The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Jets on Sunday by a final score of 24 to 17.
The Eagles got off to a decent start relative to their past two games. After forcing a three-and-out on defense, Philadelphia managed to move the ball on the Jets defense (!) and get into scoring range. Unfortunately for the Birds, Sam Bradford overthrew an open Miles Austin in the end zone on third down and the team had to settle for a 30-yard Cody Parkey field goal.
Philadelphia's defense didn't allow Ryan Fitzpatrick and New York's offense to get much going early on. An Eagles defensive stop early in the second quarter forced the Jets to punt to Darren Sproles, which is always a scary thing for opposing teams. The 31-year-old veteran fielded the kick and proceeded to break five tackles on his way to a 89-yard punt return touchdown. Surprise: he's still really good.
While the Eagles' run game look improved early on, Bradford did not. He consistently struggled with accuracy issues. That is, until he threw a gorgeous pass to Mathews on the wheel route for an Eagles touchdown. For once, the ball placement was perfect. And for once, Mathews did not drop a pass.
The Eagles' good fortune continued when Brandon Marshall committed possibly one of the dumbest turnovers ever. The Jets receiver tried to lateral the ball as he was being tackled to the ground, but the ball hit Connor Barwin's head and was recovered by Jordan Hicks. The rookie Hicks, in his first NFL start, was very active, by the way.
Philadelphia capitalized on Marshall's big mistake with a quick scoring drive. Sproles punched the ball in on a short touchdown run to extend the Eagles' lead to 24-0.
The Jets quickly corrected their big mistake by answering back with a touchdown before the end of the first half. Fitzpatrick connected with Marshall to cut Philadelphia's lead to 17 points.
Eric Rowe made a big play in the second half to kill a Jets offensive drive. The rookie second round pick recorded his first career interception on an impressive diving play into the end zone.
The Eagles had a chance to capitalize on New York's turnover when Bradford had Sproles wide open on the wheel route for a probable touchdown ... but it was dropped. For as much as Bradford struggled, his receivers weren't doing him any favors once again.
A time-consuming drive by the Jets cut the Eagles' lead to two possessions in the fourth quarter. New York drove 81 yards in 8 minutes and 11 seconds to make it a 10 point game. E.J. Biggers was beat in coverage on a short touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Jeremy Kerley.
The Eagles appeared to be in good shape running the clock down with some Mathews runs until disaster struck. David Harris did a great job of putting his helmet on the ball and the Eagles running back fumbled to give the ball back to New York.
Luckily for the Eagles, Hicks showed up big yet again and picked off a deflected pass. Credit to Brandon Bair, who was inactive for the first two weeks, for getting his hands up to tip the ball. That was his second deflection on the day.
Philadelphia's defense stepped up big again late in the fourth when a Fitzpatrick pass went through Marshall's hands and landed in the grasp of Walter Thurmond. The Eagles' safety made an incredible effort to stay in-bounds on the play.
The Jets cut the lead to one possession with 2:34 remaining thanks to a long field goal kick from Nick Folk.
Philadelphia sealed the win thanks to a Jets penalty on third down late in the game. Fin.
The Eagles are now 1-2 on the 2015 NFL season. Season ain't over yet.
Stay tuned for much more Eagles-Jets post-game coverage.