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Eagles rookie storylines entering the Jets game

Week 13 preview.

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Eagles are looking to rebound against the Jets after an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants. With their second trip to the Meadowlands in as many weeks, the Eagles will need high level play from their rookies to help get the team back on track.

The Eagles need to get the ball to DeVonta Smith.

One of the many failures of the team last week was not involving DeVonta Smith in their passing game. While Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts seemed content forcing the ball to Jalen Reagor all game, their star rookie wasn’t afforded the same courtesy. If you’re going to draw up targets for a player in your offense, it should be the one who was on the hot streak DeVonta Smith was on after strong games against Los Angeles, Denver, and New Orleans.

The Jets defense, in a word, stinks. It’s really bad. Perhaps the worst in the NFL. So even though the Eagles should go back to a run first and run often game plan, this is a great opportunity to target DeVonta Smith when they do go to the passing game.

Can Landon Dickerson keep mauling and keep Jalen Hurts upright?

Jalen Hurts is nursing an ankle injury, which could change the way the Eagles call the game. This might mean a more “conventional” running game and more short passing to avoid Hurts taking any unnecessary hits.

Landon Dickerson has been on a tear for a few weeks now and looks fully settled in at guard. The Jets defense is bad, but where they are best is at the interior defensive line position. Dickerson will have to slow down Quinnen Williams and put him on the ground to help keep the run game cooking.

Expect the rookie guard to put on another show.

What is going on with Kenneth Gainwell?

Kenneth Gainwell showed on the last drive against the Giants that he can be a valuable option in the passing game. He continues to shine when given the chance.

The Eagles backfield is banged up with Jordan Howard out and Miles Sanders playing through an ankle injury. If Sanders isn’t 100%, this is a great chance for the team to get Gainwell involved against a soft rushing defense. Especially as the Eagles will want to get a short passing game going, Gainwell seems like their best option out of the backfield.