The Eagles' defense knew it had to neutralize running back Shonn Greene, who had averaged 5 yards per carry in the Jets' last three games, including a 129-yard performance against the Chiefs. Yesterday, Greene was held to 73 yards on 18 carries for a 4.1 average. He did not score.
The Jets have been able to shorten the field with their return game this season. Joe McKnight, the league's top kick returner, has six 40-plus returns. Coming into yesterday's game, the Jets led the league in average drive start (27.1). Yesterday, it was turnovers, not starting field position that killed New York as the average Jets drive started on their own 36. Antonio Cromartie returned five kickoffs for 146 yards (averaging 29.2 yards per return). and McKnight had one return for 28 yards.
The Eagles' offensive line, which has been an ascending unit most of the season, hit a pothole in Miami, allowing too much pressure on a still-hurting Michael Vick, and not doing a very good job of opening holes for LeSean McCoy, who averaged just 1.4 yards per carry. Yesterday, the o-line got back on track. Vick was 15-for-22 for 274 yards and one touchdowns and McCoy had 18 carries for 102 yards and three TDs.
The Eagles and Jets both turn the ball over a lot. The Birds entered yesterday's game with a league-high 31 giveaways and the Jets weren't far behind with 24. Yesterday, both teams had four turnovers. The difference was the Eagles were able to capitalize more, outscoring the Jets, 21-10 as a direct result of giveaways.
INTO THE HOMESTRETCH:
Eagles made league history this season, coughing up five fourth-quarter leads. They've been outscored by 45 points in the fourth quarter. The Jets, meanwhile, have saved their best for the fourth quarter. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has engineered four game-winning fourth-quarter drives and has thrown eight of his 21 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter this season. Not yesterday. The Birds jumped out to a 28-0 lead and the Jets only managed six points in the second half.