Entering Sunday’s contest against New York, the Philadelphia Eagles were hands-down the NFL’s biggest disappointment this season.
With their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the Eagles played like a team in complete desperation mode—hungry to keep their slim postseason dreams alive.
Philadelphia wasted little time in burying the Jets as they jumped out to a 28-0 lead—winning going away. Rex Ryan’s crew committed four turnovers, (two lost fumbles and two interceptions) the most crippling miscue occurring on New York’s first offensive possession as wide out Santonio Holmes coughed up the ball and Philadelphia’s Juqua Parker returned the fumble 47 yards for an Eagles touchdown.
Despite falling behind by 28 points early, New York closed the deficit to 28-13 at halftime. The Jets began the second half with offensive possession, but the opening drive stalled at Philadelphia’s 39-yard line and Ryan reluctantly sent his punt team on the field.
On the second play of the Eagles ensuing drive—a 2nd-and-11 from their own 11 yard-line—Vick found tight end Brent Celek for a 73-yard catch and run down to New York’s one-yard line. Two plays later, Philadelphia tailback LeSean McCoy burst through for his 18th touchdown of the year and in doing so tied former running back Steve Van Buren for the most rushing touchdowns by an Eagles player in a single season.
In the early stages of the fourth quarter, McCoy would break the franchise’s single-season rushing touchdown record as his 33-yard scamper all but sealed the Eagles victory.
Philadelphia played far from mistake-free football committing four turnovers of its own, losing three fumbles while quarterback Michael Vick tossed an interception on a Hailmary attempt to end the first half.
Gang Green failed to capitalize on Philadelphia’s mistakes, while the Eagles score 21 points off Jets turnovers. This holiday season both squads appeared to be in the spirit of giving.
Philadelphia continued its dominance over the New York Jets as they have now won all nine meetings in the history of the rivalry.
The Jets (8-6), locked into the sixth and final AFC wildcard spot (by virtue of a common games tiebreaker over Cincinnati), return to Metlife Stadium on Christmas Eve to face the New York Giants.
During next Saturday afternoon’s Big Apple Bash not only will bragging rights hang in the balance, but the losing team may very well be on the brink of postseason elimination.