Philadelphia Eagles fill-in QB Gardner Minshew beats New York Jets with perfect first half

Martin Frank
Delaware News Journal

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Gardner Minshew couldn't have been better for the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half filling in for Jalen Hurts at quarterback.

He had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the first half, completing 14 of 15 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

Minshew wasn't as successful in the second half, but it didn't really matter as the Eagles added three field goals to beat the New York Jets 33-18 on Sunday.

But the Eagles do have other concerns besides who will play quarterback in their next game on Dec. 19.

That's because Miles Sanders left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury after setting a career-high with 24 carries and coming up just two yards short of his career high with 120 yards.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) drops back to pass against the New York Jets.

He apparently aggravated the same injury that has plagued him for the past month or so.

Then with two minutes left, Jason Kelce left an an apparent knee injury. He could barely walk off the field. Kelce hurt the knee last week against the Giants before returning later in the game.

It's a good thing the Eagles are off next week.

In all, Minshew finished 20-for-25 for 242 yards and the 2 TDs as the Eagles improved to 6-7 and stayed in the thick of the playoff race in the NFC. His passer rating was 133.7, the highest for an Eagles QB in a game this season.

Hurts' ankle should be healed by the Eagles' next game, on Dec. 19 against Washington.

Hurts was ruled out 90 minutes before the game on Sunday after saying on Wednesday that he was going to play. But head coach Nick Sirianni wasn't as optimistic on Friday after Hurts was limited in practice all week.

It was Minshew's first start as an Eagle, and he did everything he was asked to do.

Minshew completed his first 11 passes. His first incompletion came with a little less than two minutes left in the first half when he threw the ball into the ground when he didn't see his check-down receiver open.

But Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, who came into the game completing only 57.6% of his passes, with 10 interceptions, was nearly as perfect. He went 12-for-14 for 108 yards and two TDs. His rating was 138.4.

Neither quarterback could keep it going in the second half.

The Eagles turned to their rushing attack in the second half as Minshew attempted just 10 passes, completing six. In all, the Eagles rushed for 185 yards, their sixth consecutive game topping 175 yards. 

Neither team punted until Josh Sweat sacked Wilson on third down with 2:35 left in the first half. Before that, each team had scored touchdowns on every possession.

Minshew threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert, then a 25-yard TD to Goedert in between Jets' touchdowns. Kenny Gainwell's 18-yard run with 4:30 left in the first half gave the Eagles a 21-18 lead.

The Eagles added a field goal with 19 seconds left in the first half, and then three more in the second half to put away the Jets.

The Eagles improved to 12-0 against the Jets in their history. It's the most wins without a loss for any team against another in the NFL.