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Jets' comeback too little, too late in loss to Eagles

Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets

Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets walks off the field with his teammates after a loss against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The irritation in Darrelle Revis' voice was evident. He spoke in clipped sentences as he tried to explain how everything managed to fall apart for the Jets in one afternoon.

A struggling Eagles team entered MetLife Stadium on Sunday with zero wins and their star running back, DeMarco Murray, unable to play because of injury. But instead of being opportunistic on defense and efficient on offense again, the Jets committed costly turnovers and doomed their own attempts at a comeback in a 24-17 loss.

The first victory for the Eagles (1-2) signaled the first defeat of the Todd Bowles era for the Jets (2-1). But he and his players seemed far more perturbed by the manner in which they lost: Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions, Brandon Marshall attempted a lateral that resulted in a fumble that set up a touchdown -- the receiver later called it "the worst play in NFL history" -- and their special-teams unit missed five tackles during Darren Sproles' 89-yard touchdown on a punt return.

The 24-point first-half deficit proved to be insurmountable for the Jets, who are 0-10 all-time against the Eagles.

"It's hard to come back from [that],'' Revis said. " . . . No matter what your record is, no matter who you play. It's tough.

"We put ourselves in the hole early on. We tried to claw back as much as we could," added the cornerback, who, after nursing a groin injury last week, was forced to sit out the final defensive drive after tweaking a hamstring. (Asked about that, Revis replied tersely: "I'll be fine.'')

The Jets pulled within 24-17 on Jeremy Kerley's 7-yard touchdown catch with 9:37 left and Nick Folk's 53-yard field goal with 2:34 to play. But quarterback turnovers, a recurring theme for the Jets in recent years, proved costly. Two of Fitzpatrick's three picks came in the fourth quarter. Worse, each came immediately after the defense did its job.

After David Harris caused Eagles running back Ryan Mathews to fumble on the Philly 44, Demario Davis scooped it up and the offense went back to work. But three plays later, Fitzpatrick gave the momentum right back to Philly as Brandon Bair deflected a pass into the hands of Jordan Hicks.

Bowles called the play "a momentum-changer. We thought we had a shot then, but then to turn it right back over, it just kind of dashes hope a little bit."

Fitzpatrick again was picked off on the Jets' next drive, this time by Walter Thurmond at the Eagles' 18. "Yeah, the two interceptions hurt us," he said.

His poor play elicited boos from a frustrated crowd that waved white towels as a show of support for the home team. But his performance also raised questions about the Jets' quarterback situation.

Asked if former starter Geno Smith -- who not only was active for the first time since his jaw was broken in training camp but was the No. 2 quarterback -- could move up the depth chart, Bowles matter-of-factly replied: "Ryan's our starter."

Fitzpatrick, who threw for two touchdowns, was 35-for-58 for 283 yards. His career-high 58 attempts was a byproduct of running back Chris Ivory's absence and their early deficit.

The Jets were without Ivory (quadriceps) and receiver Eric Decker (knee) and might have lost another starter. Right guard Willie Colon left the game with a knee injury and was replaced by Brian Winters.

Bowles had no injury update immediately after the game, so it's unclear how long Colon will be sidelined.

Despite scoring 17 unanswered points, the Jets lamented the missed opportunities.

"Four turnovers are hard to overcome, man. Last week it was just the opposite," Kerley said, referring to the fact that the Jets had a plus-8 turnover margin in the first two games but were minus-3 on Sunday.

"It's tough," he said of coming back from a 24-point deficit. "I don't know a lot of people that can. This was a game we wish we could have back . . . If we would have started off a little faster, ain't no telling what it would have been."

The Jets appeared dead in the water for much of the game, and Sproles was a big reason why. His punt return TD was the longest ever by an opponent in a Jets home game and gave the Eagles a 10-0 lead with 12:21 left in the first half. "To tell you the truth, I don't know what I did [to make the defenders miss]," Sproles said.

And the Jets made things even worse as the game went on. Not only was their offense nonexistent in the first half, going three-and-out on five of their first six drives, but mental miscues helped to doom them. After catching a 15-yard pass from Fitzpatrick, Marshall inexplicably tried to lateral the football to tight end Jeff Cumberland as he was being tackled at the Jets' 35-yard line. The ball, however, ricocheted off the helmet of Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin and was scooped up and returned 11 yards by Hicks.

Said Marshall: "That was probably the worst play in NFL history."

Aided by Marshall's miscue and an unnecessary-roughness penalty on Davis, Sproles scored again, this time from 1 yard to make it 24-0 late in the second quarter.

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