Week 15 Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles Poised To Spoil NY Jets Party
Sunday, December 18, 2011
by Aengus Moorehead
While taking care of business on the field last week, the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles were unaware that their achievements on the gridiron would result in the firing of their respective adversaries' coaches. The Jets recorded their third straight win and sixth in eight games with a lopsided 37-10 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs. The setback spelled the end of Todd Haley's two-plus years at the helm in Kansas City. For their part, the Eagles posted just their second triumph in six weeks with a 26-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
As a result, the defeat effectively ended Tony Sparano's time in the sun in South Beach. Now, Philadelphia returns home where it has won only one of six of its games this season. In addition, the Eagles could be eliminated should the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday and the New York Giants trump the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon.
But when the two desperate sides meet on the Eagles' home turf at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 15, it's much closer to an old-school "loser leave town" wrestling match.
With three games remaining on the 2011 regular-season schedule, the Jets hold a tenuous one-game lead on a trio of teams in the chase for the AFC's second Wild Card berth. Meanwhile, the Eagles are one loss away from a nightmare end to their "Dream Team" season.
The Jets have never beaten Philadelphia in eight overall tries and four attempts on the road, the most recent coming in October of 2003 with the New York quarterback duo of Vinny Testaverde and Chad Pennington dropping a 24-17 decision to the Donovan McNabb-led Eagles.
A loss would officially eliminate the Eagles from playoff consideration. They now sit third in the jumbled NFC East, two games behind both the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia visits the Cowboys next week and ends with Washington at home on Jan. 1, and would need to win all three and get outside help to reach the postseason.
The Eagles are also 1-5 at home this season.
Dynamic Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick returns for his second straight start after missing three games with broken ribs. He completed 15 out of 30 passes for 208 yards, a touchdown and an interception in last week's 26-10 victory at Miami.
The Jets have similarly stopped and started all season, winning two straight games, losing three, then winning three before losing two and now winning three in a row -- including last week's 37-10 home rout of Kansas City.
New York has averaged 33 points per game and scored 13 touchdowns while beating Buffalo, Washington and Kansas City in the most recent streak. In fact, it has scored touchdown in 12 straight red-zone trips during that stretch.
Running back Shonn Greene has 295 rushing yards and four touchdowns during the Jets' win streak.
As previously mentioned, the Eagles have won all eight of their lifetime regular-season meetings with the Jets, extending their dominance in the series with a 16-9 decision at the Meadowlands in 2007. In addition to its above-noted loss at Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, New York dropped decisions to Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium in 1973 (24-23), 1977 (27-0) and 1978 (17-9).
The Jets have had the upper hand lately in the annual preseason set between these two participants, however, having won nine consecutive times over the Eagles prior to Philadelphia's 24-14 triumph at MetLife Stadium back on Sept. 1.
Andy Reid is 2-0 against the Jets during the regular season over his long tenure with the Eagles, while Rex Ryan will be taking on both Philadelphia and Reid for the first time in meaningful action as a head coach.
Time & Venue:
- 4:15 PM ET, Sunday, December 18, 2011. Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NFL Football Odds: Eagles -3, O/U 44
Despite lofty preseason expectations, New York's quest for the elusive AFC East title will likely come to an end. They trail first-place New England by two games, with the Patriots owning the tiebreaker to boot. Don't look now, but QB Mark Sanchez seems be ready to make another postseason surge. After looking nothing more than pedestrian over the first 10 games of the season, Sanchez has collected seven touchdowns against one interception during the winning streak. Greene is also headed in the right direction, scoring four touchdowns in the last two contests.
With his next touchdown, RB LeSean McCoy will tie Steve Van Buren for the franchise record (18) – but he won't have the fast track to get there. The Jets have allowed only one 100-yard rusher in their last eight games. Vick will look to exploit a Jets secondary that lost S Jim Leonhard to a season-ending knee injury last week. The seven-year veteran will likely be replaced by Brodney Pool.
The combination of a capable quarterback, a shifty running back and a plethora of receiving targets has troubled the Jets in the past, and could repeat itself in the dynamic forms of Vick, McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek. The Eagles are a very dangerous team when all the parts are working on offense.
Bruising running back Greene has averaged four or more yards per carry for three straight games and scored four of his six touchdowns in the last two weeks. He could be valuable for the Jets in exposing the Eagles' perceived run- stopping weakness up the middle.
In the games the Jets have won, Sanchez has averaged a shade more than 30 pass attempts. In the games they've lost, it's been a shade under 37. The number he's closest to on Sunday will go a long toward determining New York's fate in this game.
The Eagles have won all eight meetings with the Jets, including a 16-9 decision in their most recent outing on Oct. 14, 2007.
Jets WR Santonio Holmes has three touchdowns in as many games.
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin has been limited in practice as he nurses a hamstring injury. He is expected to play on Sunday.
Philadelphia is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing NY Jets
Philadelphia is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games at home
Philadelphia is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
NY Jets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Jets last 5 games when playing Philadelphia
NY Jets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games on the road
Left for dead two weeks ago in Seattle, the Eagles revived their season with a 16-point road win at Miami and assuming all offensive hands (Vick, Jackson, etc.) are physically and mentally on deck, they provide a difficult matchup for a Jets team without an injured defensive captain. Now that Reid's job security may be hanging by a playoff-berth thread, it'll be interesting to see how his "Dream Team" responds to the no-margin-for-error scenario. It says here that they pass test No. 1.
NFL Football Pick: Take Eagles.
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