The Perfect Opponent
The 2011 New York Jets are hardly a perfect team, won’t be considered great by anyone around the game and are still in jeopardy of missing the postseason for the first time in three years. But on Sunday, they are the perfect opponent. Perfect when it comes to the Eagles record against them.
New York and Philadelphia have squared off eight times over the years. The ledger is as lopsided as possible: Philadelphia 8, New York 0. Four of those contests have come in the City of Brotherly Love, where the upcoming game will take place.
A quick look at the history books yield the following final scores over the years:
Sunday, December 9th, 1973: Eagles 24, Jets 23 – Six turnovers, seven fumbles, and 21 mph winds probably made for a miserable day at Veterans Stadium!
Sunday, December 18th, 1977: Eagles 27, Jets 0 - Six turnovers, seven fumbles, and an interception by future Jet coach Herm Edwards highlighted what seems like an ugly football game.
Sunday, November 12th, 1978: Eagles 17, Jets 9 - Six turnovers, six fumbles, and less combined passing yards than Aaron Rodgers averages in a half. Sheesh.
Sunday, December 20th, 1987: Eagles 38, Jets 27 – Four turnovers, eight fumbles (sensing a trend here), and eighteen penalties totaling almost 200 yards. At least the fans got to see Randal Cunningham, Reggie White, Chris Carter, Mark Gastineu and Al Toon all on the field in one day.
Sunday, October 3rd, 1993: Eagles 35, Jets 30 – Five turnovers, five fumbles, and 17 Bubby Brister passes. How did the Eagles win this one? A 94-yard interception return for a touchdown by Eric Allen as New York tried to ice the game after blowing a 21-point lead.
Saturday, December 14th, 1996: Eagles 21, Jets 20 - Nine turnovers, six fumbles and Glenn Foley vs. Ty Detmer! The game that ended the Rich Kotite era of NFL coaching. Days after this atrocity, Kotite mercifully departed the sidelines for good, leaving behind a 1-14 Jet team for Bill Parcells to turnaround. I doubt many Eagle fans shed a tear over that.
Sunday, October 26th, 2003: Eagles 24, Jets 17 - Only four turnovers and two fumbles, making this the cleanest game played in decades between these two pretend rivals. This was the second of nine consecutive wins for Philadelphia, propelling them to the NFC Championship Game. As for Jets? They followed up their AFC East Title of 2002 with far too many underwhelming performances like this in ’03, on route to a 6-10 finish.
Sunday, October 14th, 2007: Eagles 16, Jets 9 – Six field goals and one touchdown…hopefully you saved your ticket stubs from this classic! 156 total yards from Brian Westbrook carried Philly. On the other side, Chad Pennington’s meek performance was a precursor to Brett Favre replacing him the next summer.
If history holds true this weekend, we are in store for ugly, sloppy football, but ultimately a win for the Philadelphia Eagles.