Week 1, September 11, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ St. Louis Rams
Eagles All-Time Record vs. St. Louis: 18-19-1
Eagles Record vs. St. Louis during the Andy Reid era: 4-2 regular season, 0-1 playoffs
The 2010 Rams at a quick glance: 7-9 record, 204.3 passing yards per game (21st in the NFL), 98.6 rushing yards per game (25th), 223.6 passing yards allowed per game (19th), 113.1 rushing yards allowed (16th).
The Eagles' 2011 opener will mark the coaching debuts of several notable members of the Eagles' coaching staff. This will be Juan Castillo's first game as defensive coordinator, Howard Mudd's first as the new offensive line coach, and Jim Washburn's debut as the new defensive line coach.
The Eagles opened up the 2008 season against the Rams, and they rolled to an easy 38-3 win. DeSean Jackson had a great professional debut, as he racked up 106 yards on 6 catches, and added a 60 yard punt return. Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett also added a couple of 100 yard performances of their own, with Donovan McNabb throwing for 361 yards and 3 TD's.
That Rams team was in the midst of a three year span from 2007 to 2009 in which they compiled an embarrassing 6-42 record. This Rams team is much different, and much better. Second year QB and 2010 #1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford has helped make the Rams relevant once again. Bradford certainly wasn't eased into action in the NFL - He shattered Peyton Manning's rookie records for completions (354) and attempts (590), in route to being named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Additionally, this will mark the first time the Eagles will face Steve Spagnuolo as the head coach of the Rams. Spagnuolo was the Eagles' former linebackers and defensive backs coach under defensive coordinator Jim Johnson for 8 years in Philadelphia.
Week 2, September 18, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Atlanta: 17-11-1
Eagles Record vs. Atlanta during the Andy Reid era: 6-1 regular season, 2-0 playoffs
The 2010 Falcons at a quick glance: 13-3 record, 222.9 passing yards per game (15th in the NFL), 118.2 rushing yards per game (12th), 226.6 passing yards allowed per game (22nd), 105.9 rushing yards allowed (10th).
The Falcons ended the 2010 regular season boasting a 13-3 record, the top seed in the NFC, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. However, in their first round matchup against the Green Bay Packers, they were nothing more than a speed bump for Aaron Rodgers, who carved up Atlanta's defense to the tune of 31 completions on 36 attempts for 366 yards and 3 TD's.
The Eagles also had little trouble dispatching of the Falcons in their Week 6 win over Atlanta last season, as Kevin Kolb threw for 326 yards on 23 of 29 passing, with 3 TD's and 1 INT while subbing in for the injured Michael Vick. Jeremy Maclin was Kolb's favorite target in that contest, and he went off for 7 receptions, 159 yards, and 2 TD's. Andy Reid improved his all-time record over Atlanta to 8-1, which includes two playoff victories.
But the story of this game will be Michael Vick's return to Atlanta as the Eagles' starting QB. Vick saw action in a blowout win in Atlanta during the 2009 season, but his return to the Georgia Dome was only a side-story 2 years ago, as he was just a situation player at the time. This time around, Vick's return to Atlanta should draw plenty of national attention.
The Falcons are an excellent home team, as QB Matt Ryan has compiled at 20-3 home record in his 3 years as a pro. The Falcons believe they are Super Bowl contenders, as they went "all in" during the 2011 draft. They traded the 27th overall pick (1st round), 59th overall pick (2nd round), 124th overall pick (4th round), and their 1st and 4th round picks in 2012 to move up to the Cleveland Browns' spot at 6th overall, selecting explosive WR Julio Jones.
Week 3, September 25, 2011 - New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles All-Time Record vs. New York Giants: 74-82-2
Eagles Record vs. New York Giants during the Andy Reid era: 13-11 regular season, 2-1 playoffs
The 2010 Giants at a quick glance: 10-6 record, 242.6 passing yards per game (10th in the NFL), 137.5 rushing yards per game (6th), 209.5 passing yards allowed per game (9th), 101.3 rushing yards allowed (8th).
The Eagles have owned this series of late and bring a 6-game winning streak over the Giants into this Week 3 matchup. To say the least, the two games between the Eagles and Giants in 2010 were memorable.
