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Week six of the 2023 NFL Season is set to bring a matchup between two tough teams from the East from different conferences. The Philadelphia Eagles (5-0) will go on the road to take on the New York Jets (2-3).
The Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers are one of two teams in the league to remain undefeated. Most of their wins have been closer this season as they haven't been as dominant as their stellar season last year.
After the season with a 22-16 overtime win in week one against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets lost three consecutive games before beating the terrible Denver Broncos 31-21 in week five. If there is anything to take away from the past two games, the offense might be finally finding their identity and rhythm under third-year quarterback Zach Wilson.
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The Eagles haven't been as dominant or as dynamic on the offensive side of the ball this season. After starting the season catching 11 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games, Smith has 12 receptions for 112 yards and no touchdowns in the last three games. Last week in the 23-14 road win over the Los Angeles Rams, Smith was targeted five times, but one caught one reception for six yards.
The Eagles are looking to get performance out of Smith, especially with the tough matchup of the Jets this week. The Jets are likely going to place second-year star cornerback and last year's defensive rookie of the year in Sauce Gardner on the Eagles' number-one receiver A.J. Brown.
This opens up the opportunity for Smith to get his first touchdown since week two. While the Jets have a star in Gardner, there are flaws with the Jets' defense which ranks 14th in the league in passing yards allowed per game (206.4).
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The biggest difference in last year's Eagles team to this season is the effectiveness of the rushing attack from Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Under new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, the effectiveness of the run game from Hurts is down as the RPO is called upon much this season.
In five games this season, Hurts has rushed for 206 yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries. The Eagles have been more focused on the utilization of first-string running back D'Andre Swift, who has rushed for 434 yards and two touchdowns on 76 carries.
In the five games played this season, Hurts has only had one game where he has rushed for over 37 yards. He rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in the road win over the Rams. The Jets are a much more efficient run-stopping team this season despite the slow start. They have a reliable defensive line led by pro-bowl defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.
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Within the first few weeks of the season, the Jets had one of the worst offenses in the league. The offense was built around the play and efficiency of former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. His injury in the first drive of the season was so brutal to the offense that it ruined much of the playbook.
The Jets had to turn back to third-year quarterback Zach Wilson to lead the offense. It has caused the offense to be less productive.
Through five games this season, star receiver and former offensive rookie of the year wide receiver Garrett Wilson hasn't seen the same productivity as projected with Rodgers at quarterback. Wilson has caught 24 receptions for 279 yards and two touchdowns.
The offense is finally finding a rhythm as Wilson has caught 12 receptions for 114 yards within the last two games. He is due for his first 100-yard receiving performance soon.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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