The Eagles are coming back from their bye week today at 1 pm, in the Meadowlands, again. This time, they'll face another pitiful team, the Jets. You may recall the Eagles' last game in the swamp, the Giants battered McNabb for 12 sacks, Andy Reid refused to run the ball, and the Eagles D saw a great game go to waste.
Today, I expect to see a different Eagles team on the field. For one thing, it looks like Brian Westbrook and
William Thomas will be playing. Westbrook means the defense will have to be honest, Thomas means the opposing right end won't have a cake walk to the QB. Those two factors should be enough to guarantee a win over the hapless Jets, but there's much, much more.
For starters, this guy, pictured to the right, is starting for the Jets. Some Jets' fans can't see past their kelly-green blinders, but he is absolutely hindering his team. Pennington's lack of arm strength allows smart defensive coordinators to attack, limit the underneath routes (because that's all he can throw) and stuff the run. All without substituting personnel. Jim Johnson has had two weeks to prepare for Pennington's garbage arm. I'll be shocked if he finishes this game upright. In fact, if I could find someone to take the action, I'd bet Kellen Clemens winds up under center, but by then it will be too late.
The Jets couple an absurd passing "attack" with possibly the worst running game in the league. The Eagles have done a stellar job of stuffing the run this season.
On offense, Donovan McNabb should have all day to find his receivers. The Jets have tallied only 3 sacks in five games. Thomas is back, shoring up Donovan's weak side, and more importantly, Westbrook's return not only gives Number 5 his favorite target, but it puts a running back in the backfield who is a beast at picking up blitzers. The O-line took a ton of blame for the Giants' sack attack two weeks ago, but the RBs complete inability to pick up blitzers was just as much to blame.
I expect this Eagles team to be ready. Andy Reid is 8-0 coming off bye weeks. The Jets are a flawed team with a horrible quarterback. The Birds still aren't back to full strength, Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard are probably going to be missing from the secondary, but they should have more than enough to get the second quarter of the season started the right way.
A word of warning: The Jets do have an excellent kick return game. Leon Washington has brought two kickoffs back for TDs already this year. I expect him to have plenty of opportunities in this game, so even if he does take one to the house, it shouldn't make a difference.
For Jets' coverage check out Green Pinstripes
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