Eagles 13, Jets 10
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ Ray Rhodes is far from pleased with the Philadelphia Eagles. And that’s with a 2-0 start in the exhibition season.
The Eagles beat the New York Jets 13-10 on Saturday night, getting the winning points after third-string quarterback Jay Fiedler directed a 91-yard drive for a field goal early in the fourth quarter.
``We had some guys to make some good plays, but overall we didn’t play particularly well,″ said Rhodes, in his first season with the Eagles after serving as San Francisco’s defensive coordinator. ``I didn’t think we came out sharp at all. We have to do the little things to get better.
``Every game is a learning experience.″
Gary Anderson, who kicked winning 28-yard field goal, also had a 42-yarder at the end of the first half. Ricky Watters had a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter as the Eagles beat their former coach, Rich Kotite.
``It wasn’t any big deal,″ Kotite said. ``Talking to Ray before the game, he’s like we are, we are trying to find out some things about our players, get some experience and get some answers.″
The Jets (1-1) still have many questions. They have scored just one touchdown in their first two games. Former Eagles quarterback Bubby Brister hit Curtis Ceaser, a rookie from Grambling State, for a 22-yard TD that tied the game at 10 early in the third quarter.
``Evidently, we didn’t play as well as I would like to have seen,″ Kotite said. ``We have a lot of young players who have to learn from their mistakes.″
Bobby Taylor’s intercepted Brister to set up the winning field goal.
Fielder drove the Eagles to the 5 on his only series, primarily against the Jets’ third-team defense. He completed a 37-yard pass to Derrick Witherspoon and Charlie Garner had a 34-yard carry.
Dexter Carter’s 20-yard punt return set up the Jets only touchdown. Brister and Ceaser hooked up three times for 37 yards on the 55-yard drive.
Brister had the Jets on the move again with a 49-yard completion to Tom Garlick for a 19-yard scramble, but the drive ended with Taylor’s interception.
Watters’ touchdown came on the Eagles’ second drive of the game, when he busted up the middle after Fred Barnett’s 42-yard catch-and-run.
Boomer Esiason played the first half for the Jets, completing 11 of 22 for 95 yards. He was under pressure most of the time, and was sacked twice.
Philadelphia starter Randall Cunningham continued to flourish in Rhodes’ controlled passing attack. After completed 12 of 15 attempts in the opener against Atlanta, he was 9-for-15 for 105 yards in the first half.
Still, Cunningham knows his new coach isn’t happy.
``He wasn’t satisfied and we shouldn’t and we shouldn’t be satisfied with this performance,″ Cunningham said. ``Ray is the kind of guy who’s going to let you know ow he feels.″
Rodney Peete directed two series in the third quarter, moving the Eagles 70 yards to the 10 before being intercepted in the end zone by Anthony Prior. Peete was hit on the fourth finger on his throwing hand before leaving the game, but the injury was not thought serious.
Anderson’s 42-yard field goal at the end of the half made it 10-3. Cunningham and Barnett hooked up for passes of 15 and 20 yards to set up the field goal. Barnett had five catches for 90 yards.
The Jets got a 43-yard field goal from Nick Lowery with 39 seconds left in the first half.
It was the first time in 25 years that an NFL game was played in Mississippi. Both teams opened offensively with a pass play to a player with a connection to the state.
Esiason dumped a 12-yard pass to tight end Johnny Mitchell, who grew up in Tchula, about an hour north of Jackson. The Eagles started with a 7-yard pass to Barnett, who is from an hour farther north in Gunnison.