David Harris clobbered Ryan Mathews, the ball popped in the air and Demario Davis covered it on the ground -- Jets ball. The takeaway kings finally had their first one of the day, down by 10 points but set up nicely at the Eagles' 41 with 7:23 remaining in the game.
That turned out to be their only takeaway, though, and the offense turned the ball back over three plays later. The Eagles went on to a 24-17 victory Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
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The Jets set the franchise record with 10 takeaways in the first two games, the fuel for 31 points, a big boost toward their undefeated start. But one of the prime takeaways from this game was that the defense didn't deliver enough turnovers, far from its usual haul. The Jets failed to intercept Sam Bradford, who had thrown four passes to the wrong team in Philadelphia's 0-2 start.
"We only got one turnover the entire game when we're used to getting four or five a game,'' Antonio Cromartie said.
The Jets' other starting cornerback, Darrelle Revis, didn't finish, having tweaked his hamstring, according to Todd Bowles, although Revis said it was "fine.'' He also praised the fast-breaking, no-huddling Eagles. Bradford was sacked only once and hit only six times.
"They just had a great game plan,'' Revis said. "Bradford did a great job in getting the ball out fast and they played well in the running game as well.''
Philadelphia's running game had been crawling, with only 7 yards on 17 carries the previous Sunday against Dallas. DeMarco Murray, the NFL rushing champ with 1,845 yards last year for the Cowboys, gained 11 yards on 21 carries in the first two games behind a struggling line. Then he hurt a hamstring in practice Wednesday, so the Jets didn't even have to deal with him.
But Mathews, who arrived with 4 yards on four carries, gained 108 yards on 25 carries, including 67 on 10 rushes in the first half. The Jets made some technical corrections, which worked in the second half. "But it was too late by then,'' Bowles said.
The Eagles were up 24-7 and owned 179 of their 231 yards at halftime, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal against the defense, plus Darren Sproles' TD on an 89-yard punt return. Cromartie lamented a few close calls on interceptions and cited poor tackling.
"It's a lesson learned,'' Cromartie said. "We can't start slow. We gave up 24 points in the first half. We gave up zero points in the second half. We can't give a team like Philly a lead like that and not expect for it not to come out with a victory at the end.''
The offense didn't hold up its end, either, committing four turnovers.
"Our goal is to win the turnover battle,'' Davis said. "We didn't win it today. It showed on the scoreboard.''