Three Things from the Eagles’ win over the Jets
The Eagles have beaten the Jets all 10 times they have faced each other in the regular season.
The last time the Eagles had two rookies with an interception in the same game was 10/18/87 at GB by Mike Kullman and Troy West.
That's just two of the statistics you can over-react to after Sunday's victory over the Jets as we count up the things that we learned and the things we're still trying to figure out:
Three things we learned:
1. The Eagles made headway in their ground game.
For the first two and a half games, Philadelphia's ground game was about as inept as an NFL team could be. That changed on Sunday when the Eagles finally got things going. Ryan Mathews carried 25 times, gaining 108 yards and giving the Eagles an identity in the ground game for the first time all season. It was a promising step for a team that had turned to the passing game to jump-start the offense in the second half against Atlanta and struggled in both aspects in Week 2 against Dallas.
2. The Rookies can play.
With injuries forcing some young players into action, they stepped up. Eric Rowe earned more playing time, with a pass breakup and his first career interception in limited snaps against the Jets. "Eric Rowe will get increased opportunities," Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis said. "It was what we needed to see from Eric. Under fire, he rises up and makes some plays." Meanwhile, linebacker Jordan Hicks proved he belongs for the second straight week with his first-career interception, and a recovered fumble. In the past two weeks, In the last two games, Hicks has a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception.
3. Walter Thurmond is going to have an impact on this season.
No one was more of a unknown then Walter Thurmond III, who was learning a new position and coming off an injury-plagued season with the Giants. He has been around the ball on multiple occasions and has been the kind of ball-hawk in the secondary the Eagles have been lacking. He recorded his third-career interception and his second of the season.
Three things we're still trying to figure out:
1. Which game was more indicative of what we can expect from Sam Bradford?
Sam Bradford looked sharp in the second half against the Falcons, with just four incompletions in the second half. Bradford completed 36-of-52 passes for 336 yards, one touchdown, in the Week 1 loss to the Falcons. However, he didnt build off that solid second half in the game against the Cowboys and completed 23-of-37 passes for 224 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and he lost a fumble. In Week 3, he completed 14-of-28 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. His accuracy was an issue, plays were there to be made - Bradford missed a couple of throws that could have changed his day.
So which Sam Bradford can we expect moving forward?
2. How much credit do you give Philadelphia's defense?
Sunday's game was against one of the more offensively challenged opponents the Eagles will see this season. Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick missed some throws, running back Chris Ivory was active but did not play in the game and wide receiver Eric Decker missed the game with a knee injury, making the Jets pretty limited in the pass game. That said, the Eagles defense registered four takeaways against the Jets, including three interceptions and a fumble. Coming into the game, the Jets had just two giveaways.
The defense has forced at least one turnover in nine consecutive contests, can the Eagles continue to count on that?
3. How long will teams keep kicking to Darren Sproles?
Darren Sproles had an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown which ranks as the second-longest in team history behind Damaris Johnson’s 98-yarder on 12/2/12 at Dallas now has three punt return touchdowns as an Eagle, trailing only DeSean Jackson (4) for the team record. Sproles’ eight career kickoff and punt return touchdowns are tied for 10th all-time and third among active players.
If the Eagles offense continues to be an issue, how long before teams start kicking away from Sproles?