On a day where the New York Jets hosted the Philadelphia Eagles, things were looking pretty good at the start. The Jets’ offense was moving the ball, and it certainly helped that Braxton Berrios took the opening kickoff 79 yards giving them possession on the Eagles’ 21-yard line. Zach Wilson and the offense were efficient, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive. They would score again, and then again, and then they stopped. So how did the Jets beat themselves?
New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles and NFL Officials
Normally, when a fanbase complains about officiating, there is a sort of eye roll that everyone else does. Get over it, they lost. However, what occurred on Sunday was beyond bad officiating. Numerous ticky-tack calls going the Eagles way, phantom pass interference calls and blatant misses by the officials made it significantly harder for the Jets to win this game.
Take, for instance, this missed defensive holding that would have likely resulted in an Elijah Moore touchdown, which would have brought the Jets within five points with five minutes remaining. If this call is made, the Jets at least have a first down in the red zone and can easily capitalize.
Defense? Never Heard of it…
The Jets’ defense was about as effective at stopping the Eagles offense as a wet piece of paper would be. They couldn’t stop screens, couldn’t get to the quarterback, and couldn’t stop the run. Dallas Goedert had a field day, and on the first drive, he had three receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Miles Sanders and Gardner Minshew both had big days, and they controlled the ball for a great majority of the second half. In the third quarter, the Eagles had the ball for 13 minutes and 50 seconds out of 15 minutes. The defense couldn’t get off the field, and the offense couldn’t stay on the field. Overall, they really had a tough time in the second half.
They have a desperate need for talent, and they do that in March and April. There are plenty of options in free agency, and this year is a great year to need defensive talent. Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux are great talents, players that can be game-breakers at the NFL level. Derek Stingley Jr., Kyle Hamilton, and others are also options at the top of the first round, especially with two current top five picks.
Zach Wilson’s Progression
Wilson looked much better in terms of taking what the Eagles were giving him. He got the ball out much more quickly, found open receivers, was accurate (for the most part), and moved the chains when he needed to. He was sacked a couple times, once because the Eagles took away a quick hitter on 3rd and short.
While the Tennessee Titans game was the best example of his big arm, this was arguably the best game he has had in terms of doing the little things right. Hitting consistent throws, finding open receivers, and moving the ball down the field. He needs to continue doing this week after week, and the New Orleans Saints are a good test in Week 14.
Cameron Jordan was placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, and that helps quite a lot. His presence would have caused a lot of problems for the Jets offensive line, but they no longer have to worry about him. Outside of Jordan, the Saints have a good defensive backfield, and Wilson needs to be careful with the ball.
Overall, the game can not be considered a total failure. Coming into the season, it was clear that the Jets were not going to be in contention. For a game to not totally be lost, all the team had to see was Wilson getting better. He is getting better, and he played his best game so far. Hopefully he builds on this week with another good game against the Saints.