defenses with 10 takeaways in the first two game, an excellent front line and arguably the league’s best secondary (Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist).

So naturally, the Eagles came out running with a lot of success. Ryan Mathews had 67 yards in the first half alone, and added a 23-yard reception. (He ended up with 108 yards on the ground, and a pass reception TD). There were still a number of plays that didn’t work, and Sam Bradford looked erratic at best with 118 yards on 14-28 passing, but it was night and day after the first two miserable games.

Chip Kelly seemed to rediscover half of his playbook, even with DeMarco Murray and Josh Huff out injured. (Maybe there wasn’t room for it all on the new, smaller S8 cards?) He ran outside zone, used unbalanced front lines and even took a shot or two down field (without much success). One of the best things he did was to mix up the tempo, sometimes running out the play clock, then suddenly going tempo when they started relaxing. It was enough to keep New York off balance and get the offense rolling.

2. The Jets defense didn’t

OK, that’s a little overstated. The Eagles had a number of runs stuffed for no gain or a small loss, and Sam Bradford didn’t exactly carve up the Jets secondary. But that had more to do with Bradford’s shaky accuracy and drops by Eagles receivers — sometimes both on the same play — than with any defensive brilliance by New York.

I counted at least three plays that should have been touchdowns or at least very long gains, that were dropped. One was a wheel route to Mathews that was thrown behind him, which he bobbled and dropped. Bradford threw a better ball out in front of him a little later, and even with better coverage, it was touchdown Philadelphia.

This provides a bit of evidence for Chip Kelly’s comments last week, which seemed defensive at the time, that the issue was execution, not a poor scheme or opponents having figured out the Eagles’ playbook.

3. The Birds won the turnover battle

Coming into the game, the Jets led the NFL with a +8 turnover margin, boasting an incredible five takeaways per game. Today, they didn’t get one until there were seven minutes were left, with a helmet hit right on the ball that would have been hard for any running back to hang on through.

Meanwhile, Sam Bradford had given up two INTs in each of the first games, which was agonizing since his low turnover percentage was one of his main selling points. That all changed today. The famous Jets secondary didn’t have a single interception, which was clearly part of the Eagles’ game plan. Bradford seemed to be under orders to avoid interceptions at all costs, favoring dirt-diggers over catchable — but interceptable — balls.

The final TO tally? 4-1 Eagles, with three interceptions and Brandon Marshall’s gift fumble on a weird lateral making a huge difference in the game.

4. Saints help us

Where would this Eagles team be without Darren Sproles and Malcolm Jenkins? That’s true generally, but even more so today, between Sproles’ punt return TD and plays from scrimmage. Meanwhile, Malcolm Jenkins was smothering the Jets’ offense from the first drive, where he stopped Jeremy Kerley a yard short of the first down on 3rd and five.

Unbelievably, the Saints were going to toss both players in the trash. Luckily, the Eagles got wind of their plan to release Sproles and rushed through a trade (5th rounder) to make sure they got him. Brian Solomon wrote in the Eagles Almanac this summer that Chip Kelly was allocating too much money to Sproles, specifically objecting to the $1.5 million guaranteed portion of the Pro Bowler’s $3 million salary. I think that cash is returning the best value on the team’s entire payroll.

5. Jordan Hicks steps up

It’s easy to criticize Chip Kelly for not drafting an offensive lineman in the third round this year. Instead, with none of the OL they liked left on the board, they took ILB Jordan Hicks even though they had three starters (Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, and Demeco Ryans) plus Najee Goode, a solid sub.

That “best player available” choice is looking pretty smart today, despite the disarray on the OL. Hicks has jumped right in as a solid backup and a major playmaker. Last week he strip-sacked Tony Romo while breaking his collarbone. Today, he caught one of Bair’s deflected passes for an interception and scooped up (Connor Barwin’s header of) the failed Brandon Marshall lateral, adding a nice little eleven-yard return.

Rookie CB Eric Rowe also had a good game, with two pass breakups on likely touchdown passes to Devin Smith and an interception. He also shared the tackle on the opening kick return.

6. The battle of the mountain men

One of today’s key matchups was 6’6″ Idaho mountain man DE Brandon Bair, starting for the first time ever in place of the injured Cedric Thornton, vs. Jets QB Gizzly Adams Bon Iver Ryan Fitzpatrick, the most famous Harvard-educated beardo since Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

Fitzpatrick had his moments, including two touchdown passes, but Bair was the clear winner with two batted passes (on caught by Hicks for an interception), another play where he forced a throw into the dirt near Fitzpatrick’s feet, and a full afternoon harassing the much smaller (6’2″) journeyman QB. He will haunt Fitzpatrick’s dreams this week.

7. The Eagles missed Andrew Gardner

The Eagles two new starting guards, Allen Barbre and Andrew Garnder, have been roasted and ridiculed all season long, blamed almost single-handedly for the Eagles’ offensive woes.

A lot of this is unfair, or at least exaggerated. While both have struggled, they’re not the only ones. Future Hall of Fame tackle Jason Peters and Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce have played poorly as well, and the guards that the noobs replaced — Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans — have been equally bad with their new teams. Besides, they’ve looked decent in pass protection, though run blocking has been rough.

Today, the team looked a lot better. We’ll have to study the tape to see how much of this is technique by the new guys, versus a bigger playbook, versus communication between the offensive lineman, but there was one clear sign of the improvement. Gardner left the game in the second half with an injury, and the Eagles’ offense clearly struggled from that point on. I never thought I’d be saying this, but they clearly missed Gardner’s presence in the run game.

Put it all together, and this weekend’s divine intervention produced one big miracle out of these seven smaller ones: everything has changed for this floundering Eagles team. The offense is moving again, the defense was very stout (at least in the first half), and in the crappy NFCE East, the Eagles are right back in the thick of the playoff race.

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54 Responses

  1. This team sucks they barely beat the jets they still can’t run the ball or complete a pass chip is DONE! Worst coach in nfl history we can all admit now Heath Evans was right

    1. This was a big win for the Eagles. The jets are a top 3 defense. And a top 10 Offense with a probowl caliber QB in Fitzpatrick. Our O Line issue appears to be resolved. And our D looks elite. The big ? Is Sam Bradford. He missed a lot of throws. Our WR dropped a few but Bradford needs to be more decisive in the pocket.

      1. I agree that the jets D is top 3. And I agree that Fitzpatrick is probowl caliber. But Bradford is not the problem. Our receivers are not getting open at all.

      2. “probowl caliber QB in Fitzpatrick” —- uhhh what???

        Yesterdays game was mildly ugly. Passes dropped, pass off-target. Eagles have a lot of work to do to get in sync.

        Hopefully just early season jitters and such.

  2. Offense showed up? 231 yards total offense, lost TOP battle again, drops galore and Bradford stinks. If the Jets don’t play like complete morons today and Sproles bails them out with that punt return, the Eagles are probably 0-3. Glad to see Kyle put in as much effort in hiring this clown as he did that loser Jim.

    1. Are you kidding me you fucking retard. If Dallas doesn’t block a punt against Eagles and don’t get away with that non PI call against the Giants they are 0-3. You can toss around these hypotheticals all day but they don’t mean shit. The whole division I s garbage and the Eagles have as much a chance as anyone to win it.

      1. Ok, after you’re finished with that glass of Kool-aid please let me know how you respond to my main point. The offense sucks, 231 yards of total offense is not a sign that it is showing signs of life, it’s a sign that it blows. 118 yards throwing for Kelly’s handpicked scrub of a QB. This team had 6-10/7-9 written all over it.

        1. But Dez and Romo did go down. Any team can say if. I said it before, you are in for a losing streak and that has already begun. Your D is horrible and you have no shot this year.

  3. The Eagles almost blew a 24 point lead and were totally inept the 2nd half. The jets had a number of opportunities to put more points on the board but since they’re the jets, they didn’t. That’s ok though, this will help the Eagles to that magically 8-8 or 7-9 season and a useless draft pick




    1. Huh? I thought they were going 14-2. With your insightful, level headed thinking, did you ever consider doing your own podcast?

    2. It’s astonishing how many people don’t pass the retard test with this guy. You can say his shtick is dumb, but the replies speak for themselves. Keep on, man.

    1. Are you kidding me you oblivious moron? Please, tell us more about how you shut down Julio and Weeden led you to victory.

