The New York Jets’ rushing defense has been less than average. Actually, it’s been far from such a sentiment.
Entering Week 13, the Jets have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL this season — a disconcerting 128.7 yards per game so far — while yielding the most rushing touchdowns in all of football at 20. That’s three more than the second-worst Houston Texans.
So, the last thing the Jets need to see coming off a victory against those very same Texans is a meeting against the NFL’s very best rushing attack in the Philadelphia Eagles, who stay at MetLife Stadium to face Gang Green (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET) after an upset loss to the Giants in Week 12.
The Eagles’ ground game has been red-hot as of late, racking up 175 yards or more in five straight games. They’re just the second team in the NFL since 1977 to pull off such a feat.
Philadelphia ranks No. 1 in both rushing yards and touchdowns — hitting their stride especially as of late as they rushed for 200 or more yards in consecutive games for the first time since 1978
The three-headed running-back attack of Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell has done well to combine for 898 yards this season. But what truly unleashes their ground game is the dual-threat capabilities of quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The second-year passer out of Oklahoma leads the Eagles with 695 rushing yards and seven touchdowns this season. Only the dynamic Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens has more rushing yards from the quarterback position than Hurts.
But the Jets could be seeing a hobbled Hurts as he deals with a sore ankle — something he picked up in the 13-7 loss to the Giants.
The 23-year-old said that he’ll be ready to go against New York, but any sort of hindrance of his running game will only help the Jets. After all, Hurts is coming off his worst performance as a pro against the Giants, completing just 45.2% of his passes for 129 yards and a career-worst three interceptions.