Jets Defense Abysmal in 33-18 Loss

    The Jets were defeated by the Eagles due to a struggling defense.

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    On Thursday, Dec. 2, New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich told the media that the upcoming Jets vs. Eagles game was a “a great opportunity to show the NFL world that [the Jets defense is] coming.”

    The Jets defense promptly allowed 418 total yards.

    Against a backup quarterback.

    Jets Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. Getty Images

    The Jets lost to the Eagles 33-18 on Sunday, Dec. 5. Zach Wilson threw two touchdowns and rushed for one.

    The game was defined by the third quarter, where the Jets only were able to put together three plays (a three-and-out sequence). The defense remained on the field for 13 minutes and 50 seconds of the 15 minute quarter.

    The possession battle was won handily by the Eagles, who had the ball for 35 minutes and 46 seconds to the Jets’ 24 minutes and 24 seconds.

    After Eagles QB Jalen Hurts was limited in practice all week, he was unable to go Sunday. The Eagles tabbed QB Gardner Minshew II as their starter.

    Eagles QB Gardner Minshew II (10) drops back to pass against the New York Jets. (Ben Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

    Minshew, who had not started since week 14 of the 2020 NFL season (with the Jacksonville Jaguars), threw 25 passes, completing 20 for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns. He finished with a 133.7 passer rating, a mark higher than all Jets QBs have received this year.

    The Jets looked unprepared for Minshew. They could not stop him. The Eagles averaged 6.1 yards per play.

    They looked unprepared because they were unprepared. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Jets CB Bryce Hall said that the Jets “didn’t prepare for Minshew in practice.”

    The fact that the Jets did not prepare for Minshew is a questionable decision. Hurts has a high ankle sprain. It was highly unlikely that he would start, and he did not.

    Yet Minshew sliced and diced the Jets’ nickel man scheme. He converted long third downs. He kept drives alive, killing clock and mending broken plays. The Jets had one sack for zero yardage. He had all day. There was no hurry. Players were wide open. The Jets defense only forced one punt over the course of the entire game.

    Penalties impacted the Jets, too. A jump offsides on 4th and 3 by LB C.J. Mosley extended a drive to allow the Eagles a field goal and questionable pass interference calls prompted automatic firsts. A sack by DE Shaq Lawson was negated by an illegal hands to the face call. The Jets defense could not get out of its own way.

    The only bright spot of the defense was CB Bryce Hall, who matched up against Eagles rookie Devonta Smith. Hall held Smith to just 15 yards and had an acrobatic pass deflection to save a touchdown.

    The Jets offense didn’t look half bad, and Zach Wilson had one of his better games of this season. But the defense has many questions to answer.

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