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DL Sheldon Rankins on Eagles QB Jalen Hurts: 'He Provides a Unique Challenge'

Philadelphia Owns the NFL’s No. 1 Rushing Offense; Veteran DT Calls Hurts Lamar-eqsue


Jets DL Sheldon Rankins has counseled his teammates to observe the 24-hour rule.

"Once you win that game, enjoy that for the day and then move on like nothing's ever happened," he said on Wednesday. "Guys are coming in with that mindset. We understand we can't just hang our hat on one win and come the next week and flop. That's what bad football teams do. We have to be consistent in this league to be the type of team we want to be."

"That game" was last Sunday at Houston when the Jets (3-8) held the Texans scoreless in the second half and came away with a 21-14 victory to snap a three-game losing streak. The challenge in Week 13 will be different against a Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) team that has won 3 of its last 5 games and boasts the NFL's best rushing offense, averaging 157.9 yards per game.

"Their offense, it's dynamic they can attack you in multiple ways, with different schemes," Rankins said. "There's some intricate things they can do because their quarterback is a talented runner himself, and then they have the ability to hand off to talented runners [Miles Sanders and Boston Scott among them]. They're a talented group. They provide a lot of difficulty to defend. At the end of the day, there's evidence on tape of them being able to be slowed down. We have to go out and execute the game plan the way it's written up, and guys got to populate to the ball, you can't expect one guy to make the tackle."

The Eagles' talented QB is second-year signal-caller Jalen Hurts, who leads the team with 695 rushing yards. Hurts sustained an ankle injury in last week's loss at the Giants and has been limited in practice this week. But he's expected to make the trip up the New Jersey Turnpike for the second week in a row, to face the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

"Their quarterback is dynamic with the ball in his hands and he's always a threat to run," Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. "Whenever the quarterback is involved in the run game, you're creating an extra gap. It becomes 11-on-11 football so you're always gapped out or short a gap, if you will. Then on top of it, they're able to throw the football. He does a great job scrambling and creating off-schedule. They found an identity the last five weeks and he's really sticking to it and even last week, they still rushed for over 200 yards on a team that was doing everything it could to stop them from running. So, they're good. Their offensive line is physical, they're very talented, just overall, and their backs, it's just a talented group."

In the past five games the Eagles have amassed more than 200 yards rushing three times, while Hurts has not thrown for more than 170 yards in any of those five games.

"When you look at the way they're running the ball, they use a lot of double teams inside," said Rankins, who has been dealing with a knee injury. "And they're hanging on those doubles so guys will have to be stout inside. Guys are going to have to be focused, put some strain on those blocks because if you lose focus for a second they're going to be driven off the ball three, four, five yards. And when they're finding those seams, they're home runs. Definitely a lot of the onus will be on the guys inside -- me, Q [Quinnen Williams], Foley [Folorunso Fatukasi], Shep [Nathan Shepherd]. Guys have got to be ready and focus in on straining our blocks to allow things to bounce to our guys on the edge and allow the linebackers to come downhill. If they're going to hang on those doubles, it will allow our linebackers to come downhill and make plays."

The Jets come into the game with an 0-11 regular season record against the Eagles. Saleh said "that's history," on Wednesday, but to turn that page Rankins knows that containing Hurts will be one of the keys to the Jets stacking another victory.

"Jalen Hurts is almost Lamar-eqsue," Rankins said, referring to Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson. "He's especially able to dead leg guys, outrun guys to the corner and guys at every position -- DBs, linebackers, D-linemen. And when he gets to the corner he's not looking to get out of bounds, he's looking for 20, 30 yards and to get to the end zone. He's an extension of their run game, an extra running back who's able to throw the ball all over the palace. He provides a unique challenge. We have to be able to go out there and corral him."

See the Top Practice Images from Wednesday of Eagles Week at 1 Jets Drive

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