In the first matchup, with the Giants leading 17-16 and under 5 minutes to play, the Eagles faced a 4th and 1 from midfield. Michael Vick bobbled the snap, but was able to pitch the ball to LeSean McCoy, barely missing the outstretched hand of Giants' DE Osi Umenyiora. McCoy took the pitch, got a couple key blocks from Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, and raced 50 yards for the go-ahead score.
In the second matchup, the Eagles were down 31-10 with last than 8 minutes to play, and it appeared as if the Giants were cruising toward a comfortable win. The Eagles began creeping back when Michael Vick hit Brent Celek on a 65-yard TD catch-and-run across the middle. After a successful onsides kick, Michael Vick capped off a 57 yard drive with a 4 yard TD run. The Eagles' defense forced a punt, and Michael Vick went back to work from the Eagles' 12 yard line. On a key 3rd and 10, Vick ran for 33 yards to the Eagles 45, keeping the drive alive. After a pass to Jason Avant for 13, another Vick scramble for 22, and a short pass to Celek for 7, Vick found Jeremy Maclin in the flat for a 13 yard TD reception. On the Giants' ensuing possession, the Eagles' defense held firm again, forcing the Giants to punt, and setting up perhaps the play of the season in the entire NFL.
Punter Matt Dodge hit a low line drive punt, and playmaker extraordinaire DeSean Jackson, after initially bobbling the football, was able to gain possession and find a seam through the center of the oncoming Giants' punt coverage team. Jackson got a monster block from Avant, and found himself in the clear. He raced toward, and then horizontally across, the goal line before finally stepping into the end zone for the walk-off win. The Eagles would go on to win the NFC East title, and the Giants would eventually miss out on the playoffs for the 2nd straight year.
The Giants defense, as usual, should have a very good defense in 2010, with no shortage of players that can get to the QB. Justin Tuck is among the best defenders in the league, and Osi Umenyiora is a bona fide playmaker at the DE position, with 11.5 sacks and a whopping 10 forced fumbles. Jason Pierre-Paul was drafted as somewhat of a project last season, and looks like a find thus far. The Giants also boast a secondary heavy on big names including safeties Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips, to go along with corners Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross, and 2011 first round pick Prince Amukamara. Expect them to add help at the linebacker positions if/when free agency occurs.
However, the Giants come into the 2011 season with questions about the age and health of their offensive line. LG Rich Seubert dislocated his kneecap in the final game last season and is recovering from surgery. LT David Diehl missed multiple games last season with hamstring and hip injuries. Center Shaun O'Hara also missed 10 games last year with foot and ankle injuries. Diehl (turns 31 years of age in September), Seubert (32 years old), O'Hara (turns 34 in June), Chris Snee (29), and Kareem McKenzie (32) make up the oldest starting offensive line in football.
QB Eli Manning, RB's Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, WR's Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, and Mario Manningham, and TE Kevin Boss make up an impressive group of skill position players, but their success will ultimately be determined by how well the big guys upfront can protect in the passing game, and open up holes in the run game.
Week 4, October 2, 2011 - San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles All-Time Record vs. San Francisco: 12-17-1
Eagles Record vs. San Francisco during the Andy Reid era: 6-2 regular season, 0-0 playoffs
The 2010 49ers at a quick glance: 6-10, 209.8 passing yards per game (18th in the NFL), 103.6 rushing yards per game (19th), 231.1 passing yards allowed per game (24th), 96.7 rushing yards allowed (6th).
The Eagles have played the 49ers in each of the past three seasons, with the Eagles winning all three, and the last five overall versus San Francisco. Last season, the Niners hosted the Eagles in primetime, and it was rookie Brandon Graham's early 4th quarter sack and forced fumble of QB Alex Smith that broke the game open. Quintin Mikell scooped up the fumble and ran it back 52 yards for a comfortable 14 point lead. The Eagles were able to withstand a Niners comeback when another rookie, Trevard Lindley, picked off Smith to seal the win.
Kevin Kolb got the start in that game in relief of the injured Michael Vick and played well, hitting on 21 of 31 passes for 253 yards, a TD, and no INT's. He also scrambled for a key first down on 3rd and 18. During this offseason, the 49ers were among the teams most associated with acquiring Kolb in a trade, but that changed when the Niners spent a 2nd round pick (36th overall) on Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is viewed by many as somewhat of a project, so the Eagles may not see him when they face the Niners in Week 4 of the 2011 season. Of the 3 veteran QB's that played in San Francisco last year (Alex Smith, Troy Smith, and David Carr), only Carr is under contract with the team through 2011.
