The Eagles will face the Jets at the Meadowlands on Sunday. Here are the game predictions from our Eagles beat writers for Week 13:
The Jets — that might be enough explanation for why the Eagles should win Sunday. But their effort against a lesser opponent like the Giants offered a reminder that this team is still learning how to win and its most important player is still learning how to play quarterback at the NFL level. If the Eagles play it straight upon their return trip to MetLife Stadium, they should win comfortably.
I’m guessing they will and that Nick Sirianni won’t fool around with early downfield passes, and Jonathan Gannon will allow rookie quarterback Zach Wilson to make his own mistakes. The 3-8 Jets aren’t 2020 bad, but they’re still far from being a playoff-caliber team. Joe Douglas was handed one of the NFL’s worst rosters when he became GM, but his two drafts since haven’t produced enough impact players, at least not yet.
A rash of injuries that started during training camp haven’t helped. It was apparent when the Eagles traveled up to Florham Park for joint practices that the Jets were ailing, especially along the lines. The Eagles still have a distinct advantage there and should obviously play to those strengths, whether in favoring the run or relying on their four-man rush.
I think Jalen Hurts will bounce back as well. There’s some concern that an ankle sprain will limit his mobility, but just a few zone-read keepers should be enough to keep the Jets honest. And then the Eagles can play off the run with select passing, specifically to DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert to correct last week’s neglect. Defensive end John Franklin-Myers has been the Jets’ best pass rusher, but Lane Johnson should neutralize him on the right flank. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams may have the edge over rookie guard Landon Dickerson.
The Jets don’t have much on offense, although Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Jamison Crowder are able receivers. Wilson just hasn’t been accurate enough in getting them the ball. Eagles win, and win big after last week’s fiasco. If they don’t — always possible — it could offset any gains Sirianni had made.
Prediction: Eagles 30, Jets 13
The Eagles can’t lay an egg two weeks in a row, can they?
Last weekend’s loss to the Giants was an ugly one, and there are reasons for concern about this team coming off it, but it would take quite an overreaction to pick the Jets in this one.
The Jets have been feisty at times this season, sure, but they’re still one of the worst teams in the league. Defensively, they’re ranked dead last in DVOA and they’re 31st in yards allowed per game behind only the Seattle Seahawks. Quinnen Williams is a talented interior pass rusher, but first-year coach Robert Saleh does not have an overflowing of difference-makers.
Jalen Hurts had serious trouble protecting the football against the Giants, but the three-interception performance was uncharacteristic for him. The Giants defense, especially with its heavy use of sub packages and interchangeable players, posed problems that the Jets defense won’t. If Hurts makes better decisions against the Jets, it’s easy to see a scenario in which the Eagles offense has a bounce-back game.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles defense is coming off a solid performance, albeit against a banged-up Giants offense. The Jets have Zach Wilson back in the lineup and, arm talent aside, he’s probably a welcome sight for the Eagles. He’s had his own struggles avoiding turnovers this season, throwing 10 interceptions to just four touchdowns. Wilson could still develop into a special quarterback someday, but the current version of the rookie is exploitable by the Eagles’ turnover-focused defense.
Prediction: Eagles 28, Jets 13
Rookie Zach Wilson is one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL statistically, and the Eagles have thrived when facing inexperienced quarterbacks. The Eagles defense has only 19 sacks, which is tied for third-lowest in the league, so defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon would be wise to dial up the pressure against Wilson, who tends to show happy feet and often leaves clean pockets.
Defensively, the Jets don’t have many enforcers. If Miles Sanders is indeed healed from the ankle injury he suffered last week, the Eagles should have no excuse for not running the football early and often. Too many times, the offensive line has shown its ability to dominate in run-blocking. The formula shouldn’t be that complicated – Nick Sirianni needs to lean on his offense’s strengths. When quarterback Jalen Hurts does pass, there should never be another instance where Jalen Reagor leads the team in targets over No. 1 wide receiver DeVonta Smith and featured tight end Dallas Goedert.
If the Eagles rely on their offensive line, they’ll head into the Week 14 bye with a victory. However, if Sirianni and Hurts go off script, there could be more horrors at MetLife Stadium.
Prediction: Eagles 21, Jets 12