The defense was the fall guy after the New York Jets were routed 42-19 by the Indianapolis Colts in a blizzard earlier this month. The game effectively lost the Jets a playoff spot as they continued a losing season with the poorest defense in the NFL.
Entering the contest, the defense was on the ropes. The Jets entered the game having allowed an average of 27.3 points per game, with their own defense not bothering much.
After a dismal start, however, the Jets defense did not crumble against Philadelphia Eagles, posting one of their better defensive performances against an opponent.
On Sunday, the Patriots would bring the Eagles their toughest test so far.
Sidney Rice led the Eagles’ attack with 11 catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Nick Foles threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles took a 37-16 lead into the locker room at the half.
Meanwhile, quarterback Sam Darnold had an easy time passing the ball, finishing with 417 yards passing and one touchdown for New York.
The Eagles posted five sacks, while Derek Barnett recorded two sacks and forced a fumble. Leodis McKelvin had one interception for Philadelphia. Leodis McKelvin had one interception for Philadelphia.
Darnold completed 25 of his 37 passes. Rice finished with 108 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Neither team had the benefit of a dominant performance from their quarterback, but New York’s defense held the Eagles to two field goals and surrendered a meager 284 total yards.
After the performance, the Jets were able to get a do-over.
“Now we know that we can play, we can get after it and put pressure on quarterbacks and make some stops,” said Jets’ defensive end Leonard Williams, via NJ.com. “We’re just thrilled. We know we can get after it. We’re learning how to play this defense and when you’re learning something like this, you never know how it’s going to turn out, you never know what your opponents are going to bring.”
The Jets have lost 11 straight games.
Sunday was the first game for New York since then and it got an outstanding effort from the offense. New York finished with 517 total yards.
While Foles did not play particularly well, the Eagles quarterback was not the lone reason for Philadelphia’s loss.