Neophyte head coach Jim Harbaugh will likely look to heavily utilize the running game on the shoulders of star RB Frank Gore and the Niners' young, talented offensive line while they groom Kaepernick.
Week 5, October 9, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Buffalo Bills
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Buffalo: 6-5
Eagles Record vs. Buffalo during the Andy Reid era: 2-1 regular season, 0-0 playoffs
The 2010 Bills at a quick glance: 4-12 record, 197.4 passing yards per game (24th in the NFL), 107.5 (18th) rushing yards per game (19th), 192.0 passing yards allowed per game (3rd), 169.6 rushing yards allowed (32nd).
After beginning the season 0-5 playing very bad football, the Bills began to wake up. They went into Baltimore and took the Ravens to OT, losing 37-34. They then went into Arrowhead Stadium and lost another heartbreaker 13-10 in OT to the Kansas City Chiefs, and followed that up with a third straight 3 point loss to a playoff-bound team at home to the Chicago Bears. They finally got in the win column in their 9th game against the improving Detroit Lions, and wound up finishing the season 4-4 in their last 8 games, a stretch that included an OT loss to the eventual Super Bowl bound Pittsburgh Steelers, a game that that they would have won if not for an overtime drop in the end zone by WR Stevie Johnson.
The Bills have holes up and down their roster. They had the worst rush defense in the league, giving up an atrocious 170 rushing yards per game. They were last in the NFL with a -17 turnover differential. But they're dangerous. Many expected the Bills to draft a QB in the 2011, but instead they went heavy on the defensive side of the ball, drafting defenders with each of their first 4 picks, including the supremely talented Marcel Darius. It appears as though they're going to reward heady QB Ryan Fitzpatrick with the starting job for at least another season.
Week 6, October 16, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Washington: 69-79-6
Eagles Record vs. Washington during the Andy Reid era: 15-9 regular season, 0-0 playoffs
The 2010 Redskins at a quick glance: 6-10 record, 244.6 passing yards per game (8th in the NFL), 91.3 rushing yards per game (30th), 261.7 passing yards allowed per game (31st), 127.6 rushing yards allowed (26th).
In 2010, the Eagles and Redskins split. The first matchup was all about Donovan McNabb's return to Philly. When the schedule was released last season, it was supposed to be Donovan McNabb vs. Kevin Kolb. Instead, Kolb was injured in the opening vs. Green Bay, Michael Vick took over, and made it impossible to take him out of the starting role. In the first quarter, Michael Vick was injured early after being sandwiched between two Redskin defenders after a long run, and McNabb vs. Kolb was back on. The extremely sloppy contest was low-lighted by a comedy of confusion at the end of the first half, which included 10 minutes in real time of an official review, followed by an Eagles time out, followed by a delay of game which brought the Eagles from the 6 inch line to the 6 yard line, followed by the Eagles settling for a FG instead of trying to close out the first half with a TD. The game ended on a Kevin Kolb Hail Mary pass that went through the hands of Jason Avant. McNabb was given a game ball by head coach Mike Shanahan in the locker room after the game, and he gleefully exclaimed that "Everybody makes mistakes in they lives, and (the Eagles) made one last year."
The rematch wasn't quite as sloppy, at least from the Eagles perspective. In pregame warm-ups, LaRon Landry and DeAngelo Hall tried to intimidate DeSean Jackson. Big mistake. On the first play from scrimmage, Jackson beat a jam at the line of scrimmage by Hall, and raced right past Landry while hauling in a 88 yard bomb from Vick. The onslaught continued: On the next 4 possessions, Michael Vick scored on a 7 yard run, LeSean McCoy scored on an 11 yard shovel pass from Vick, Jerome Harrison scored on a 50 yards run, and Vick hit Jeremy Maclin on a 48 yard bomb. That was all in 15 minutes and 9 seconds. The Eagles would go on to score 45 points in the first half, a team record, and ESPN sideline reporter noted that when she asked Andy Reid what his philosophy was being up by such a wide margin, Reid reply was "Score more." The Eagles would score twice more before finally calling off the dogs.
