Takes on Jets-Eagles and the Preseason

The Jets ended their preseason Thursday night with a  16-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in an atypical, mundane final game.

Yet, it did answer more questions and also provided more concrete answers to the team’s final 53-man roster that will be finalized over the weekend.

Here’s a look at some areas and well as transactions that happened this week:

QUARTERBACKS: Josh McCown was back on the field for the first time in three weeks, and he looked respectable. McCown completed his first four passes in a crisp style, but then was nearly threw a pick six to an Eagles defender who dropped the ball. He finished 6-for-8 for 57 yards and took a  shot to the ribs that knocked him out for a play. He played a total of three series in the preseason, and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the opener against Buffalo.

Christian Hackenberg came into the game in the second quarter and had his moments. Overall, it was average to mediocre performance, completing 10 of 22 passes for 105 yards. He did throw a nice dart in the back of the end zone to Austin Sefarian-Jenkins.

Bryce Petty had warmed up when McCown went down, but head coach Todd Bowles didn’t like the way he looked with his sprained knee.

At this time, Petty would appear to be the backup, but the Jets still like Hackenberg’s arm.

RUNNING BACKS: Eli McGuire should have locked down a roster spot with his 56-yard performance, bursting free on a 34-yard sprint. Bilal Powell had some nice runs early, but he showed to be more valuable catching the ball out of the backfield. Marcus Murphy also looks to have a place in the backfield and will return kicks and punts.

Matt Forte didn’t see action and he was the topic of trade rumors all week.

DEFENSE: Most of the starters played throughout the first quarter, and rookie Dylan Donahue – who became a camp favorite under linebacker coach Kevin Greene – got the start at an outside linebacker.

Defensive end Kony Ealy, picked up on waivers from New England, played a sound game and had a strip sack. The Jets see him as a situational pass rusher, but he could have a bigger role. Ironically, Ealy is the cousin of Sheldon Richardson, who was traded Friday afternoon, and he could take his spot.

Bruce Martin, Freddie Bishop, and Julius Stanford took another step to lock down their linebacker spots. Spencer Paysinger had a good showing in the second half and left with an injury. But Paysinger was among cuts Friday afternoon.

KICKING GAME: Despite booting two field goals against Philadelphia and looking good in camp, Ross Martin lost the kicking job to Chandler Catanzaro, who kicked the first field goal Friday night

Catanzaro has been inconsistent and he will need to tow the line, as field goals could be a major component to the team’s offensive attack this season.

COMINGS AND GOINGS: With the Richardson trade to Seattle bringing Jermaine Kearse, the Jets have a viable number one receiver even if he is only in his third year. Kearse caught 41 balls last year and 90 in his first two seasons. Kearse had been rumored to be in the Jets’ plans over the past few weeks.

Ealy could be a valuable addition, but he played against second teamers. The Jets need a pass rusher and Ealy or Donahue could possibly fill the void.

The most recognized names based on performance on Friday’s moves that cut the roster to 76 were linebacker Corey Lemonier and tight end Chris Gragg, who both were placed in injured reserve.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

Get connected with us on Social Media