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Game Time: 7:00 PM EDT
Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP: 94.1 FM and 610 AM
|Incumbent QB Mark Sanchez attempting a pass against the Lions.|
Photo Courtesy: lohud.com
The Last Time They Met:
August 30th, 2012- Eagles 28, Jets 10
The Eagles won their final game of the preseason against the Jets en route to a perfect 4-0 record in the preseason behind a strong effort by third-string QB Trent Edwards. Edwards completed 22 of his 32 attempts for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Mardy Gilyard was another one of the key performers on offense with five receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. The defense managed six sacks and seven tackles-for-a-loss. Overall, the team's performance was strong heading into the regular season. The Jets only had two highlights over the course of the game. One came courtesy of Greg McElroy, who completed a six yard pass to Terrance Ganaway for a TD, the team's first of the preseason. The other came courtesy of Nick Folk, who converted on a 58 yard field goal as time expired in the first half. The Jets record fell to 0-4 in what would foreshadow a disappointing season for the team.
Three Key Storylines for the Eagles:
|He won't see the field this season, but Barkley still|
has a shot to impress on Thursday.
Photo Courtesy: fansided.com
The situation in the secondary has improved, but there are still spots that are up for grabs. Patrick Chung and Cary Williams seemingly have spots locked down, leaving the final safety and outside cornerback positions open. Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen seem to be the two players competing for the final safety position, as fifth-round draft pick Earl Wolff hasn't gotten much playing time, Kenny Phillips was cut earlier in the week, David Sims hasn't done anything to prove he's worthy, and Colt Anderson is better for suited for a special teams role at this point. Both Coleman and Allen have their pros (Coleman plays with a lot of heart and hustle and can get around the field quickly, Allen was a second-round pick several years ago and still has a lot of potential to be a starter in this league), but they have their cons as well (Coleman tends to have breakdowns in coverage while Allen hasn't looked the same since his injury a couple of years ago). Whoever wins the final safety spot will probably kick the other off of the roster, as it's unlikely Chip Kelly keeps more than five safeties on the roster. Allen probably has the upper-hand simply because of where he was drafted, but he'll probably have a short leash if he wins the job. The CB job has seemingly come down to Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin. Boykin has stated many times over the past few months that he wants to start on the outside, and believes he has the ability too. He's impressed both the coaches and the fans during the preseason, but the coaches still seem to think he's better suited for a role as the nickel CB. With this logic, Fletcher seemingly has the upper-hand on Boykin, but he hasn't done much during the preseason. He's been beat several times, and he's had a couple breakdowns in coverage. It wouldn't surprise me to see Fletcher win the job, but if Boykin has a strong performance, it's probably safe to say he'll be starting opposite Williams in DC on September 9th.
Although it's only the preseason, it would be nice to see the Eagles force more turnovers than they have. The team has a turnover differential of -6, and the interception by Connor Barwin against the Jaguars was the team's first INT in the preseason in several years. Due to the fact that the Eagles will be facing an inexperienced QB in Geno Smith and a career backup in Matt Simms (Mark Sanchez injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Jets last preseason game), it should be fairly easy to force a turnover at some point during the first couple of quarters. The Eagles turned the ball over a lot last season but didn't force many turnovers, one of they key reasons they finished 4-12. The good teams in the NFL have a tendency to force turnovers, which can do one of two things: kill the momentum of the other team and/or give the offense good starting field position. If the defense doesn't get the turnover problem sorted out, they could be in for a rough season.
Three Key Storylines for the Jets:
|Smith hasn't had the best preseason (here, he accidently|
runs out of the endzone for a safety).
Photo Courtesy: CBS Sports
The Jets WR corps is pretty weak as well. The best WR they have would easily be Santonio Holmes, who's production has dropped yearly as seen in the table below:
The Jets need him to be a solid number one receiver, as they don't have much behind him. Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates have gotten most of the snaps this preseason, but they're not exactly household names. Holmes is currently battling a foot injury, and may not even be ready for the start of the regular season. It's going to be a tough season all around for the Jets, but if they can't find some consistency from their WR's, it's going to be even worse.
