The New York Jets are still looking for their first win of the season as they head to the City of Brotherly Love to play the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5. Game time is at 1:00 EST on Sunday, October 6 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Fans in the New York and Philadelphia markets, as well as those in the state of North Dakota, will be able to watch the game on CBS.
Based on the Week 5 NFL odds, the Eagles are 13-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 44 points.
The first month of the season was an utter nightmare for the Jets. First, they blew a 16-0 lead at home to the Bills. That was compounded by learning that quarterback Sam Darnold had been diagnosed with mono and would be sidelined for several weeks. That led to back-to-back losses to the Browns and Patriots that also saw them lose backup quarterback Trevor Siemian to injury. The good news is that a Week 4 bye has allowed them to regroup.
The Jets are now hoping to hit the reset button on their season after last week’s bye. The problem is that they come out of the bye with three straight games against teams that went to the playoffs last year. That will make it harder to wipe away their 0-3 start, even if Darnold is able to return. The thinest of silver linings is that New York’s schedule in November and December has a lot of potential wins. But they must find a way to win a few difficult games in October to give themselves a chance to take advantage of that favorable schedule.
As for the Eagles, they are hoping to find a little consistency after starting the year 2-2. Philadelphia’s two losses were both close games that they felt they should have won. Facing the possibility of a 1-3 start to the season, the Eagles managed an impressive road win over the Packers last Thursday to get to 2-2.
Of course, with three straight road games on the schedule, it’s vital that the Eagles avoid a letdown this week, especially at home. They’re already playing catch up with the Cowboys early in the year and don’t want to risk falling further behind in the NFC East unless they want to find themselves in the wild card race again.
I’d be shocked to see the Eagles lose this game, but I don’t trust them enough to cover 13 points. Remember, they were heavy favorites over Washington in Week 1 and only won by five points after falling behind early. The Eagles are good, but they have enough flaws to prevent them from being a dominant team, which makes me want the underdog and the points.
At the moment, Darnold hasn’t been officially cleared to play on Sunday. However, the Jets are confident that tests on his spleen on Friday will clear him. In fact, the Jets haven’t bothered to sign an extra quarterback to sit behind Luke Falk, so everything is pointing to Darnold starting against the Eagles. After the Jets managed 105 total yards in their last game against New England, it’s clear that the Jets need Darnold to play to have any hope of winning this game.
Without Darnold, running back Le’Veon Bell has been stifled by opposing defenses. With Darnold back, receivers Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder can become more of a factor. Anderson, in particular, is important because he’s New York’s deep threat. The threat of the deep ball will return with Darnold at quarterback, which should help create more space at the line of scrimmage for Bell.
It’s also worth noting that Philadelphia’s secondary is banged up right now. Ronald Darby is out for the foreseeable future and two more cornerbacks left last week’s game due to injury. Meanwhile, the Eagles were lit up for over 400 passing yards last week. To be fair, it was Aaron Rodgers who sliced up the Philly secondary. But the Eagles have given up over 300 yards passing in three of their four games. Clearly, there are some holes in the secondary that Darnold should be able to find and exploit.
On the other side of the ball, the Philadelphia offense isn’t quite clicking on all cylinders right now. The running game has been hit and miss throughout the first month of the season. The Jets have also been strong against the run, so they have a chance to make the Eagles one-dimensional offensively. Keep in mind that DeSean Jackson is unlikely to play on Sunday, depriving the Eagles of their deep threat.
If Darnold ends up sitting out, all bets are off because this could turn into another lopsided loss for the Jets. But as long as New York’s starting quarterback is able to return, the Jets should be able to make this a competitive game. I have enough minor concerns about the Eagles on both sides of the ball to shy away from a spread this big. With Darnold playing, the Jets aren’t that bad, so I’ll take New York and the points.