The Redskins will open the 2011 season almost assuredly sans Donovan McNabb. McNabb is due a $10 million roster bonus in August, and it's unlikely they'll pay him that. They'll try to trade him, although they may find difficulty finding a trade partner willing to take on McNabb's contract, so they may have to ultimately cut him. The Redskins benched McNabb during their loss to the Detroit Lions last year, replacing him with Rex Grossman. Grossman is a free agent, and the other remaining QB would be John Beck. They did not draft a QB in the 2011 NFL draft.
Also concerning for the Redskins has to be their 31st ranked defense of last year. In 2009, the Redskins had the 10th ranked defense with a team full of players that perfectly fit a 4-3 scheme. They inexplicably switched to a 3-4, and gave up an average of 389.2 yards per game, 2nd worst in the NFL, behind only the Denver Broncos.
The Redskins should be nice and rested for this one, as this game falls after their bye.
Week 7 - BYE
Week 8, October 30, 2011 - Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Dallas: 45-59
Eagles Record vs. Dallas during the Andy Reid era: 15-9 regular season, 0-1 playoffs
The 2010 Cowboys at a quick glance: 6-10 record, 252.6 passing yards per game (6th in the NFL), 111.6 rushing yards per game (16th), 243.4 passing yards allowed per game (26th), 108.4 rushing yards allowed (12th).
Heading into the 2010 season, the Cowboys were the consensus pick to win the NFC East. It would instead turn out to be a complete disaster. After a 1-7 start, a season-ending injury to starting QB Tony Romo, and a fired head coach (Wade Phillips), Dallas was all but eliminated from playoff contention just halfway into the season.
The schedule makers must have been anticipating the Eagles and Cowboys to be fighting it out for the division title late in the 2010 season, as they scheduled the Eagles to play the Cowboys twice in the final four weeks. Going into their Week 14 matchup vs. Dallas, the Eagles must have been licking their chops at the opportunity to play the wounded Cowboys after going 0-3 the previous season, which included back-to-back embarrassing losses to close out the 2009 season. It wouldn't be easy, but the Eagles pulled off the road win on the strength of DeSean Jackson's 4 receptions for a whopping 210 yards, including Jackson's 91 yard catch-and-run score punctuated by a "Nestea plunge" across the goal line. The second matchup was nothing more than a glorified scrimmage with the Eagles resting all their starters and the Cowboys having little more to play for than to help interim head coach Jason Garrett retain his job.
Garrett did indeed retain his job, as owner Jerry Jones awarded Garrett with a 4 year deal after rallying his team to a 5-3 finish. Garrett has work to do. After years of ignoring the need to infuse some youth into their aging offensive line, it finally caught up with the Cowboys in 2010, as they got very poor play from that unit the entire season. Jones finally addressed the OL this offseason by selecting Tyron Smith with the 9th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Smith, paired with LT Doug Free, should give the Cowboys a couple of quality bookends, something they've lacked for the past few seasons.
Meantime, there's also work to be done on the defensive side of the ball as well. Enter new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, brother of the outspoken Jets head coach Rex Ryan, and son of former Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan. Ryan will be tasked with fixing a broken passing defense, which was 26th in the NFL last season, giving up 243.4 passing yards per game.
Also of note is that this game will follow the Eagles' bye week. In regular season games after a bye, Andy Reid led Eagles teams are 12-0.
Week 9, November 7, 2011 - Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Chicago: 12-29-1
Eagles Record vs. Chicago during the Andy Reid era: 5-3 regular season, 1-0 playoffs
The 2010 Bears at a quick glance: 11-5 record, 188.4 passing yards per game (28th in the NFL), 101.0 (22nd) rushing yards per game (19th), 224.3 passing yards allowed per game (20th), 90.1 rushing yards allowed (2nd).
If it seems like the Bears appear on the Eagles' schedule with more regularity than most non-divisional foes, you're not just imagining things. In the Andy Reid era, the Eagles have squared off against the Bears in 9 of Reid's 12 years as the Eagles head coach, and in each of the past four. While Reid sports a 5-3 career regular season record over Chicago, the Bears have taken three of the last four. Each of the last 4 games has been decided by 5 points or less. The last three matchups have all been played on Chicago's embarrassment of an NFL playing surface. This year, the Eagles finally get them on their home turf. Unfortunately for the Eagles, however, this will be the second team they have to play coming off their bye week, so the Bears should be rested and ready to go on Monday Night Football.
