By Abraham Gutierrez
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will be the site for a matchup that has “upset alert” written all over it, as the winless (0-2) Philadelphia Eagles pay a visit to the undefeated (2-0) New York Jets in Week 3 of the 2015 NFL season. This interconference showdown is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET and FOX will be handling broadcasting duties in this one.
After acquiring the 2014 NFL Offensive Player of The Year during the offseason, Chip Kelly’s Eagles entered the campaign as betting favorites to win the NFC East title in 2015. However, after just two weeks, all indications are that it’s time for Kelly to go back to the drawing board, as nothing – with the exception of the Eagles passing attack – seems to be clicking.
“We have to get it figured out,” said the former Oregon head coach following his team’s debacle in Week 2. “We let a good defensive effort go for naught. Nothing worked.”
Eagles 2015 NFL Season Record
After finishing 10-6 a year ago, the Eagles will have their work cutout, as they’ve started the 2015 NFL season laying a goose egg under the win column. With a record of 0-2, Philly sits at the cellar of the NFC East division, tied with the winless New York Giants. The Eagles lost the opener against the Atlanta Falcons, 24-26, and followed that effort with a lackluster, 10-20, performance in its home opener – versus a Cowboys team that didn’t have the services of All-Pro wide receiver, Dez Bryant, or perennial Pro Bowl quarterback, Tony Romo.
Eagles On Offense
Ironic and historic would be the best ways to describe DeMarco Murray’s start to the 2015 NFL season compared to last year’s. As a member of the 2014 Cowboys, the Oklahoma product broke Jim Brown’s (56-year-old) rushing record for most consecutive 100-yard games to start the season (8).
In only two weeks of play, the former third-round pick has captured another milestone, recording the worst start by a running back in NFL history with 11 yards on 21 carries. Murray easily eclipsed the former record, which was held by free agent (RB) Montee Ball. As a member of the Denver Broncos, the Wisconsin product ran for 38 yards on 20 carries through the first two games of the 2013 NFL season.
Thus, Philadelphia’s offense ranks seventh in passing (277.5), 25th in total yards (312.5), 28th in points per game (17), and the most shocking statistic of them all, the Eagles are dead-last (32nd) in the NFL in rushing yards per game (35).
“I am frustrated with losing,” Murray said this week. “Obviously, when you work as hard as we do, I think that every guy is frustrated. We are just not making the plays that we have to as a unit.”
It’s going to be interesting to see what type of adjustments Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur comes up against the Jets stoic defense. Another dismal effort by this offense could indicate this would be a good time for Shurmur to begin updating his resume.
Eagles On Defense
On the other side of the football, things haven’t exactly gone the way defensive coordinator, Bill Davis drew it up prior to the start of the season. Through a pair of games, the Eagles “D” ranks 15th in points per game (23), 17th in rushing (107), 24th in total yards (377) and 25th against the pass (270).
Eagles Players To Watch
For as bad as the running game has been out of the gate, the good news is that the Eagles are due to have a breakout game at some point in the near future. Unless there’s some sort of undisclosed injury to Murray, Eagles fans have to believe he will eventually regain the form that led him to win last year’s rushing title by a whopping 500-plus yards.
On the opposite side of the rock, the Eagles player to look out for is none other than outside linebacker, Connor Barwin. The seventh-year man out of Cincinnati was the only defensive player on the Eagles roster to be named to the Pro Bowl a year ago. Thus far, the 26-year-old from Southfield, Michigan, is off to another solid start, recording 8 tackles, a sack and a pass defended to kickoff the 2015 NFL season.
Eagles vs. Jets 2015 NFL Week 3 Odds
According to NFL betting oddsmakers, New York will be favorites at home when Philadelphia visits the Meadowlands. NFL point spreads for this contest have the Jets [-2½] as favorites by just under a field goal, while Kelly’s Eagles [+2½] will have a small two-and-a-half cushion to play with. The OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 46½ points, and straight-up betting lines go as follows: Philly Eagles [+120] vs. NY Jets [-140].
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.