June 5, 2023

3 takeaways after Gardner Minshew leads Eagles to blowout win over Jets


AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

It didn’t get off to such a hot start. The Eagles allowed the New York Jets and their horrible offense score three touchdowns to open the game, which can not happen.

But, Gardner Minshew and the Eagles offense finished the game with 19 unanswered points and left MetLife Stadium much happier than they did last week with a 33-18 win.

The win makes the Eagles 12-0 all-time against the Jets and 6-7 this year after a 2-5 start.

This could have been a lot worse.

Here’s three takeaways:

Minshew Mania

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was clear all week that whatever happened Sunday, whoever started at quarterback, no matter how well they played, Jalen Hurts would remain the Eagles’ starting quarterback. And it’s the right thing to do.

Hurts doesn’t deserve to lose his starting job to Gardner Minshew based on two games at the Meadowlands — one really bad one by Hurts and one really good one by Minshew.

And it’s important to remember that Minshew was playing Sunday against one of the worst defenses in football.

Still, the contrast between Hurts and Minshew was eye opening.

Minshew used the entire field, made quick decisions in the pocket, spread the ball around, used the mid-range game, looked off receivers, and operated the offense efficiently and productively in ways we just haven’t seen with Hurts. And he did that despite not being here for training camp, never playing a snap with DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, or the other receivers and not even getting any first-team reps until this past Wednesday.

Minshew finished 20-for-25 for 242 yards, two touchdowns, no INTs, and a 133.7 passer rating — highest by an Eagles QB since his former Jacksonville Jaguars teammate Nick Foles had a 141.4 in the 2018 NFC Championship against the Minnesota Vikings and the highest by an Eagles QB on the road since Foles’ 149.3 in Green Bay in 2013. He wasn’t just good.

He was very good.

It’s going to be an interesting two weeks.

Bouncing back

The defense deserves some credit for bouncing back after an atrocious start.

The Jets scored 18 points on 164 yards while netting 12 first downs on their first three drives and then no points, 69 yards, and six first downs on their next five drives.

This is the first time in franchise history the Eagles have allowed three TDs in a first half and no points in the second half. And that’s seven out of 13 games the Eagles have allowed 18 or fewer points, including four of the last six.

You’d love to see more consistency, but they’re definitely getting better.

That being said, you can’t let Zach Wilson put three touchdowns on the scoreboard and throw two TD passes to open up a game.

The Eagles kept the pressure on by scoring on their first eight drives, which is insane, and the defense finally got its sea legs.

But yikes.

The Eagles never never have been in the position where they had to scramble to beat Zach Wilson. Hehad thrown four TDs in seven games, and he threw two and ran for one in the first half. That can’t happen.

If Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes did that, yeah, you expect that.

But Zach Wilson? Come on. Not acceptable.

What day for a right leg

How about Jake Elliott?

He extended his streak to 15 straight made field goals and is now 22-for-24 this year for 92% and perfect inside 45 yards.

I had my doubts about Elliott after his disastrous season last year but he’s on pace to break the franchise single-season record for field goal accuracy held by Cody Parkey (88.9% in 2014) and you really don’t need to hold your breath anymore when he lines up for a field goal.

He’s money right now, and on a team that’s still trying to find itself offensively and defensively, that’s been huge. 

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