PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets reacts after the Philadelphia Eagles scored during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field on December 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Eagles top two scoring performances this season are the 34 points they hung on the Cowboys in week 7 and the 45 points they hung on the Jets yesterday. Both teams have defenses coached by members of the Ryan family. For some reason, Buddy's boys have been totally dominated by their dad's old squad this season. While it may not be their bloodlines that explain it, the real reason could be inherent in the schemes they run.
Last week, we pointed out that the Eagles might be in for a big offensive day against the Jets because they'd had such big days against the Cowboys and Dolphins, who run a similar Baltimore style system to Rex Ryan's scheme. Turns out, it happened. But why? The common thread to the destruction of both Ryan led defenses appears to be that the Eagles attacked their strengths in both games.
Against the Cowboys, it was the run defense. Prior to that game, much was made of the fact that Dallas had the #1 run defense in the NFL entering the game. The Eagles ended up running the ball 38 times for 239 yards. LeSean McCoy had one of his best days ever, rushing for 185 yards and 2 TDs on 30 carries.
As for the Jets, they came into Sunday allowing a league-low 37-7 completion percentage to throws that traveled more than 10 yards downfield. The Eagles went right after that strength and Michael Vick was 10-for-14 for 251 yards on throws went more than ten yards downfield.
While the Cowboys will undoubtedly be more prepared for what the Eagles plan to do this time around, I wouldn't expect the overall philosophy to change all that much. The Eagles will probably come right after the Cowboys' strength, which at least against the Ryans has worked for them so far.