Philadelphia Eagles: No Darnold, no problem in Week 5

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

With Sam Darnold officially out for Week 5, the Philadelphia Eagles have an even better opportunity to tighten up any loose ends against the New York Jets.

After four (more or less) challenging contests to start the regular season, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ first game in the month of October – notoriously the spookiest month of the year – just got a little less scary.

That’s right, after some minor speculation, the New York Jets have officially ruled Sam Darnold out for the fourth straight week – putting his mono-related absence up to three games.

Now granted, it’s not like swapping current starter Luke Falk for Darnold is the equivalent of subbing out Chucky for Jason Voorhees, but still, with seemingly a quarter of the team on the injury report, every little bit helps as the Birds bring the show back to Lincoln Financial Field.

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Yet another loss isn’t worth Darnold putting his life on the line (literally) – even if the chances of the Eagles defensive line hitting him are pretty slim to none.

To be fair, the Jets aren’t totally terrible across the board, as they still have Le’Veon Bell and a fairly formidable defense, but still, the Eagles couldn’t have asked for a better game to keep the momentum going after a Week 4 surprise win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football.

You see, over his two games as the Jets starter, Falk has yet to complete a pass of more than 40 yards, with his longest pass coming in the form of a Week 2 36-yarder to ex-Temple Owls deep threat Robby Anderson. Furthermore, while Falk has only thrown one interception, he’s taken seven sacks and only averaged 6.3 yards per completion – very encouraging numbers for a Week 5 defensive renaissance.

Just for context, in his lone start of the season – a small sample size against the Buffalo Bills impressive secondary – Darnold actually performed much worse, completing 28 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown, but still, the difference between the two quarterbacks is noticeable with the naked eye.

Darnold is big, strong, and has a cannon for an arm – a tantalizing skill set worthy of being drafted third overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Falk, on the other hand, was viewed as a system quarterback with less than elite arm strength and was ultimately drafted 196 picks later by the Tennessee Titans.

Fast forward one year into the future, and Falk is on his third team in two years and is only starting because of two injuries in front of him. While Washington State quarterbacks can have success in the NFL, just ask Gardner Minshew, Falk grades out as a career backup at best – but as we’ve seen with our old friend Chase Daniel, there are worse ways to make a living.

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Simply put, no matter who Adam Gase trots out in Week 5, it feels like his team is going to lose and lose ugly as the Jets travel down the Jersey Turnpike to the City of Brotherly Love, but with Luke Falk in the fold for at least one more game, the Philadelphia Eagles have a golden opportunity to tighten up loose ends and hopefully ride that momentum into a Week 6 road trip to Minnesota with a healthier team.