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Jets vs. Eagles score: Gardner Minshew delivers near-perfect performance as Philadelphia runs past New York


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Jets vs. Eagles score: Gardner Minshew delivers near-perfect performance as Philadelphia runs past New York

Minshew's impressive first half sparks Eagles to victory

Jeff Kerr
By Jeff Kerr
Dec 5, 2021 at 6:32 pm ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Gardner Minshew delivered in his first start for the Philadelphia Eagles, orchestrating a flawless performance in a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon. Minshew, who finished 20 of 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns (133.7 rating), led the Eagles to scores on their first seven offensive possessions against a Jets defense ranked amongst the worst in the NFL. 

Minshew, filling in for an injured Jalen Hurts (ankle), had a dominant first half that got the Eagles' offense going before their defense settled in. He completed his first 11 passes in the game for 166 yards and two touchdowns to start the game. Minshew found Dallas Goedert twice for touchdowns in the first half, as Goedert had five catches for 98 yards in the opening 30 minutes. Kenny Gainwell also had an 18-yard touchdown run that gave the Eagles a 21-18 lead with 4:30 remaining in the second quarter  -- one they wouldn't relinquish. In the first half, Minshew was 14 of 15 for 188 yards and two touchdowns for a perfect 158.3 passer rating -- sparking the Eagles' offense to a much-needed victory to stay in the NFC playoff race. 

The Jets scored on their first three possessions, but kicker Alex Kessman, who was promoted to the active roster this week, missed his first two extra points in the game. New York went for two on its third touchdown, but the pass attempt was incomplete. Zach Wilson, who hadn't thrown a touchdown pass in the first half all year, had two touchdown passes in the opening 30 minutes. Elijah Moore had a touchdown catch, his sixth in the last seven games. 

Philadelphia's defense shut down New York in the second half, forcing an interception and a turnover on downs as the Jets went scoreless on three second half possessions. The Eagles controlled the time of possession, rushing for over 175 yards for the sixth consecutive game -- the first time the franchise has done that since 1949. Miles Sanders led the Eagles' rushing attack with a career-high 24 carries for 120 yards. Goedert had six catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Philadelphia scored 19 unanswered points to close the game. 

Here are takeaways from this game, along with a recap in the live blog below: 

Why the Eagles won

Gardner Minshew was excellent filling in for Jalen Hurts, completing 14 of his first 15 passes for a perfect passer rating in the first half. Minshew was accurate throughout the half, making sure his chemistry with Dallas Goedert was on point (both players worked extra in warmups). The added work in pregame paid off. Goedert was Minshew's top target as the Eagles quarterback finished with just five incomplete passes on the afternoon and led the offense to points on their first seven possessions. The Eagles had a healthy dose of passing and running the ball against a poor Jets defense, controlling the clock and consistently moved the ball downfield. This was arguably Philadelphia's best offense performance of the year. 

Why the Jets lost

New York just couldn't stop Philadelphia. The Jets put little pressure on Gardner Minshew, nor could they stop the Eagles run game, allowing Philadelphia to rush for 185 yards (and this was without Jalen Hurts at quarterback). The Eagles scored on seven consecutive possessions to start the game, and the Jets just couldn't keep up after scoring touchdown on their first three possessions. 

The Jets offense sputtered in the second half as Zach Wilson was inconsistent with his throws, missing Elijah Moore several times that would have moved the chains and potentially led to points (including on a fourth down that caused New York to turn the ball over on downs). New York has building blocks on offense, but has a lot of work to do on defense if the Jets want to compete in the years ahead. 

Turning point

The Eagles and Jets scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions, but the Eagles defense finally stopped the scoring with a third down sack by Josh Sweat. The Jets were facing a third-and-3 on their own 32-yard line when Javon Hargrave got penetration in the pocket, freeing up Sweat to finish with the sack and force the Jets to punt.

That started a spiral for the Jets offense, which didn't score the remainder of the game. A Zach Wilson interception and turnover on downs ignited the Eagles defense as Philadelphia pulled away for the win in the final 30 minutes. What looked to be a track meet ended up as a dominant Eagles performance thanks to Sweat's third-down sack in a 21-18 game. 

Play of the game

Minshew needed just three passes to find the end zone in this game, and he found Goedert on a perfect toss to put the Eagles up 7-6 on their first possession. The 36-yard touchdown catch was the longest of Goedert's career as Minshew and Goedert were in a rhythm early. 

On the first possession, Minshew went 3 of 3 for 61 yards -- all of the completions and targets went to Goedert. The Eagles tight end finished with 106 yards on the afternoon to lead the team. 

The quote

"I think we all kind of know what to expect. Whatever it is, we gotta do our jobs to the best of our abilities. This is a very unselfish team -- and whatever happens we're all for it." -- Dallas Goedert on the Eagles quarterback. 

While Goedert does think Jalen Hurts will be the quarterback, he did say "it's not up to him" to make that decision. He also said everyone will "ride with whoever the QB will be." Keep in mind Goedert had a career-high in receiving yards with Minshew under center. 

Up next 

The Eagles (6-7) head into their bye week before they host Washington in Week 14 (Sunday, Dec. 19). The Jets (3-9) host the New Orleans Saints next week. 


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