The New York Jets play their final pre-season game Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Here are three things to look for during tonight’s game.
1. Matt Simms’ Progression
All three of the other Jets’ quarterbacks will not play in tonight’s game due to injury, or fear of further injury — Sanchez (Shoulder), Smith (Ankle), McElroy (Knee/Ankle) — therefore Simms has been handed a golden opportunity to take the reins for likely, the entire game. Simms has had a very strong pre-season: 11-of-15, 193 yards and 1 touchdown, which equals an impressive 137.5 passer rating. Although, he has primarily worked with, and against, back-ups he has the strongest arm of all the Jets quarterbacks and a great pedigree — he is the youngest son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms. If the former Tennessee Volunteer has a strong performance tonight, he will put himself firmly in the running to be the Jets’ third quarterback, ahead of Greg McElroy, who has been injured for most of the pre-season.
2. Cinderella Story for Lehigh
Ryan Spadola was signed as an undrafted free agent from Lehigh University. Originally a walk-on, the jersey native has impressed throughout training camp and pre-season and stands a good chance to be the teams fourth or fifth wide receiver. Spadola leads the team in pre-season with 169 yards on 7 receptions, and a touchdown. He also had a touchdown, and a 70 yard reception to set up the winning field goal last weekend against the Giants. He will probably see extensive playing time tonight, as he competes for the final receiver spots with Mohamed Massaquoi and Ben Obomanu.
3. Starting Safety Still Undecided
The spot for starting safety is still up in the air. Antonio Allen is leading the competition, but Jaiquawn Jarrett will start tonight against the Philadelphia Eagles. Both players are unproven, and the Jets haven’t ruled out bringing in a veteran if they feel they can improve at the position. But for now, one of the two will start alongside Dawan Landry in week one.