The Philadelphia Eagles return to action this week against the New York Jets. The Birds are coming off a highly disappointing loss to the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn't even so much that the Eagles lost to one of their biggest rivals as much as it was how inept they looked while doing it.
The Eagles' offense has been unthinkably bad through two games so far this season. Though there may have been some fair concerns about the team, no one could have predicted them to be THIS bad. The fact that the Eagles have only rushed for 70 yards on 33 carries is really hard to believe.
The bad news for the Eagles is that this doesn't appear to be the week that their offense will get back on track. Philadelphia is going up against a very tough New York defense that has only allowed 8.5 points per game so far. The Jets have also forced 10 turnovers. That rate is obviously unsustainable, but it does say something about the Jets' opportunistic defense. Todd Bowles has really done a nice job so far. It will difficult for them to do it, but if the Eagles can find a way to get back on track against this defense, well, that would be pretty impressive.
Speaking of defense, the Eagles are really banged up on that side of the ball. Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, Cedric Thornton, and Taylor Hart are four key defenders who have been ruled out for Sunday. At inside linebacker, DeMeco Ryans and Jordan Hicks will likely start. At defensive end, the Eagles will likely utilize Vinny Curry and Brandon Bair a good deal. These players are obvious downgrades from the regular starters. Luckily for them, the Jets' offense isn't exactly a juggernaut with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm.
It's really hard to pick the Eagles to win after seeing how bad their offense has looked so far. The Eagles' run game is really what makes or breaks this team, and so far it's left them broken. The defense has been holding up their end of the bargain for the most part this season, though Byron Maxwell hasn't looked great. But it's really up to the offense to pick up the slack and at least manage to be average instead of downright awful.
The Eagles really need this game. Last week's game was pretty much a must-win, and the Eagles lost. Now they're staring 0-3 right in the face. It's up to Chip Kelly to right the ship. He needs fix the mess he's created so far. The Eagles need to save their season today. I won't believe they can do it until I see it happen.
Score prediction: 24-23, Eagles lose.
Bold prediction: DeMarco Murray will rush for more than 11 yards.
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