The final week of preseason football is by far the dullest one of all. Unlike in Week 1 when the big names take some snaps and then sit down, in Week 4, the big names never even get off the bench in the first place
That said, Thursday’s showdown between the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles does have some intriguing storylines. Can the Jets actually score an offensive touchdown? Will Nick Foles lock up the Eagles’ backup quarterback spot?
Here are three things to keep an eye on from both teams heading into this week’s game:
New York Jets
1. Seriously, can this team score an offensive touchdown? Last Sunday’s battle between the Panthers and Jets ultimately ended the way all of New York’s prior preseason games had ended – with them scoring no offensive touchdowns. Heading into this Thursday’s matchup versus the Eagles, New York will need to find a way to right that wrong with Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and most of the regulars off the field. If they don’t? Well, then they’ll become the first team in over 30 years to go an entire preseason without putting offensive points on the board.
2. How does Stephen Hill look? It’s debatable whether or not Hill will even see the field this week but, if he does, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of performance the Jets get out of him. So far, over the course of three preseason games, he’s racked up 106 yards on nine receptions – which is good. But he’s also made his fair share of blunders along the way. Growing pains are something every youngster goes through, however, given the horrid wide receivers currently on the Jets’ roster, it would be really great for them if he could live up to his potential sooner rather than later.
3. What sort of body language are you seeing from Rex Ryan? During last week’s loss to the Panthers, Ryan could be seen visibly frustrated on numerous occasions. New York’s most jolly head coach suddenly changing his demeanor up can’t be a good sign. If Rex loses the thing that makes him Rex, that'll absolutely kill the Jets' locker room.
1. Can Nick Foles steal the No. 2 quarterback spot? Last week versus the Browns, Foles racked up 146 yards on 12-of-19 passing (which is good), but he also threw an interception. Thus far in the preseason he’s accumulated 507 yards and six touchdowns on 36-57 passing, and in doing so has made a legitimate case for himself as the rightful backup for Michael Vick. Andy Reid has confirmed that Foles will be starting on Thursday, so, barring a poor performance, there’s probably a really great chance that he’ll become the No. 2 before the start of the regular season.
2. Will any of the starters see time on the field? The Eagles have played really well thus far in the preseason, so it’s hard imagine the team putting any of the regulars out on the field on Thursday night. It would be great to see the running game and receiving group show off their skills a bit, but we’ll likely have to wait until the regular season for that.
3. Can they make history? According to the Miami Herald, if Philly wins this one, they’ll go undefeated over the course of an entire preseason or the first time since 1995. Can they do it? Sure. Will they? We’ll find out soon enough.