Historically, it hasn’t been pretty for the New York Jets against the Philadelphia Eagles. Their 0-10 record is tied for the longest streak without a win for any team against another in NFL history.
With or without Sam Darnold, beating a good Philadelphia Eagles team is a Herculean task. It doesn’t help that the history doesn’t favor the New York Jets against Philly. Their 0-10 record against them stands as the longest winless streak against a single team in Jets history.
On top of that, the Jets have made this as hard on themselves as possible. Darnold saw the lion’s share of first-team reps in practice this week. This means Luke Falk hasn’t had much, if any, meaningful work with the first team in two weeks.
All odds point to New York losing a fourth-straight game to open the year and an 11th straight to the Eagles. That being said, nothing is impossible in the NFL and the history between the Jets and Eagles has shown that anything is possible when these two teams get together.
1973: Jets 23 at Eagles 24
This is a tale as old as time for the Jets. Gang Green came into the game with a 4-8 record, with the Eagles sporting a 4-7-1 record. These were two of the worst teams in the NFL going head-to-head for the first time ever.
Joe Namath was out with an injury and the Jets turned to Al Woodall at quarterback. This was start No. 5 out of the six Woodall was to make that year. As one would expect, the Jets avoided throwing the ball much early in the game. They instead relied heavily on running back Emerson Boozer, to great effect.
The Jets jumped out to a quick 17-0 nothing lead early in the second quarter behind rushing and receiving touchdowns by Boozer and a 34-yard field goal. The Eagles would cut the lead to just 10 before the half when Roman Gabriel found Don Zimmerman for a two-yard touchdown pass.
Still, with a 10 point lead over a bad team at the half, and a dominant performance by their rushing game, the Jets seemed poised to win this game.
As often happens with the Jets, everything fell apart. New York all of sudden began to rely on Woodall to throw the ball and avoided the successful running game.
Meanwhile, the defense completely fell apart. By the end of the third quarter, the Jets had fallen behind 24-20. The Jets defense held strong in the final quarter, but the offense was only able to put up three more points.
Overall, Woodall was 11-29 passing for 160 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while Boozer rushed for 160 yards on 21 carries. It’s just another example in a long line of games where the Jets shot themselves in the foot.
1977: Jets 0 at Eagles 27
There isn’t much to say about this game. The Jets were completely steamrolled by themselves. They came into the matchup with a 3-10 record against the 4-9 Eagles, expecting a close game just like the one in 1973.
Instead, second-year quarterback Richard Todd was in way over his head. He was 13-30 for 100 yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions. The Jets running game was even worse. Their leading rusher was Scott Dierking who had 25 yards on seven carries.
All the Eagles and quarterback Ron Jaworski had to do was protect the ball to win the game. Therefore, they leaned on running back Wilbert Montgomery, who had 103 rushing yards on 22 attempts and two touchdowns.
The Jets managed to put up just 150 yards of total offense. This was as bad a game as the Jets had played in what was an awful 1977 season.
1978: Jets 9 at Eagles 17
In 1978, both the Jets and Eagles had potential playoff aspirations. The Jets came into the game with a 6-4 record, with the Eagles possessing a .500 record at 5-5. Unlike in 1977, both teams had a lot on the line here. The Jets were without Richard Todd, who was out with a broken collarbone. It was up to Matt Robinson to lead the Jets to victory. They had a 4-2 record with Robinson at quarterback the past four weeks.
The game started out slow, but the Jets grabbed a 3-0 lead in the second quarter. The Eagles followed that up with a touchdown to give themselves a 7-3 lead headed into the locker room. The Eagles would answer first in the second half with a field goal to go up 10-3.
Late in the third quarter, the Jets got back into the game with a five-yard rushing touchdown from Kevin Long. The game should’ve been tied heading to the fourth quarter, but Pat Leahy missed the PAT. The Jets stayed behind 10-9, and the offense failed to get on the board again.
The Jets wouldn’t recover from this loss and finished the season 8-8, thus missing the playoffs. The Eagles, on the other hand, would take this win and run with it, finishing the year 9-7 and making the playoffs. However, they would lose in the wild card round to the Falcons.
1987: Eagles 38 at Jets 27
It would be another nine years before the Jets and Eagles met again. The 1987 meeting was the first matchup held at Giants Stadium. Yet again, this one had no stakes. The Jets came into the game at 6-7 and the Eagles at 5-8.
Randall Cunningham and Ken O’Brien had great games going back and forth. Both defenses struggled the majority of the game. The big difference in the game was the Jets settling for field goals on more than once occasion, while the Eagles were able to find the end zone more times than not.
Overall, Ken O’Brien went 25-49 for 301 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. On the other side, Randall Cunningham went 19-31 for 280 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. The Jets lost the shoot out simply because they couldn’t finish drives. The inability to do that was a key theme of the Ken O’Brien years.
1993: Eagles 35 at Jets 30
This was a heartbreaker among heartbreakers for the Jets. At 2-1, New York came up against the 3-0 Eagles in this game. It was Boomer Esiason and Bruce Coslet’s Jets versus Randall Cunningham and Rich Kotite’s Eagles.
The Jets got off to the hottest start possible. They jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead behind three touchdown passes for Boomer. Two were to Johnny Mitchell and one was to James Thornton. Then, the Eagles hopes should have died when Randall Cunningham broke his leg and would miss the rest of the game. He was replaced by veteran backup Bubby Brister.
Brister came in and immediately brought the Eagles back into the game. He led Philly on back-to-back touchdown drives that brought the Eagles to within 21-14 at the half.
