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NYJ Preseason Notes – Jets vs Eagles

By Mark Kelly:

 

The New York Jets play their final preseason game of the season on Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are a few things to look for.

Game time: 7:00 ET at MetLife Stadium

Is Josh McCown going to play?

It’s no secret that Josh McCown has not had much time at all with the first team offense during preseason. McCown has only played one series (seven snaps) and was named the starting QB for Week 1 by Todd Bowles on Monday.

The unwritten rule is that very few starters and especially the starting QB play in the final preseason game, for fear of injury. However, despite his overall NFL experience, McCown is just learning a new offensive system and needs live snaps to develop chemistry with his WR and offensive line.

Will Hackenberg or Petty be named the backup QB?

In a preseason where both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty got plenty of game time, there is no discussion with which of these players has had more success. While Hackenberg played better than Petty against the Titans in the New York Jets preseason opener, Petty has dominated the competition in the last two games.

Under Hackenberg the offense totaled 43 yards and averaged 2.2 yards per play at Detroit, while finishing with -3 yards passing. Against the Giants, Hackenberg struggled in the first half, throwing two pick sixes while another drive ended in a safety. Overall Hackenberg was 14-27, 140 yards TD and 2 INT in his last two games.

Petty led the New York Jets on two field goal drives in the second half, finishing with 160 yards on 15-24 passing. Against the Giants, Petty was spectacular in leading the Jets to a second half rally.

Trailing 29-3, Petty threw for 260 yards and 3 TD before leaving with 2 minutes left after suffering a MCL sprain. Hackenberg was able to finish the drive and lead the Jets to within a point after he hit Frankie Hammond with a 17-yd TD, but Petty had clearly outplayed his teammate for the second straight game.

Unless Hackenberg really impresses and Petty falls flat on his face tonight, it’s hard to imagine Bowles naming Hackenberg the backup in Week 1 over Petty.

Roster decisions to be made

Todd Bowles and staff have until 4 PM on Saturday to get the roster down to 53 players. Among the battles are at OLB where Corey Lemonier who has had a sack and INT this preseason, draft pick Dylan Donahue and Freddie Bishop. Josh Martin looks to have locked up a spot with his very impressive play this preseason.

Many offensive line positions have yet to be decided as Brandon Shell, Dakota Dozier, Jonathon Harrison and Brent Qvale are trying to secure positions as backups. The starters have not separated themselves much this preseason on the offensive line, so the backups should continue to have a chance to show their worth.

In the defensive backfield, Shamarko Thomas, Robenson Therezie, Armagedon Draughn and Terrence Brooks have a final chance to prove their worth as backups to Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Rontez Miles.

On the defensive line, Claud Pelon, Anthony Johnson, Patrick Gamble, Jeremy Faulk, Mike Pennel and Lawrence Thomas will showcase their abilities one more time.

Meanwhile at cornerback draft picks Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones have one more game to see if they can challenge any of the core DBs. Most likely they will find themselves on the practice squad.

Several wide receiver spots remain open, as Myles White, Gabe Marks, Chris Harper, Kenbrell Thompkins, Frankie Hammond and Daniel Williams fight for a chance to play on Sunday.

On special teams, Ross Martin and Chandler Cantanzaro battle for place kicker, while recent acquisition Thomas Hennessy and Tanner Purdum will decide who the Jets keep as their long snapper.

Jets-Eagles familiar foes

The will be the 17th straight preseason that the New York Jets will finish against the Eagles. Overall they are 23-15 against Philadelphia in the preseason in a series that began in 1967. The Jets have won eight of the last nine preseason games at home.

While the Jets have had success against the Eagles in meaningless preseason games, keep in mind that in 10 regular season games against their neighbors from the city of brotherly love, the Jets are winless.

On THIS date in Jets History

1997: In Bill Parcells first ever game as head coach, the New York Jets played their earliest season opener in franchise history. Behind five TD passes from Neil O’Donnell, the Jets manhandled the Seattle Seahawks at the Kingdome, 41-3.

Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports.  Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.

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