Preseason Preview Jets v. Eagles: Who will fly?

Leave it to the Jets to put excitement into preseason games, especially the fourth preseason game, which is usually a battle between the backups. The roster needs to be cut down to the final 53 by Saturday night.

WHEN: Thursday, August 29, 2013, 7:00 p.m. EST (TV-WCBS, Radio-ESPN New York 98.7FM)

WHERE: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Matt Simms will make the start vs. Eagles and will try to steal the #3 QB position from Greg McElroy (JetsInsider.com Photo)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Matt Simms will start…and I’m excited about this. The QB with the big arm, who’s basically a prince in the NFL based on his genetic make-up, has been impressive every time he’s hit the field. He has a 137.5 passer rating. That’s the kind of impressive I’m talking about. Yes, I know that’s been accumulated playing against second and third string defenses, but still. Newly signed quarterback Graham Harrell will be waiting in the wings to relieve Simms as Greg McElroy who entered camp the #3 QB sits out this one with a knee injury. You all know Mark Sanchez won’t be playing and neither will Geno Smith, because the Jets don’t want to risk him getting injured (haha). It should be interesting to see if Phil Simms’s son can keep slinging them and secure himself a roster spot. Nick Foles will lead the Eagle’s offense. Foles, who was named second string QB to Michael Vick last week, learned the west coast offense from the Jets’ own Marty Mornhinweg.

-  If we’re on the topic of Simms slingers, we’ve got to talk about undrafted rookie wide receiver Ryan Spadola. I’ve got a feeling this pair is going to produce a couple more sparking moments tonight, like that 70-yard pass that helped set up a touchdown on Saturday night against the Giants. Maybe Simms and Spadola have a special Jersey Boy connection. The Howell, N.J. native leads the team with 169 receiving yards on seven catches. Yeaaahhh, this guy is making the team. If he didn’t, I’d laugh so hard at the ridiculousness. His preseason story is reminding me of Victor Cruz circa 2010, as bold as that sounds.

-   While we won’t be seeing the pressing first string quarterback competition play out further tonight, there are on-going competitions at other positions, like free safety. Expect to see Jaiquawn Jarrett, a former Eagle, start tonight. He’s battling Antonio Allen, who’s edging him out for the spot. Placekicker is still up for grabs. The team cut Billy Cundiff this week and replaced him with Dan Carpenter to compete with incumbent kicker Nick Folk. Then there’s the O-line…It’s been nice to see improvement in QB protection this preseason, but opening holes for the running back might be an issue. The Jets have been averaging only 3 yards per carry. Rookie left guard Brian Winters could eventually win himself a spot on the starting line, but he’ll have to become a more consistent player than the one we saw in his first start Saturday. He can start today. Rookie tackle Oday Abouishi and guard Will Campbell will need to show up strong today to avoid Saturday’s cut.

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