Sunday, December 18, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Eagles 45, Jets 19
By James Walker
PHILADELPHIA -- Here are some initial thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles' 45-19 victory over the New York Jets:
What it means: The Jets fell to 8-6 and blew their one-game lead for the final spot in the AFC. The Jets are tied with the Cincinnati Bengals (8-6). Fortunately, New York received a lot of help from other playoff hopefuls. The Oakland Raiders (7-7) and Tennessee Titans (7-7) both lost, which helps New York. It looks like Cincinnati could be New York's biggest threat down the stretch with two games remaining.
Turnovers aplenty: This was the sloppiest game I've covered all season. The Jets and Eagles combined for seven first-half turnovers and eight total. Both showed why they've been among the most inconsistent teams all season. There were five lost fumbles and three interceptions. The difference is the Eagles made many more significant plays.
Pass protection issues: The Jets' offensive line has had trouble protecting quarterback Mark Sanchez all season. That weakness was further exploited by Philadelphia on Sunday. The Eagles recorded four sacks, and defensive end Jason Babin had three against Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter. Babin became the 10th player in NFL history to record three sacks in back-to-back games.
Mistakes for Holmes: Jets receiver Santonio Holmes isn't known for making a ton of mistakes. But he had three big gaffes on Sunday. Holmes fumbled the ball on his first catch, and it was returned the other way for a 46-yard touchdown. He ended another first-quarterback drive with a drop that led to an interception by Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel. Holmes also was flagged for taunting after his touchdown catch before halftime that cost New York 15 yards. Holmes finished with four receptions for 40 yards and the touchdown.
What’s next: Next week will be very interesting for the Jets. They will host the Giants (7-7) at MetLife Stadium in the "Battle of New York." This game will also be a playoff eliminator with both New York teams coming off losses in Week 15. The Giants lost to the Washington Redskins Sunday, 23-10.