This is a dangerous game for the New York Jets, one of the early NFL surprises: Short week, sore bodies, tired legs and a desperate opponent that can't possibly be as bad as they played last week. You might as well put "Potential Letdown" in neon lights.
Coach Todd Bowles doesn't see it that way. He's approaching the Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) no different than last week or the week before.
"You treat everybody the same," the Jets' coach said. "You take off their jersey colors and their numbers and you treat every week the same."
Bowles' philosophy is definitely closer to Bill Belichick than Rex Ryan, who hypes certain games as Armageddon. We'll see how it plays out Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The top storylines:
1. The offense is a mirage: Don't buy in just yet. Yes, the Jets have six touchdowns in two games, but consider some of the scoring drives -- 9, 28, 19 and 9 yards. Thanks to a turnover-minded defense, they've been playing on short fields. There's nothing wrong with that, but they need to develop more consistency on offense. After Monday night's win, Brandon Marshall said they "stunk it up." It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't great, either.
This week, they may have to rely on the passing game more than usual because the Eagles have a stout run defense (3.1 yards per rush), but an injury to wide receiver Eric Decker (sprained knee) could complicate the plan. Can they function if Decker is out and Marshall is getting doubled on every play? They may have to do something radical, like throw to a tight end. Remember, Chris Ivory (strained quadriceps) is hurting, too, and might not play, so the running game could lack some bite.
2. Putting on the Fitz: Ryan Fitzpatrick might be the most popular guy at One Jets Drive. He's had a calming influence on the offense, winning the respect of key veterans. Clearly, he has the trust of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who wasn't afraid to put the game in Fitzpatrick's hands when the Indianapolis Colts closed to within three points in the fourth quarter. He joined Boomer Esiason (1993) as the only quarterbacks in Jets history to post a 90-plus passer rating and two touchdown passes in each of his first two starts.
But now he faces new challenges, namely the Eagles' blitz. They've blitzed on 40 percent of their opponents' dropbacks, the fifth-highest rate in the league. Also know this about Fitzpatrick: He hasn't won three straight starts since the beginning of the 2011 season, when he played for the Buffalo Bills. The Jets, too, haven't won three in a row since 2011.
3. Dealing with the hurry up: Chip Kelly's offense is fast, fast, fast -- and that could be problematic for the Jets, who had only five days rest after the Monday night game. This will test their conditioning as well as their ability to communicate calls and adjustments. The Eagles move quickly, so there's less time to make calls and change personnel. Once again, the Eagles are leading the league in tempo, averaging 30.6 seconds (real time) between plays from scrimmage, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The next-fastest team is the Houston Texans, a distant second at 34.1 seconds. The Jets' Antonio Cromartie believes the Eagles are slower than last season, but the stats say otherwise. They've been almost a full second faster than last year (31.5). To a man, the Jets say the key is winning on third down, preventing the Eagles from developing a rhythm.
4. Bad history to good history: The Jets have 10 takeaways in two games, which is mind boggling. Consider: They're the first team to have five or more takeaways in each of its first two games since the 1992 Pittsburgh Steelers. This is coming from a team that was historically bad in this category. In 2013 and 2014, the Jets made only 28 takeaways, the fewest in any two-year span in NFL history. They should be able to rack up a few more against Sam Bradford, a Nervous Nellie last week against the Dallas Cowboys. His interior blocking is highly suspect, so look for the Jets to unleash blitzes into the A and B gaps. The No. 1 concern is Darren Sproles, a two-way threat who could cause major problems. Defending him "takes all 11," said Darrelle Revis (groin), who is expected to play.