Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets: Storylines, prediction in critical game for NFC playoff hopeful

The Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets game is absolutely critical for the Eagles if they want to remain in the playoff hunt.

The Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets matchup isn’t just a game between two sub-.500 teams. Even at 5-7, the Eagles are still good enough to fight for the seventh seed in the NFC playoff hunt. The Jets have a young roster and new blood in the front office, with general manager Joe Douglas in just his second season and Robert Saleh as a rookie head coach.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets storylines

The Eagles appeared primed to make a playoff push, but then Jalen Hurts turned into Playoff Paul George, throwing 3 INTs while completing well under 50% of his attempts against the Giants in Week 12. It was the worst game of his young career as a passer. But was that just an off week, or something more? And can Philadelphia salvage this and make a playoff push?

Zach Wilson has met my expectations as a rookie — granted, my expectations for the former BYU standout were nearly lying on the floor. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect progression from the young quarterback as the season wears on, especially as fellow offensive rookies begin to shine themselves.

Jalen’s ankle hurts, may miss the Jets game

I’d initially written about how he must step up and get back on track because the Eagles need him if they’re going to make a run at the seventh seed in the NFC. He said that despite his ailed ankle, he would play this week.

However, reports late on Saturday suggested that Philadelphia wasn’t nearly as optimistic, while others stated he was OUT for Sunday. That brings cult legend Gardner Minshew to the fold. He rides into town on a white horse, slapped head to toe in denim and hair.

Minshew will almost certainly garner attention as a potential starter if he plays well against the Jets. Fans elevated his status as a player for the better part of two seasons in Jacksonville.

Nevertheless, this is why they acquired him. Hurts is a running quarterback, and behind a running quarterback, you need an upstart who can splash for a game or two before coming back down to Earth.

Can Zach Wilson show progression as his rookie season progresses?

It remains to be seen just how much progress we’ll see from Wilson as a rookie, but there are at least some signs of development (NFL QB Rookie Rankings). He’s still missing some throws he shouldn’t, and his ability to process information is still subpar, but he’s in a completely new situation now than he was a year ago.

What I’ve enjoyed so much about watching Wilson hasn’t necessarily come on the field. That’s a pretty ugly product. But he’s taken everything in stride. He answers tough questions with grace and confidence. And he’s doing all that after getting beaten to a pulp behind an offensive line without its best player.

Can the Eagles sneak into the seventh seed?

The short answer is yes! However, the Eagles must take care of business against teams with a similar record. They have the Jets, the Football Team (twice), and the Giants once more before facing the Cowboys in Week 18. Four more wins would get them to 9-8 at worst and a decent shot at making the playoffs.

They need to come out and dominate a bad Jets defense through the air and on the ground, even if they are indeed without their starting quarterback.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets betting odds and game prediction

  • Spread: Eagles -5.5 (Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Moneyline: Eagles -225, Jets +185
  • Total: 43.5

I’ve seen this Eagles team come out and dominate lesser opponents multiple times throughout the 2021 NFL season. Aside from their loss to the Giants, every team that has defeated Philadelphia has a winning record as of Week 13.

They should have no issues with the Jets, especially just one week after an embarrassing loss to the Giants.

Eagles vs. Jets Prediction: Eagles 24, Jets 17

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