As with the Eagles, the Jets turnover differential isn't too good either. They're -4 so far, but they've also forced four turnovers (three fumbles, one INT) through their first three preseason games. Despite their success in the preseason, this defense has lost a lot of contributors and added a lot of new parts. Darrelle Revis, one of the best CB's in the league, is no longer with the team. That leaves Antonio Cromartie as the best CB on the team, but he's not exactly an INT machine like Revis was. The team was second to last in the AFC with a -14 TO differential, and has finished towards the bottom of their conference in three of the past four seasons (in 2010, they finished third with a TO differential of nine). The Jets defense has the ability to be decent, but to keep the team in games they'll need to force some turnovers. Bryce Brown (who tends to fumble a bit more than he should) and Matt Barkley (an inexperienced QB) will be on the field a lot Thursday; it'll be interesting to see if the Jets can take advantage.
Five Players to Watch for the Eagles:
|Is he on his way out?|
Photo Courtesy: NBC Philadelphia
Danny Watkins, OL: Could this be Watkins' last game in an Eagles uniform? It's safe to say that Watkins hasn't impressed, and while he plays with a lot of heart and determination, those traits don't always cut it in the NFL, especially not from a former first round pick. The only reason Watkins is even on the team at this point is because Andy Reid drafted him several years ago. Reid is no longer here, and if Kelly doesn't like what he sees from Watkins on Thursday, he might need to start looking for another team.
Greg Salas, WR: Salas has surprisingly stuck around over the past several weeks, and will be looking to earn a spot on the roster. It's no secret that the Eagles aren't exactly strong at the WR position, and the only four locks at this point appear to be DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant and Damaris Johnson. Russell Sheppard has looked decent, and it wouldn't surprise me if he made the team, but there's a reason Salas is still here.
|He still has a shot.|
Photo Courtesy: Philadelphia Eagles
safety spot, but you really can't count Wolff out. He was a fifth round pick but that doesn't mean anything. Wolff is typically solid in coverage (I'll give him a mulligan on that TD pass he allowed in the last game), and he's known to be a big hitter, something this defense desperately needs. He'll get the most playing time of his career Thursday; look for him to take full advantage of it.
Clay Harbor, TE/WR: Harbor was in this section in the last preview, and he'll be in it again solely due to the fact that his roster spot isn't locked up yet. I mentioned that there are only four WR's on this team that have a spot seemingly locked down. That gives Harbor a shot to make the the team as a WR (as I've mentioned before, he's definitely not making the team as a TE). If Salas and Sheppard impress while Harbor drops a pass or two, he's on his way out. If he has an impressive game, however, things could go a bit differently.
Matt Barkley, QB: Simply put, it will be fun to watch Barkley play. He had an exceptional college career in which he passed for 12,327 yards, 116 touchdowns and only 48 interceptions over four seasons. He's impressed the coaches, and he has a ton of potential. He'll be in the game for a long amount of time, so he'll have his shot to impress us even more. We probably won't see him on the field again until next season, so enjoy watching the kid play while you can.
Five Players to Watch on the Jets:
|He has a shot to be a starter.|
Photo Courtesy: amny.com
Jaiquawn Jarrett, S: Ah yes, Jaiquawn Jarrett, the man whom the Eagles drafted in the second round out of Temple. Jarrett was supposed to help solve the Eagles' problems at the safety position. Instead, he got labeled a bust and was cut last season. Despite all of that, Jarrett is currently in a battle with Dawan Landay for a starting spot. It just wouldn't seem right if Jarrett didn't have a great game against his former team.
Mohamed Massaquoi, WR: Massaquoi has bounced around over the past couple of years and hasn't really found a team to latch on to (he was actually released by the Jaguars of all teams a week or so ago). The Jets WR corps is crowded, but it's weak as well. Massaquoi has great hands and is a decent route-runner. If he has a good game, he makes the roster. If not, he gets cut. It's as simple as that.
Oday Aboushi, OL: This guy reminds me a lot of King Dunlap. He has great size (6'5, 308), and has potential to be a decent player in this league, but he's not very consistent. If he gets beat, he doesn't recover fast enough, which either leads to sacks or holding penalties. Regardless, there's not many lineman in the league that have the height he does, so if he has a solid game he should make the roster.
|Bohanon has a good upside.|
Photo Courtesy: rantsports.com
Geno Smith, QB: Smith needs a big night in order to persuade Rex Ryan to name him the starting quarterback. He hasn't had the best preseason, throwing three interceptions as well as stepping out of his own endzone during the same game. The Jets QB situation is a mess, but Mark Sanchez seemingly still holds the keys to the starting job. If Smith impresses in a big way Thursday night, however, that could easily change.
