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Jets earn first-ever win over Eagles, leave Jalen Hurts latest QB 'embarrassed' by defense

It was only a month ago that the Jets' once-promising 2023 season seemed lost, with Aaron Rodgers sidelined by a torn Achilles, Zach Wilson struggling to show improvement in his stead and New York dropping two ugly losses to Dallas and New England.

But cut to Sunday, and after a surprising, come-from-behind 20-14 victory over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles -- their first-ever win in 13 tries over their NFC neighbors to the south -- the Jets are entering their bye at 3-3.

New York isn't just fine with .500 football, though. Despite Rodgers' (likely) season-ending injury, the Jets still have playoff and Super Bowl aspirations.

"For me, it hasn't changed since he's been down. I don't think it's changed for anybody else," defensive captain C.J. Mosley said after the win. "Has your goal changed? It shouldn't have."

Running back Breece Hall, who tallied 93 total yards and the go-ahead touchdown against Philly, added, "We can compete with any team in the league."

After going toe-to-toe with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a Week 4 loss, the Jets took it to the reigning NFC victors on Sunday and, this time, came out on top.

New York's defense held Philly scoreless for its final seven possessions and forced Jalen Hurts to throw three interceptions, tied for his career high. The Eagles didn't punt on a single one of their fourth quarter drives, but they didn't score either (INT, FG miss, INT, turnover on downs). Philly, which had scored at least 23 points in each of its five games this season, was held under 20 with Hurts under center for the first time since Week 11, 2022.

After frustrating Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson in consecutive weeks, Jets coach Robert Saleh couldn't help but credit his defense for discombobulating its latest opponent.

"Through these first six weeks, we've played a gauntlet of quarterbacks. I know we haven't gotten all wins, but we've embarrassed all of them," Saleh said. "Just really, really proud of the defense and its resolve."

Without four of their top six corners, including Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, the Jets' defense mostly held Philly's skill position players in check -- A.J. Brown was a force with seven catches for 131 yards, but D'Andre Swift earned just 18 rushing yards on 10 carries. By pressuring Hurts heavily up front -- 42% of his dropbacks, per Next Gen Stats -- New York forced plays to break down and Hurts to either make miraculous plays or poor decisions. There were more of the latter on Sunday.

"You turn the ball over four times, you shouldn't expect to win," Hurts told reporters, referring to Philly losing the turnover battle, 4-0, to the Jets.

What's gotten into Gang Green since their drubbings to the Cowboys and Patriots in Weeks 2 and 3? Perhaps it's the return of Rodgers to the facility and MetLife Stadium on game days. On Sunday, the star QB was seen walking without crutches, throwing on the field during pregame and then standing on the sideline for the duration of the game.

Rodgers' presence has seemingly had an impact on the team's confidence.

"It's unbelievable," Saleh said. "Everyone's in awe that he's even walking. For him to be on the sideline standing the entire time, he's a freakazoid."

With an injury-riddled starting lineup, particularly on the offensive line and in the secondary, the Jets pulled off their most impressive win in years -- which is saying something considering the remarkability of their surreal Week 1 comeback victory over Buffalo. And after enduring a month-plus "gauntlet" of opponents expected and unexpected, New York is going into the bye on a high, ready to take on all comers.

"We needed that win, and I thought all the guys kept fighting. I thought everyone was battling all across the board," Wilson said. "No quit in this team."

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