If Sam Bradford and the new-look Eagles had trouble with the Falcons D in Week 1, then they won’t exactly be licking their chops at the prospect of visiting the New York Jets next weekend (Sunday, Sep. 27 at 1:00 PM Eastern).
In his first meaningful NFL action in almost 23 months, Bradford was tossed right back into the fire, attempting 52 passes in Monday night’s 26-24 loss to the Falcons. Bradford looked alright, completing almost 70-percent of his passes with one touchdown, but also two picks.
After falling behind 20-3, Philly really didn’t try to utilize their new ground game too much: offseason acquisitions DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews combined for just 13 yards on 11 attempts. But each one did score a touchdown on the ground.
The biggest concern when the Eagles brought Bradford in to be their QB was not his skill, but rather his ability to stay healthy. Bradford survived his first game against an underwhelming Falcons pass rush; Philadelphia didn’t allow a sack, though Bradford was hit eight times. If the Eagles plan on keeping Bradford healthy all season, they cannot have him attempting 50+ passes against this New York front.
The Jets harassed the Browns’ QBs for three sacks, 14 QB hits, and four turnovers in Week 1, knocking starter Josh McCown out of the game in the first quarter with a concussion. Philadelphia will need to get back to the run game success they found in past years under Chip Kelly.
The Eagles offense versus the Jets defense will be the matchup everybody flips the channel for, but the other side of the ball will dictate the outcome just as much. Byron Maxwell and Nolan Carroll were torched by Julio Jones last week for 141 yards and two TDs and also gave up big chunks to Roddy White.
Ryan Fitzpatrick looked to have good chemistry with Brandon Marshall in Week 1; while he won’t put up Matt Ryan numbers, he’ll have an opportunity to hit Marshall and Eric Decker, especially if the ground game continues to roll.
This game could be a close one, but keep an eye on this weekend’s results to help decide the play. Under Kelly, the Eagles are 7-6 ATS after a loss and 8-11 after a win.
Straight-up pick: Eagles.
(Photo credit: Ed Yourdon from New York City, USA (Football: Jets-v-Eagles, Sep 2009 – 70) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)