Last Season- EAGLES: 4-12, last in the NFC East, missed the postseason
JETS: 6-10, tied for third in the AFC East, missed the postseason
|Nate Allen||26||DB||205||6-1||South Florida||3|
|Allen Barbre||29||T||303||6-4||Missouri Southern||6|
|Everette Brown||26||DE||250||6-4||Florida St.||4|
|Bryce Brown||22||RB||223||6-0||Kansas St.||1|
|Jamar Chaney||27||LB||242||6-1||Mississippi St.||3|
|Kurt Coleman||25||LB||195||5-11||Ohio St.||3|
|Fletcher Cox||23||DT||298||6-4||Mississippi St.||1|
|Antonio Dixon||28||DT||325||6-2||Miami (FL)||4|
|Jon Dorenbos||33||C||250||6-0||Texas-El Paso||10|
|Clay Harbor||26||TE||252||6-3||SW Missouri St.||3|
|Todd Herremans||31||T||321||6-6||Saginaw Valley St.||8|
|Brandon Hughes||27||DB||178||5-11||Oregon St.||4|
|Curtis Marsh||25||DB||197||6-1||Utah St.||2|
|Jordan Poyer||22||CB||191||6-0||Oregon St.||Rook|
|Matt Tennant||26||C||274||6-4||Boston Col.||3|
|Cedric Thornton||25||DT||309||6-4||Southern Arkansas||2|
|Michael Vick||33||QB||215||6-0||Virginia Tech||12|
|Earl Wolff||SS||209||5-11||North Carolina St.||Rook|
|Michael Bamiro||23||T||335||6-8||Stony Brook||Rook|
|Jake Knott||23||LB||239||6-3||Iowa State||Rook|
|Travis Long||22||LB||252||6-4||Washington State||Rook|
|Ifeanyi Momah||24||WR||239||6-7||Boston College||Rook|
|Antonio Allen||25||SS||210||6-1||South Carolina||1|
|Antwan Barnes||29||LB||240||6-1||Florida International||6|
|Nick Bellore||24||LB||250||6-1||Central Michigan||2|
|Tommy Bohanon||23||FB||246||6-1||Wake Forest||Rook|
|Josh Bush||24||S||208||5-11||Wake Forest||1|
|Quinton Coples||23||DE||284||6-6||North Carolina||1|
|Antonio Cromartie||29||DB||210||6-2||Florida St.||7|
|Jeff Cumberland||26||TE||249||6-4||East. Illinois||3|
|Demario Davis||24||OLB||235||6-2||Arkansas St.||1|
|Leger Douzable||27||DT||305||6-4||Central Florida||4|
|Antonio Garay||34||DE||300||6-4||Boston Col.||10|
|Clyde Gates||27||WR||197||5-11||Tyler J.C. (TX); Abilene Chrisitan||2|
|Mike Goodson||26||RB||195||5-11||Texas A&M||4|
|Damon Harrison||25||DT||339||6-4||William Penn||1|
|Stephen Hill||22||WR||215||6-4||Georgia Tech||1|
|Santonio Holmes||29||WR||185||5-10||Ohio St.||7|
|Austin Howard||26||T||333||6-7||Northern Iowa||3|
|Chris Ivory||25||RB||222||6-0||Washington St.,Tiffin||3|
|Dawan Landry||31||DB||215||6-1||Georgia Tech||7|
|Ellis Lankster||26||DB||191||5-9||West Virginia||4|
|Robert Malone||25||P||215||6-2||Fresno St.||3|
|Nick Mangold||29||C||295||6-3||Ohio St.||7|
|Garrett McIntyre||27||LB||270||6-3||Fresno St.||2|
|Rontez Miles||FS||203||6-0||California (PA)||Rook|
|Calvin Pace||33||DE||262||6-4||Wake Forest||10|
|Caleb Schlauderaff||26||OL||305||6-4||Southern Utah||2|
|Geno Smith||23||QB||218||6-3||West Virginia||Rook|
|Isaiah Trufant||31||DB||170||5-8||East. Washington||3|
|Darrin Walls||25||CB||190||6-0||Notre Dame||2|
|Kyle Wilson||26||DB||190||5-10||Boise St.||3|
|Kellen Winslow Jr.||30||TE||254||6-4||Miami (FL)||9|
|Brian Winters||22||OG||320||6-4||Kent St.||Rook|
|Junior Aumavae||27||DT||310||6-2||Minnesota State||Rook|
|Chris Pantale||23||TE||254||6-5||Boston College||Rook|
|J.B. Shugarts||24||T||305||6-6||Ohio State||Rook|