Last season, the Eagles came into Chicago without star CB Asante Samuel, and the Bears took full advantage. QB Jay Cutler tied a career high by throwing for 4 TD passes, RB Matt Forte added 117 rushing yards, and the Bears were able to hold off a late Eagles comeback to hang onto a crucial win that went a long way toward giving the Bears a first round bye in the playoffs.
New Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has publically admired the Bears' defensive style of play, as he has mentioned them on more than one occasion as a team that plays with great energy.
Week 10, November 13, 2011 - Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Arizona: 54-55-5
Eagles Record vs. Arizona during the Andy Reid era: 3-3 regular season, 0-1 playoffs
The 2010 Cardinals at a quick glance: 5-11 record, 182.6 passing yards per game (31st in the NFL), 86.8 rushing yards per game (32nd), 228.4 passing yards allowed per game (23rd), 145.2 rushing yards allowed (30th).
Could this potentially be Michael Vick vs. Kevin Kolb? In the aftermath of Kurt Warner's retirement, the Cardinals slogged through the 2010 season with Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, and Richard Bartel as their QB's. In the 2011 NFL draft, they grabbed CB Patrick Peterson with the 5th overall pick and continued to ignore the QB position the rest of the way, signaling that they are very much in play for Kolb. There have been widespread rumors of Kolb ultimately landing in Arizona, ranging from just general speculation to reports that the Cardinals and Eagles already had a deal in place, but could not act on it due to the lockout. Should Kolb land in Arizona, he could immediately transform the Cardinals into the favorites in the NFC West, forming a formidable passing attack with Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston.
The last time the Eagles faced the Cardinals, they watched as the Cardinals celebrated under falling confetti as the Cardinals improbably continued their postseason run to the Super Bowl. The only major difference (albeit a huge difference) between that team and this current one is the play from the QB position. This is one of those games when you first look at the schedule, you immediately pencil in a win, but if the Cardinals can somehow pry Kevin Kolb from the Eagles, this game will not be a gimme by any stretch.
Week 11, November 20, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Week 12, November 27, 2011 - New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles All-Time Record vs. New England: 6-5
Eagles Record vs. New England during the Andy Reid era: 1-2 regular season, 0-1 playoffs
The 2010 Patriots at a quick glance: 12-4 record, 240.4 passing yards per game (11th in the NFL), 123.3 rushing yards per game (9th), 258.5 passing yards allowed per game (30th), 108.0 rushing yards allowed (11th).
The most tenured coach in the NFL (Andy Reid) and the 2010 NFL MVP runner-up (Michael Vick) will square off against the second most tenured coach in the NFL (Bill Belichick) and the 2010 NFL MVP (Tom Brady) in this rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX. The Patriots have arguably the most potent offense in the NFL, a unit that led the NFL with 518 points (32.4 points per game), and scored at least 23 points in every game. Tom Brady was near perfect during the 2010 regular season, as he threw for 36 TD's and just 4 INT's, a ratio that is simply astounding.
But just like the Eagles, the Pats were one and done in the playoffs, losing in an upset to their bitter rival, the New York Jets. As good as the Patriots' offense is, their defense was suspect in 2010, as they gave up 258.5 passing yards per game, which was 3rd worst in the NFL.
Last year, the Eagles finally beat the Colts, a great AFC team they seemingly couldn't best in recent intra-conference matchups. The Pats, after having beaten the Eagles in their last three matchups, including of course the 2004 Super Bowl, seem like another one of those big late-season challenges.
Week 13, December 1, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Seattle: 7-5
Eagles Record vs. Seattle during the Andy Reid era: 3-2 regular season, 0-0 playoffs
The 2010 Seahawks at a quick glance: 7-9 record, 208.8 passing yards per game (19th in the NFL), 89.0 rushing yards per game (31st), 249.6 passing yards allowed per game (27th), 118.9 rushing yards allowed (21th).
