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  • Writer's pictureAl Thompson

JETS MAKE STATEMENT WITH FIRST-EVER WIN OVER THE EAGLES


The Eagles offense struggled all game against the Jets. Photo by Jessy Garber.

EAST RUTHERFORD: A lot of people seemed to have forgotten, including most observers from the New York City area and nationally, that the New York Jets roster General Manager Joe Douglas put together over the last two seasons was considered just one player away from winning a Super Bowl.


The Jets thought they filled that position when Douglas traded for Aaron Rogers from the Green Bay Packers.


Well, just because four plays into the season, that player suffered a season-ending injury, didn’t mean that roster went down with him.


On Sunday, that Jets defense harassed Eagles All Pro quarterback with two sacks, three interceptions and quarterback rating of 59.5.


That roster held Eagles leading rusher D’Andre Swift to ten carries and just 18 yards on the ground for the afternoon.


It held the Eagles offense to half its normal scoring output, winning 20-14 at MetLife Stadium.


It was the first win for the Jets franchise over the Eagles since it entered the NFL in 1970.


The Jets locker room was certainly upbeat, but by no means did these guys think it was that big a deal.


Interior lineman Wes Schweitzer, who in the second quarter, came in to replace Joe Tippmann who suffered a leg injury, talked about the Jets makeup in 2023.


“It’s just a team of fighters,” said Schweitzer, who has been in the league for eight years. “We’ve been grinding all year.”



Eagles edge rusher Hasson Reddick was one of the few bright spots for the Eagles against the Kets. The South Jersey native finished with 2.5 sacks. five total tackles and three QB hits. Photo by Jesse Garber.

Schweitzer agreed the Jets still have a great roster even without Rodgers.


“We practice hard, we work hard. We play together. It was like a team victory.”


Schweitzer had high praise Jets embattled quarterback Zack Wilson who finished 19 of 33 for 186 yards and no turnovers.


“He’s been working so hard, practicing so hard, he’s a great player, team leader. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about him. He’s inspirational to play in front of. He’s leading this team no matter who is out there. He’s doing a great job.”


Jets first win over the Eagles. Schweitzer said he was aware of it, but not Sunday. IN fact there wasn’t much talk of the streak ending in the Jets locker room at all.


“I definitely wasn’t thinking about it,” Schweitzer said. “For us, it’s just one play, one game at a time. You just want to win your rep, win your one-on-one and just move on. It’s nice to hear that but we were definitely not thinking about it.”


The Eagles appeared like they were going to keep the streak alive, jumping out to a 14-3 lead.

After a Jets three-and-out to start the game, the Birds drove 91 yards on 19 plays ending with a three-yard run by Hurts.


It was thought Hurts fumbled on the one-yard line and was recovered by wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus.


A review showed Hurts broke the plane before he fumbled...7-0 Eagles.


A major negative occurred when All Pro tackle Lane Johnson suffered an ankle and did not return. It has been reported the ankle injury is not serious.


He was replaced by veteran backup Jack Driscoll


The Jets made it 7-3 when Greg Zuerlein booted a 42-yard field goal after Wilson led the Jets on an 11-play, 50-yard drive..


The Eagles seemed to be moving the ball well on the next drive. But Hurts’ pass to Dallas Goedert hit his hands and bounced right to Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams who returned the ball six yards.


The turnover seemed to energize the Birds defense. Highlighted by another Haason Reddick sack, the Eagles got the Jets to turn the ball over on downs.


The Birds made it 14-3 after a six-play drive that ended with a Hurts nine-yard touchdown pass to D'Andre Swift to the right of the end zone.


The drive was highlighted by a 49-yard pass from Hurts to A.J. Brown.


Little did Eagles Nation know at the time, but that was the end of the scoring for the Birds on the day.


The Jets made the score 14-6 after a night drive stalled at the ….Zuerlein 43-yard field goal.


Good teams lose games when they turned the ball over.



Eagles running back had 18 touches (10 rushing) and finished with 58 yards total. He scored a touchdown on the Eagles opening drive. Photo by Jesse Garber.

TURNOVERS KILLED THE EAGLES ALL EVENING.

Jalen Hurts passed to D'Andre Swift to the right for four-yard gain.


Swift was tackled by C.J. Mosley, but Swift fumbled. Quincy Williams recovered fumble and returned it for 4 yards’


The Jets bungled the drive that stalled at the 17-yard line. But Zuerlein hit a 36-yard field goal to pull the Jets to within five points at the half.


