Through the years, Eagles have the edge over Jets

It hasn’t mattered if the Philadelphia Eagles were very good or

very bad, like 12-4 and on the way to their third straight NFC

championship game or 5-8-1 and going nowhere.

Either way, Philadelphia has had an edge over the New York

Jets.

In fact, eight times since the series started in 1973, the

Eagles have met the Jets, and in all eight times, the Eagles won.

The unbeaten run is the longest of any streak in the league.

Sunday presents another opportunity for New York (8-5), and this

one seems as good as any. After all, Philadelphia is 5-8 and

clinging to life in the NFC playoff race, and the Jets are

surging.

But again, the scenarios haven’t mattered in the past.

”Really?” Eagles defensive end Trent Cole asked when he was

told the Jets have never beaten Philadelphia. ”That’s interesting.

It doesn’t mean anything on Sunday, but it’s interesting.”

Most of the Eagles, in fact, weren’t interested in history, only

to acknowledge that if they lose to the Jets for the first time

ever Sunday, their playoff chances will be erased for good.

”We just have to win this week and keep our hopes alive, that’s

all,” said Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who is 1-0 in his

career against the Jets. ”That’s all we have to worry about is

trying to go out and get a win this week. I can’t promise it, but

we’re going to give everything we have.”

The Eagles could be out of contention in the NFC East before

they take the field for their 4:15 p.m. kickoff. If Dallas beats

Tampa Bay, Saturday, and the Giants beat Washington Sunday, the

Eagles will be out of the division race.

”I’m not surprised by it,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said of the

Eagles’ perfect record. ”Most of them probably came when my dad

(Buddy) was coaching them.”

Actually just one did. Ryan, with quarterback Randall Cunningham

under center, beat the Jets near the end of the 1987 season. Both

of those teams finished under .500.

The streak began in 1973 when Philadelphia engineered a 24-23

win. And in the pouring rain at Veterans Stadium in 1978, the

Eagles – though they’d finish just 5-9 – blanked the Jets, 27-0.

New York would finish that season 3-11.

On their way to a wild-card berth in 1978, the Eagles outlasted

the Jets, 17-9.

And the most memorable in the series was 1993, when the Eagles

came back for a 35-30 win. Eric Allen pulled off an interception

return for a touchdown after Cunningham broke his leg.

But for these Eagles – a disappointing bunch that sat in last

place by themselves in the NFC East for most of this season – none

of that matters.

”I didn’t know about it and it won’t be a factor for this

game,” Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant said. ”None of those

games came with Rex Ryan as head coach of the Jets. None of them

came against this Jets defense. So it doesn’t really matter what

happened in the past.

It’s about what happens Sunday.”