With most of the starters getting the night off, including quarterbacks Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez, the Jets won the “Back-up Bowl,” 27-20, on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium.
A rough first series aside, quarterback Matt Simms did a lot to improve his roster stock against the Eagles’ back-ups, going 33-44 with 285 yards, the most by any Jet quarterback in a preseason game since Ray Lucas had in 2000.
Head coach Rex Ryan lauded Simms after the game, hinting that he may have officially closed the gap on Greg McElroy by admitting he would “consider” carrying four quarterbacks on the roster.
On the first snap of the game, Simms was nearly intercepted on a sideline pass to Mohamed Massaquoi and was then sacked for a six yard loss, followed by another sacked for a nine yard loss and a safety.
Simms settled down despite playing behind a porous second string line, which allowed seven total sacks. Former Rams first round pick and recent re-signing, Jason Smith was especially shaky allowing four sacks, including a strip sack by Eagles’ linebacker Chris McCoy.
Other standouts included running back Kahlil Bell who scored two touch downs on 80 yards rushing and wide receiver Michael Campbell who caught five passes for 90 yards, including a 41-yard catch and run to set up a Nick Folk field goal in the third quarter.
Former Eagles, safety Jaiqwain Jarrett and linebacker Ricky Sapp were also impressive, teaming up to pressure, sack and strip Nick Foles in the first quarter. Safety Antonio Allen had an interception which he returned for a touchdown.
Rookie Undrafted Free Agent Ryan Spadola, who starred in training camp and throughout the preseason, showed a glimpse of mortality fumbling inside the red zone in the second quarter and finished with 47 yards receiving on six catches.
The Jets finish the preseason 3-1 and will face Ex-Jet Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 1 at MetLife on Sunday Sept. 8.
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