Eagles Crush Jets 45-19, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy's three touchdown performance gave him a franchise record with 20 total touchdowns this season and 17 on the ground. Steve Van Buren held the old marks with 18 and 15 in 1945.
LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD, PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Eagles took the field knowing a win would keep their playoff hopes alive for at least one more week, then took the Jets apart in a 45-19 win to improve to 6-8 on the season. The Eagles did see their Wild-Card hopes die with a Lions win over the Raiders, so the Eagles need to win out and get help in two games: the Jets need to beat the Giants next week, and the Giants need to turn around and beat the Cowboys in Week 17.
That would create a three-way tie atop the NFC East at 8-8, with the Eagles holding the tiebreaker thanks to a 5-1 division record.
“It feels good to still have a chance to even be considered in the playoff race,” said Michael Vick. “We’ve been through a lot and this team is very resilient. We have a great deal of resolve and we just try to go out each and every week and get better.”
LeSean McCoy broke two franchise records with a three touchdown performance in the win and Michael Vick was efficient, but the Eagles defense truly set the tone. Jason Babin sacked Mark Sanchez three times, putting him into the league lead with 18 sacks on the season. Juqua Parker scooped up a fumble and scored a touchdown, Jamar Chaney and Asante Samuel notched interceptions and Joselio Hanson recovered a fumble as well, as the Eagles forced four turnovers.
After opening with a punt on offense, the Eagles defense made a big play. Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes for 7 yards out to their own 47-yardline, but Kurt Coleman knocked the ball lose and Casey Matthews finished off Holmes, leaving the ball sitting on the ground. Juqua Parker swooped in, scooped it up and raced 47 yards for a touchdown. It was Parker’s second fumble recovery for a touchdown this season, making him one of two Eagles to complete the feat, Seth Joyner being the other.
“It’s huge,” said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. “That fumble that Kurt caused and then Juqua picked it up and ran it back in, it’s a big play because they’re going to try to take the lead and get the first score.”
The Jets had a chance to come right back, when for the second week in a row the Eagles botched a punt return. This time it was Curtis Marsh running under the ball and having it bounce off his pads, turning it over to the Jets at the Birds’ 14-yardline. Two plays later, a Sanchez pass was tipped and intercepted by Asante Samuel, bailing out the Eagles special teams.
“Sometimes those things come, first of all we shouldn’t have the turnovers on special teams and then you keep battling through things,” said head coach Andy Reid. “Normally if you continue to play aggressive and attack the football and so on, you’re going to get your interceptions and fumbles and so on. I think the guys have done that, they just played good, aggressive football.”
The Eagles went on to open up a 28-0 lead as Vick found Brent Celek for a 26-yard touchdown, then ran 11 yards for a score of his own.
“I thought he just handled everything in there,” said Reid. “He got the ball out fast and I thought Marty dialed up a nice game for him with the throws and I thought the o-line did a good job.”
The Jets turned the ball over again, this time with Sanchez fumbling as he was diving up the middle. Mike Patterson forced it and Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jets’ 17-yardline. Two plays later, LeSean McCoy scored from 9 yards out. McCoy later added two more touchdowns, leaving him with 20 total touchdowns and 17 rushing touchdowns, both surpassing Steve Van Buren’s franchise records set in 1945 of 15 and 18 respectively.
“I guess it just tells you that I’m a pretty good back and I have an outstanding offensive line and guys show a lot of effort out there, them monsters that block for me, so it’s definitely a team thing on offense,” said McCoy. “I don’t think any back, even Steve, probably received all the touchdowns without his guys, you know, blocking down field and lineman giving open holes.”
The Jets responded before the half with a 39-yard field goal, then Dion Lewis fumbled on the ensuing kick return to set up a 25-yard strike on a beautiful pass from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes. New York added one more field goal after a McCoy fumble for a 28-13 halftime score, as the Eagles stumbled a bit into the locker room.
The Birds forced a punt to open the second half, and Michael Vick hit Brent Celek for a 73-yard gain on the third play from scrimmage. Celek was knocked out of bounds at the 1-yardline, setting up a touchdown run by McCoy two plays later. That put the Eagles back into firm control at 35-13.
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