Eagles backup cornerback Eli Ricks was also injured during the first half and did not return.

The Eagles first drive of the third quarter certainly not what head coach Nick Sirianni drew up in the locker room.


The play that killed the drive was when Hurts was sacked by Jefferson and Bryce Huff for eight-yard loss. Driscoll looked like he got beat cleanly on the play.


Eagles special teams did well on the ensuing punt, pinning the Jets at their seven-yard line.


But Jets revitalized quarterback led New York on a long drive near the Red Zone.


The drive was pushed back after a blind-side block by Allen Lazard on Birds safety Reed Blankenship resulted in the drive restarting at the Eagles 49-yard line.


The Eagles eventually forced the Jets to punt…but the Eagles next drive went nowhere.


STUNNING BLUNDER THAT ENDED THE GAME

The Eagles offense just could not take advantage of the opportunities it had all day.


With the Eagles leading 14-12 with 8:17 left in the fourth, the normally reliable Jake Elliott missed a 37-yard field goal. At this point, it was obvious nothing was going to go the Eagles way.


The Eagles defense came through over and over sacking Wilson five times. But the Eagles offense and special teams were not playing complimentary football.


The Eagles still had a chance to ice the game with two minutes left in the fourth. On third and nine from their 46-yard line, Hurts threw a brutal pass that was allegedly targeted for tight end Dallas Goedert but ended up right in the bread basket of safety Tony Adams, who pounded his way for 45 yards to the Eagles eight-yard line where he was tackled impressively by Eagles guard Landon Dickerson.


The Eagles allowed Hall to score…Wilson hit Randall Cobb for the two-point conversion and it was 20-14 with 1:46 left I the fourth.


Hurts could not move the ball at all and the first loss of the season was in the books.


EAGLES PLAYERS REACTED AFTER THE LOSS

Boston Scott on the idea of putting the loss behind them quickly: “We’re never going to be in a rush to put something to bed, especially if there was a bunch of mistakes everybody made,”


Scott said at his locker after the game. “I felt like we had a lot of self-inflicted wounds throughout the game. We just didn’t execute. We’re not going to run away from that. We’re not scared of that.


“We’ve got ballers in this room,” Scott continued. “We’ve got guys that are going to hold themselves accountable. We’re going to hold each other accountable. We’re going to be just fine.”


Scott admitted it was just one game.


“I do think \it’s just one game yeah, but it’s still important to correct the mistakes. We can’t let it compound. Credit to their defense, they played well.”


Hurts said the Jets came to play. He was 28 of 45 for 280 yards, one TD pass and three interceptions.


“The Jets team played with great resilience,” Hurts said. “We just gave them too many opportunities.”


Swift was asked if the lack of production and getting into a rhythm was due to the lack of run plays called. The Eagles ran the ball 22 times, only 14 running plays went to the backs.


“I wouldn’t say that,” said Swift, who caught eight passes for 40 yards. “Whenever your number is called, you’ve got to execute. Our execution has to be better all around.”


Brandon Graham thought the loss might help the team in the long run.


“I’m glad it happened early,” said Graham, who finished with two assisted tackles and a half sack. I think we need that. We know we can be beat. I think we’ll be better for it. I think we have a mature team that will take it the right way.”


Graham said there was no finger-pointing during the players-only post game meeting in the locker room. There was no disputing the reasons for the loss.


“Everybody knows,” Graham said. “People don’t lose their cool. We get on and discuss the obvious, watch the film, correct it and go about their business during the week. We still have to feel the sting. It’s all part of it. It’s all good.”


Graham said he was impressed with the Jets.


“They was good, They’re good. I give them a lot of credit. I can’t say nothin’ about them. We’ve got to correct the mistakes we did.


“Them boys came out and took advantage…we had four turnovers. We still put ourselves in position to win. It was a defensive game. And everybody knew they had a good defense. We knew we had a good one coming in. It was just more the little things…the little things…that’s all.”


JETS ARE MAKING A STATEMENT

It was brought up to Jets players after the game including Breece Hall that the Jet should have beaten Super Bowl champion Kansas City on October 1, then came out Sunday and found a way to knock off the defending NFC Champion Eagles.


Hall was asked if this win sent a message to the rest of the league that despite losing Rodgers, they are still a good team.


“I feel like we sent the message in game one,” said Hall, who contributed 93 yards of total offense including the Jets lone touchdown with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter. “Like I’ve said, we can compete with any team in the league.” *


Email Al Thompson at al.thompson@footballstories.com

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