Despite playing without three of their top four cornerbacks, the Jets defense showed just how elite it is Sunday evening at MetLife Stadium in a stunning 20-14 win over the Eagles. With their second consecutive victory, the Jets moved to 3-3 heading into the bye week and knocked the Eagles (5-1) back in a league that has no unbeaten teams.
"It's a big win," HC Robert Saleh said. "They're the NFC Champs. We took the AFC Champs to the wire, we beat Buffalo. Probably let one slip away with the Patriots, but it is what it is. Dallas game is what it is. I think we'll always be in all these games. I think we can go toe-to-toe with anybody.
"Obviously winning this game and going into the bye week is nice. We had a big win last year, too. We have to come out of the bye week with even more intent and more of that mindset, continue to find ways to get better so we can finish stronger."
The Jets defense was excellent throughout, holding the Eagles, a club that averaged 28.2 pts/g entering this contest, to two touchdowns. The defense amassed four takeaways, intercepting Jalen Hurts a career-high three times and recovering a fumble.
"Thought the defense, per usual, was outstanding," Saleh said. "Through these first six weeks, we've played a gauntlet of quarterbacks. I know we haven't gotten all wins, but we've embarrassed all of them. Just really proud of the defense and its resolve. Thought [defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich] and his staff had an excellent gameplan down three corners, four of our six corners. I thought our D-line was good in terms of keeping him in the pocket. Hurts is a handful. Thought our guys battled all the way through."
The visitors won on third down (7 of 12) and in the red zone (2 of 3) while the Jets were kept out of the end zone on their first three red zone trips and managed to convert just 2 of 11 on third down. But the Jets scored the game's final 17 points and Tony Adams' late INT set up Breece Hall's game-winning TD with 1:46 remaining.
The Jets stayed within striking distance early, forcing two Eagles turnovers as the Williams brothers had a hand in both. Quinnen Williams' first-career pick didn't lead to points, but his older brother, LB Quincy Williams, had a fumble recovery late in the second quarter that led to Greg Zuerlein's third successful field goal of the first half. Zuerlein became the first Jets kicker since Jay Feely in 2009 to make at least four field goals in back-to-back games.
For the fourth consecutive home game, the Jets fell behind by double digits in the first half. Entering Week 6, the Jets had been outscored, 37-5, in the first quarter. After Thomas Morstead's 54-yard punt after the first series and Irv Charles' special teams tackled pinned the Eagles back to their 9-yard-line, Hurts led the 'Birds on a 19-play march that took 9:47 off the game clock. While Hurts converted three third downs on the possession, it appeared the Jets had held on fourth-and-goal when Hurts was apparently stopped short of crossing the plane. But after a replay, it was determined Hurts had control of the ball while crossing the goal line and put the Eagles up 7-0.
Despite going 0 of 5 on third down in the first two quarters, the Jets totaled 145 yards and had to settle for a pair of Zuerlein field goals on their two trips inside the red zone.
"A lot of opportunity," Saleh said. "I thought offensively we did a really nice job moving the ball, especially in the second half. I know the yardage isn't going to look like that, but it looked good. I thought we moved the ball well in the second half. We gave ourselves opportunities, we just got to finish. We're that fricken close. I think we will."
The Jets had 12 PDs and Bryce Huff led the pass rush with 1.5 sacks.
The Jets looked poised to take the lead in the third quarter, but a blindside block call on Allen Lazard ended up pushing the Green & White out of scoring position and then a drive that started on Philadelphia's 36 stalled when Hassan Reddick dropped Wilson for a 12-yard loss. But the Jets defense was not going to be denied as Adams' first-career pick set up Hall's second TD in as many weeks. Quincy Williams led the way with 12 tackles, 1 PD and 1 FR while C.J. Mosley added 9 tackles.
See the best game action photos from Sunday's win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jermaine Johnson had a direct role in two takeaways and his second-half hit of Jalen Hurts led to a Bryce Hall INT. It was Hall's second takeaway in as many weeks. ... Aaron Rodgers, who ruptured his left Achilles tendon in Week 1, was back on the field during pregame warm-ups and threw a number of balls with no crutches in sight. He also stayed on the sideline during the game. … Promising rookie OL Joe Tippmann went out in the first half with a thigh injury and was replaced at RG by Wes Schwetizer. Saleh said Tippmann could miss significant time … On Saturday, Sauce Gardner was ruled out due to concussion symptoms. With Gardner, D.J. Reed (concussion) and Brandin Echols (hamstring) out, the Jets started Hall along with Michael Carter II on the outside in base defense, but Carter II shifted inside to nickel in three-wide-receiver looks. Craig James and Tae Hayes, practice-squad elevations, also took snaps at CB.