The schedule makers didn't do the Eagles any favors here. After the Eagles finish up against New England, the NFL is having the Eagles travel to the NFL city furthest away from Philadelphia to play on Thursday night, in perhaps the most raucous stadium in the NFL.
The Seahawks are the defending champs of one of the worst divisions in the history of American sports, the 2010 NFC West. The Seahawks made the playoffs with a 7-9 record, while teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants sat at home with 10-6 records. Many scoffed at the Seahawks leading up to their opening round playoff tilt against the New Orleans Saints, and most expected the Saints to blow out the seemingly inferior Seahawks. Instead, the Seahawks produced one of the most exciting games of the entire season, a thrilling 41-36 win that included an impossible 4th quarter 67-yard TD run by Marshawn Lynch, who broke tackle after tackle while putting the nail in the Saints' coffin.
The Seahawks are likely not to bring back Longtime Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck, which would leave the team in the hands of mostly untested Charlie Whitehurst. In addition to the Cardinals, the Seahawks are a team heavily rumored to have interest in trading for Kevin Kolb.
Week 14, December 11, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Miami Dolphins
Eagles All-Time Record vs. Miami: 5-7
Eagles Record vs. Miami during the Andy Reid era: 2-1 regular season, 0-0 playoffs
The 2010 Dolphins at a quick glance: 7-9 record, 220.4 passing yards per game (16th in the NFL), 102.7 rushing yards per game (21st), 209.3 passing yards allowed per game (8th), 100.1 rushing yards allowed (7th).
The 2010 Dolphins were a bit of an oddity. They were a very impressive 6-2 in their road games, and a dismal 1-7 at Sun Life Stadium. The Eagles will have a few extra days to rest up for this matchup against the Fins after playing on Thursday night the previous week. They should also get a respite from the December cold weather with a trip down to sunny Miami. The last time the Eagles played the Dolphins in Miami was 2003, when tens of thousands of Eagles fans overran the stadium.
This offseason, the Dolphins were shopping for a new head (they reportedly met with Jim Harbaugh) while they already had current head coach Tony Sparano under contract. The Harbaugh talks fizzled out, and the Dolphins eventually gave Sparano a two-year extension - talk about awkward. The coaching staff isn't the only thing that remains unsettled. Chad Henne enters his 4th year in the NFL with question marks as to whether he's still the Dolphins' starting QB. Henne was good in spurts during the 2009 season, but he regressed last year. This will be the third matchup with a team that is very much in the Kevin Kolb sweepstakes.
Despite their offensive troubles, the Dolphins do have a good defense, and should present a challenge for Michael Vick and Co. Led by former CFL star Cameron Wake, the Dolphins were 8th in the NFL against the pass, and 7th against the run.
Week 15, December 11, 2011 - New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles All-Time Record vs. NYJ: 8-0
Eagles Record vs. NYJ during the Andy Reid era: 3-0 regular season, 0-0 playoffs
The 2010 Dolphins at a quick glance: 11-5 record, 202.6 passing yards per game (22nd)in the NFL), 148.4 rushing yards per game (4th), 200.6 passing yards allowed per game (6th), 90.9 rushing yards allowed (3rd).
The Eagles are the only team in the NFL that the Jets have never beaten. Buddy Ryan's son, Jets' head coach Rex Ryan, will try to change that when the Jets travel down the NJ Turnpike to Lincoln Financial Field. The Jets are a throwback of sorts to the teams that try to win by pounding the run and playing tough defense. It has worked for them, as they've advanced to the AFC Championship game in each of the past two seasons, falling shirt last year to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Indianapolis Colts in 2009.
Statistically, the Jets were the 3rd best defense in the NFL last year in terms of yardage, giving up a stingy 291.5 yards per game, and 6th in points, allowing just 19 points per game. This game will feature two of the best corners in the game, in Darrelle Revis and Asante Samuel. DeSean Jackson will undoubtedly see his share of Revis in man coverage, and it will be interesting to see how Ryan game plans for Michael Vick.
This will be the 3rd AFC team the Eagles will face in a four game span, which is somewhat of an oddity this late in the season, when the NFL typically likes to schedule in-conference games. This will be a tough late-season test for the Eagles, as the Jets love to bring a physical style of play.
Week 16, December 24, 2011 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Week 17, January 1, 2012 - Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles