The Philadelphia Eagles will seek to bounce back at the expense of the New York Jets when they return to MetLife for a second straight week. Last weekend, the Eagles succumbed to a 13-7 loss to the New York Giants and slipped to a 5-7 record. It was a disappointing result and a massive setback. In the long run, it may cost the Eagles their season as the NFC race for playoff seedings tightens down the stretch.
The New York Jets have little to play for, save pride as the regular season winds down. And after winning only their third game in Week 12 over the Houston Texans to improve to a 3-8 mark, the Jets will aim to win two in a row for the first time in 2021.
Clearly, the Eagles and Jets have different priorities and objectives right now, and the best sportsbooks have taken stock of those in their serving of NFL odds as Philadelphia emerges as the favorite to win outright. The Eagles are also found spotting the Jets nearly a touchdown in point-spread betting markets.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets
Sunday, December 05, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at MetLife Stadium
It’s easy to understand why the Eagles might be favored to win this game. It pays lip service to a couple of guiding perceptions about this matchup: a) the Eagles are the better team and b) they have more to play for than the Jets do. However, laying almost a touchdown with the Eagles isn’t a sure bet. After all, the Eagles were just beaten by the G-men at MetLife Stadium – a side that many would argue is just as bad as the Jets are, if not worse.
Did the Eagles Choke?
Philadelphia went into Week 12 knowing it could narrow the margin in the NFC East standings and move to within 1.5 games of the division-leading Dallas Cowboys. But they bottled it in a winnable game against the New York Giants, who were coming off a 30-10 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that brought about the firing of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts had one of the worst games of his short-lived NFL career. The sophomore threw for a meager 129 yards and three interceptions with no touchdowns. Inasmuch as Hurts has impressed critics with his ground game, the passing game continues to be a point of issue and concern.
Turnovers in general were the story of the day. Too many costly errors doomed the Eagles, including a crucial late turnover with the game on the line. Boston Scott got stripped of the ball 50-yards away from a potential game-winning touchdown with 1:34 left on the clock.
Scott might get his share of the blame for dropping the ball, but that’s not really why the Eagles lost. Over the course of four quarters, the offense didn’t get anything going and the defense failed to make any key plays or apply pressure on Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
When all facets of the team come out with as much verve and swagger as a garden snail slithering across the grass, is it any wonder the outcome is a loss? It doesn’t matter how good a team is perceived to be on paper. In such instances that team can lose to any team, even one as bad as the Giants are. And that underlines an important maxim: Games aren’t played on paper, but on the field.
Jets Snap Three-game Losing Steak
The Jets are coming off a 21-14 win over the Houston Texans, a come-from-behind win with the Jets erasing an 11-point deficit on the way to victory. It marked the first win since Wilson’s injury against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 31, 2021, and their third win overall this season.
Wilson provided the go-ahead score that sparked the Jets’ comeback. Although looking at his overall performance, there was plenty to critique. Wilson wasn’t flawless and the Jets’ offense struggled at various intervals. Nevertheless, it was a moral victory for a side that has had little to cheer about this season, and that’s not something anybody can take away from them.
Is Wilson a Problem?
The verdict on rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is mixed though. There are those that would give the rookie some leeway and others that are already writing him off as an NFL starter, while social media, in particular, is rife with criticism, ridicule, and clips of some of his more suspect play.
All of this negativity smacks of premature censure. Primarily, Wilson has produced a narrow cross-section of work, which makes it impossible to judge his performance fairly. He missed several games due to injury, and he only returned to the line-up last Sunday since hurting his knee on Halloween.
Aside from NFL inexperience, lack of match fitness, and rust due to injury, one has to consider the Jets as a whole redevelopment project under first-year head coach Robert Saleh. Thus, in so far as Wilson is finding his way in the league, so too is everyone around him from top to bottom.
First-year NFL players have no idea what they’re walking into when they make their debuts. One needs to look at the 2021 No.1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence for added confirmation of the trials and tribulations that young hopefuls can face when they enter the league. There are no guarantees of success and much of it is situational too.
Lawrence was hyped up as one of the most exciting college prospects in over a decade, a so-called “generational talent” that comes once in a lifetime. And yet, he too is struggling to make an impact in the NFL, largely because he’s in a similar situation with a team that is redeveloping under first-year head coach Urban Meyer. Indeed, the Jaguars are in worse shape than the Jets are with a 2-9 record.
On the flipside, Mac Jones, who was drafted 15th overall by the New England Patriots, is flying high in his first season, and by all accounts looks to be a shoo-in to win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Jones won the draft lottery by falling straight into Bill Belichick’s lap.
Finally, one could argue Jalen Hurts’ situation wasn’t ideal, to begin with, either. The hoopla that surround the Eagles last season and the triangle involving Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz, and Jalen Hurts, and the drama of it all was enough to do everyone’s head in.
Going into 2021, there was a feeling that Hurts had to earn his place with new head coach Nick Sirianni and his staff. They’d inherited Hurts from the previous staff, meaning he wasn’t their chosen guy at the most important position in the game. It still feels that way. And that uncertainty that surrounds Hurts’ status and future in Philadelphia may well be seeping into his game more often than not.
NFL Predictions and Picks
The market on this game has a lot to do with the perception of these teams and their respective quarterbacks, and where these franchises currently stand in the regular season. The Eagles are in a better situation. Hence, they’re favored. And yet, this matchup feels like a total tossup for NFL picks against the spread.
A fact that is echoed in the betting, which is split almost down the middle as of early Wednesday. At least 56% of the public is backing the Eagles to cover as the 6.5 point road favorites while 44% of the public is down with the Jets as the +6.5 home underdogs.
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles may be edging Zach Wilson and the Jets in the betting, but we’re going against the grain with this NFL pick and taking a gamble on the Jets as the +6.5 home underdogs.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.