  5. I love when “over-zealous” wives and GF’s of athletes say or do Dumb Shit…Brent Grimes’ wife, who is known to be a psycho bitch, was arrested after her husbands Dolphins lost at home tonight…charged with battery of a police officer….there is video of her screaming at a cop while having a knee dug into her back and her hands cuffed

      1. nah not quite, Jim would call it police brutality and racial profiling while making a lame joke with something like “at least someone in a Dolphins uniform had some fight in em on sunday”

        1. Only reason this isn’t on CNN or a shitty piece from Jimbo
          yet is it’s a black female officer who locked her up. If that was a white male officer arresting her there would be a public outcry. Idiots are idiots. I don’t care what race they are.

  6. Fuck this Pope madness over the weekend!!I could not even go out and get brunch drunk because I’m afraid I’ll get arrested. #popeinphilly

  7. Dude…. this was a really poorly written article. Exhibit A:

    “Today, he caught one of Bair’s deflected passes for an interception and scooped up the Barwin’s header off the failed Brandon Marshall lateral, adding a nice little eleven-yard return.”

    What a shitty, jumbled together, mess of a sentence.

    1. Uh, it’s pretty basic English, though in retrospect I tried to put too much in one sentence. Here, I put a phrase in parentheses — If you put your finger over the parentheses part, I’m sure you’ll be able to understand the rest.

      “Today, he caught one of Bair’s deflected passes for an interception and scooped up (Connor Barwin’s header of) the failed Brandon Marshall lateral, adding a nice little eleven-yard return.”

      1. basic rule of writing: Numbers one to ten are written out as words. anything 11 or over is written out in number form. just sayin…

  8. Cant be happy with this win. Chip kellys college scheme had its way for a half and then died. Bradford still looks like a pee wee quarterback who just saw bigfoot. We won cause of turnovers… chip kelly is crap.. this team is gonna be a fucking dumpster fire by week 8.

  9. I’m fat, ugly and only have a communication degree (basket weaving). I’m gonna be a fat ugly slob my whole life. Hopefully Ill get to travel to syria some day and deliver bottled water to the freedom fighters!!!! I’m sure they have good hospitaly and will treat me better then american men.

    1. It must be awful being so bitter and angry in your life that your have to attack a random woman you don’t even known and who’s done nothing of note, just because she happens to disagree with your world view in some small way. Get over it. Or, better yet, get a fucking hobby or something. You’ve obvously got way too much time on your hands.

  10. My people!!!!!!!

    Beautiful job Philadelphia on the world’s stage. Chosen has the host city for the Pope. No issues whatsoever. The most historically significant city in our country (a little more important than a Lombardi) pulled on off a wonderful, wonderful, weekend without a hitch!!!



  11. ang, didn’t ray diddy say drafting hicks was a waste”
    no my princess, he is a hall of fame writer, he is never wrong”
    al-“your wrong oink, you thought you heard that, you were either toasted or waking up after getting your choppers fixed”
    glen-hey pig, don’t ever criticize ray, he is my mealticket, we sell books, trips, plays, we sell more shit to these nitwits, than big daddy
    jonsey-hell rhea your as dumb as coatsie, i just ripped one get over here and cup it for me

  12. Message to Windmill Jeff,
    Itsa crime to charge-a people $40 to parka their Fiat, anda $10 for-a a beer! Holy smoke-a!
    PS …..your-a windmills maka me sicka.

    1. We support the views of the Holy Father. Even his magical powers could only give the Eagles offense enough juice to play one half.

      Lincoln Financial Field = usury.

  13. What’s the deal with “The Cuz” and his obsession with Sam Bradford? It’s actually quite disturbing actually. So protective over any bad words about the guy. You know what, it’s disgusting.

    The Cuz is blind and his loyalty to Bradford is just proof the guy is clueless. Worry about Primos Hoagies buzz and leave the sports to those who actually know about it,

    1. Whoa bo! I’ll get to Bradford in a minute bo…but first, let me tell you about An-ton-eee’s coal fy-red pizza. Only da finest cha-heeses, dee ital-i-an plum tamaydoes. Rich and red. AH. Da basil, da olive oil- and it’s cooked in dat nine hundred degree oven bo. Ah it’s amazing bo, it’s Ant-on-eee’s coal fy-red pizza.

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