After a thrilling battle in a Week 4 win over the Green Bay Packers, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Jets handily back at the Linc in Week 5 by a final score of 31-6, thanks in large part to a phenomenal defensive effort and some effective early offense.
The defense piled up 10 sacks, including three from Brandon Graham, and they scored two defensive touchdowns, which resulted in the Eagles’ defense outscoring the Jets for the game.
The Eagles finally started fast in Week 5, jumping out to a 14-0 first quarter lead, and a 21-0 halftime lead against a Jets team that was missing their starting quarterback.
On Philly’s first possession of the game, a methodical nine-play, 53 yard scoring drive was capped off by Jordan Howard, who plunged into the end zone from one yard out to culminate a drive that lasted over five minutes.
The Jets looked to answer on the ensuing possession, but Nathan Gerry picked off Luke Falk and returned it for a touchdown to put the Eagles up two scores early. Throughout much of the second quarter, the two teams battled without adding any more points to the board.
However, Philly was able to finish the half strong with Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz leading a successful two-minute drive. The drive began just before the two-minute warning after a Rodney McLeod interception set the Eagles up with great field position.
The drive started with a short completion to Alshon Jeffery and a four-yard carry by Miles Sanders. Then, Ertz looked Zach’s way, finding No. 86 on back-to-back plays, although the first completion was washed away after a Jets’ penalty was accepted.
Sanders recorded a pair of catches next to inch the Eagles closer to the end zone, and then Wentz delivered a strike to Ertz over the middle and the tight end reached the ball across the goal line for his first touchdown of the season, giving Philly a commanding 21-0 at halftime.
Zach recorded five receptions in the game for a game-high 57 yards and the Eagles’ lone receiving touchdown of the game. In the third quarter Ertz was the recipient of another beautiful pass from Wentz, after the quarterback had miraculously avoided what appeared to be a sure sack.
The Eagles would have liked to have added to their offensive production throughout the second half despite their large lead, but other than a Jake Elliott field goal and a fumble returned for a touchdown by Orlando Scandrick in his Eagles’ debut, the Eagles didn’t score an offensive touchdown in the second half, which is something they will look to improve upon next week when they travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings. Part of the credit goes to the Jets for making some plays defensively in the second half, but Zach knows the offense has more to offer on their side of the ball.
“We didn’t play our best game, so we know we have some work to do,” Ertz said. “That’s the way it is in the NFL. It’s not easy. Today wasn’t easy, even though the score looks like it was.”
Ultimately, a win is a win in the NFL, and the Eagles won comfortably on Sunday, which isn’t easy to do. Against Green Bay, the offense stole the show, and this week the defense had their turn to dominate. The goal moving forward for Philly is to have all three phases of the game work cohesively. That combination will help take the Eagles where they want to go.
“Last week we were on a roll and we kind of had to pick up the defense and this week it was the opposite,” Ertz said. “That’s why football is the ultimate team game. It takes all three phases and at the end of the day, it’s a win.”
After starting 1-2 and falling behind early in the NFC East race, the Eagles have righted the ship and are now tied for first place in the division with the Dallas Cowboys. However, these Eagles know there is a lot of season left, and all that matters is getting a win next week against a tough, hungry Vikings team.
“This win makes us 3-2,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “That’s all this win says about us. We’re 3-2. I think we’re a good team, but we’ve got to continue to improve, continue to get better, and go compete on the road. Nothing we did today carries over into next week.”
Kickoff from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is set for 1:00 p.m., and coverage will be on FOX.