Who Picked the Eagles: Week 3
After two straight losses to start the season, the Eagles have a crucial matchup against the Jets on Sunday. Here’s what the media expect from the Birds this weekend.
Over at Fox Sports, Peter Schrager has the Eagles beating the Jets, 27-24.
I don’t think anyone saw this coming. After spending $51 million on running backs this offseason (and trading away a Pro Bowl back), Chip Kelly’s running attack is last in the league in rushing yards per game and rushing yards per carry. I had Shaun O’Hara on my podcast this week, and he said it’s less the guard play than it is DeMarco Murray — who rarely ran out of the shotgun in Dallas — being asked to operate primarily out of that formation.
Whatever the issue, it better right itself quickly. The Eagles were my preseason Super Bowl pick out of the NFC. Can’t jump ship now. It won’t be pretty, but they’ll get a W on Sunday.
NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison has the Jets beating the Birds, 22-17.
If the Eagles couldn’t run against the Falcons (63 yards in Week 1) and Cowboys (7 yards in Week 2), how do you think they’ll do against the Jets? Of course, given the way this football season is going, maybe we should expect DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews to combine for 390 rushing yards for Philly.
Actually, look for Chip Kelly to have an even-steven run-pass ratio for the majority of this football game. More importantly, we can actually discuss the Jets’ offense in New York now, something we haven’t been able to do since before Tinder. Maybe even longer than that. Swipe left on Jets receiver Brandon Marshall, right on Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell.
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell picks the Eagles, despite a couple of shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball.
Through two weeks, teams have been comfortable dropping back into coverage and daring Sam Bradford to squeeze the ball between zones. Bradford has been blitzed on only 11.0 percent of his dropbacks, the second-lowest rate in the league; only Mallett has been blitzed less, which is the same sort of logic you apply when you try to stay a few car lengths away from student drivers.
Bradford has been bad under any circumstances, but he’s been worse against those few blitzes; his 26.3 QBR against no rush falls to 15.1 when teams send the house. Todd Bowles has sent pressure 47.0 percent of the time through two weeks — why wouldn’t he do the same against a passer who has shown virtually no ability to make opponents pay with big plays?
ESPN had its beat reporters pick each game, and its Eagles/Jets reporters are split in an intriguing way.
Philadelphia Eagles: It almost seems as if the forces of nature dictate an Eagles victory over the New York Jets. The Eagles can’t be as bad as their 0-2 record suggests, and the Jets are due to stumble from 2-0. But let’s stick with what’s in front of us: The Eagles’ offense is dysfunctional, and the Jets’ defense is pretty darn good. Jets 17, Eagles 13. – Phil Sheridan
New York Jets: The Jets are a banged-up team operating on a short week — not a good combination when you’re facing a Chip Kelly offense for the first time. The Jets also could have tired legs after a Monday night win on the road, and that could be a factor against the Eagles’ up-tempo offense. The Jets are facing a desperate opponent, and they have a matchup nightmare with speedy running back Darren Sproles. Eagles 24, Jets 21. – Rich Cimini
From ESPN.com, 12 of their 13 experts picked the Jets to win on Sunday.