Coming out of the half, Boomer and Johnny Mitchell tried to kill off the Eagles with a 65-yard touchdown pass to give the Jets a 28-14 lead. That wasn’t enough though, as Brister lead two more touchdown drives, one to end the third quarter and one to begin the fourth quarter, to tie the game.
The Jets defense would give them the lead back when Brister committed intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety. With a 30-28 lead and only half of the fourth quarter left, all the Jets had to do was run down the clock.
Boomer led the Jets back down the field after receiving the punt. He was hoping to put an end to the game by scoring another touchdown, but it wasn’t meant to be. With under two minutes left, Boomer threw a 94-yard pick-six to Eric Allen, putting the Jets down 35-30.
This game is an example of why it’s impossible to say either team is out of any game these two play. On any given Sunday, anything can happen.
1996: Eagles 21 at Jets 20
The 1996 season is one Jets fans want to forget ever existed. Rich Kotite had switched sidelines and was the coach of the Jets at the time. They came into the game 1-13 with nothing to play for except the right to spoil the Eagles playoff hopes. The Eagles came into the game at 8-6 looking ready to make a run for a playoff spot.
Like in 1993, the Jets came out fast. Glenn Foley was starting his second game of the season and got off to a hot start. He found Keyshawn Johnson for a 46-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. That was followed up by a field goal to put the Jets up 10-0 headed to the half.
The Eagles starting quarterback Ty Detmer came out of the half ready to make this game. He led the Eagles down the field ending the drive with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Irving Fryar that cut the New York lead to 10-7. The Jets defense kicked things into gear from there. Aaron Glenn had a 14-yard pick-six to give the Jets a 17-7 lead.
That was followed up by Glenn Foley leading another scoring drive ending in a 29-yard field goal for Nick Lowery. The Jets led 20-7 heading to the fourth quarter.
Just like in 1993 and in 1973, the Jets failed to hold onto a lead. Ty Detmer led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, while the Jets offense stalled. That was enough for the Eagles to squeak out a 21-20 win.
2003: Jets 17 at Eagles 24
The Jets came into this game a bad team yet again. At 2-4, they were going up against the 3-3 Eagles. Donovan McNabb versus Vinny Testaverde, Andy Reid versus Herm Edwards.
The Jets once again got off to an early lead. Doug Brien kicked a 30-yard field goal to give the Jets a 3-0 lead. The Eagles responded quickly with a touchdown of their own to go up 7-3. The first quarter wouldn’t end without Vinny Testaverde completing a booming 60-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to give the Jets the lead back.
The Eagles would score a second rushing touchdown from Correll Buckhalter. Before the half could end though, The Jets would suffer a devastating blow when Vinny Testaverde was injured on a pass to Curtis Martin. Chad Pennington would enter the game. The Eagles led the Jets 14-10 at the half.
The second-half started off very slowly. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that LaMont Jordan punched in a rushing TD to give the Jets a 21-14 lead headed to the fourth quarter. The offense stagnated with Pennington in at quarterback and resulted in little movement on the ball in the fourth quarter.
That opened the door for Donovan McNabb and the Eagles, who scored a touchdown with just under seven minutes left in the game to give the Eagles a 21-17 lead. The Jets would go three-and-out. The Eagles would go back down the field and kick a field goal to take a 24-17 lead, which would be the final score.
2007: Eagles 16 at Jets 9
This was a battle between the 1-4 Jets and the 1-3 Eagles. Two of the worst teams in the league went head-to-head in just an awful game.
Only one touchdown was scored by either team. It was a 75-yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to Kevin Curtis. Other than that it was a series of Field goals. Mike Nugent and David Akers each had three field goals for their teams. The only bright spot in this game was Thomas Jones, who had 130 yards rushing on 24 carries.
The Jets never led in this game and fell to a dismal 1-5 in Eric Mangini’s second year with the team.
2011: Jets 19 at Eagles 45
The 2011 Jets are the great disappointment of this decade. After back-to-back AFC championship losses, nobody expected the Jets to miss the playoffs in 2011. The Jets came into this game against the Eagles with an 8-5 record. The Eagles were sporting a 5-8 record. The Jets were healthy and there was no reason to believe they wouldn’t win this game and continue on their march towards the playoffs.
Things are never that easy though. The exact opposite happened in this game. The Eagles jumped out to a 28-0 lead and never looked back. The Jets never led this game, and this began a three-game losing streak that would see the Jets finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs for the first time under Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan.
This game was the start of the Jets eight straight seasons without making the playoffs. Even when they had everything going for them, they still couldn’t prevail against the Eagles.
2015: Eagles 24 at Jets 17
The most recent Jets-Eagles game was very similar to the 2011 game. In 2015 the Jets missed the playoffs by just one game. They met early in the season when the Jets were 2-0 and the Eagles were 0-2.
The Eagles jumped out to a 24-0 nothing lead due to miscue after miscue by everyone other than the Jets defense. Gang Green allowed an 89-yard punt return touchdown, Brandon Marshall fumbled twice, and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three picks. It looked like there offense was turning back into a pumpkin after a great start to the season.
That was until they stormed back into the game with 17 unanswered points. They were within one score with just 2:30 minutes left the game. They failed to recover the onside kick, but they forced a 3rd-and-16 with about a minute left.
It looked like they would give Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense one last gasp to tie the game. Instead, Calvin Pryor was called for illegal hands to the face, which is an automatic first down, ending the game.
In this series the team favored by the Vegas line is 5-3, there was no Vegas line for the first two games. The favored team’s record against the spread is 4-4. Anything can happen when the Jets and Eagles take the field. Anything except the Jets winning the game, that is.