Jets-Eagles Preview

The season has not started the way the New York Jets had wanted it to. The team lies at 0-3 on the year with losses to the Buffalo Bills, the Cleveland Browns, and New England Patriots. In every single one of those games, the main reason for defeat was the offense. It has just looked so lethargic, even with the new addition of head coach and “offensive guru” Adam Gase. The play calling has been horrendous, with Le’Veon Bell running up the middle, which seems like every play. Nevertheless, the greatest problem with this Jets offense is the offensive line. Center Ryan Kalil seems as if he just doesn’t have anything left, Brian Winters, Kelvin Beachum, and Brandon Shell, who were all expected to step up this year has looked pathetic, and newly acquired Kelechi Osemele has not lived up to his hype. They are ranked fifth in the amount of sacks let up, and simply just do not give the quarterback enough time to make the necessary reads to throw an accurate pass. In defense, however, second year, and obviously more talented, quarterback Sam Darnold has been out the last two games with mono (and even played with signs of the illness week one against the Bills). Hopefully when Darnold returns, coach Gase will feel more confident getting more creative in the passing game.  On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has done an adequate job with the players he has available, since key defenders CJ Mosely, Quinnen Williams and Jordan Jenkins have been out with injuries.

This week four bye for the Jets seems came at the perfect time because of their injuries, and Sam Darnold recovering from his illness.  With regards to the struggling offensive line, Coach Gase has come out and said that he will play “ the best five guys for us”, which has brought speculation that finally there may be some changes to this line.  Whoever is picked to play in the next game against the Eagles must step up and work together as a unit in order to produce some blocking. This bye week also allowed those who were sick and injured to rest up and get better. Quinnen Williams seems to be ready to practice and will be a full go as long as there are no setbacks. CJ Mosely, with a groin injury, and Jordan Jenkins, with a calf injury, each are slowly progressing. However, since their injuries are tough to return back to 100%, they are still out of practice and remain questionable for week five at Philly. The biggest question was whether or not Sam Darnold would be able to play in the week five matchup. Darnold returned to practice this week and began throwing, however he cannot participate in any contact drills due to risk of his spleen bursting. After performing more tests, his doctors realized that his spleen was enlarged. Therefore, he will not be playing in the matchup. Once his spleen is at a safe size, the doctors will clear him for full participation.  

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This matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles is going to be a tough one even if everyone is healthy.  If the team is fully healthy and more of their key players back, they do stand a slight chance. With Falk under center, coach Gase will be able to use the whole playbook and get more creative. Instead of ramming Bell up the middle almost every down, Gase should utilize him more in the slot in order to open up this offense and give Luke Falk more options and a better chance at moving the ball down the field.  The Eagles are ranked 32nd in pass defense through their first four games, so the Jets do have a chance to eat up this defense using the passing game. However, with Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Malik Jackson on that Philly defensive line, the Jets are going to have to block in order to allow for their passing game to open up. If the Jets offensive line does not improve, they stand no chance. On defense, if the Jets can stop the Eagles from producing big plays with Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Zach Ertz, and limit them to check downs, then the outcome will depend on if the Jets can succeed on offense.  If more of the key players who were out for the Jets return and the team comes to play, the Jets could walk out of Philadelphia with their first win of the season. But, that is a big if.

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