"Yeah, this is the marathon game for the twos and the threes," said Bellore, whose only pro starts of any kind came in the 2011 Jets-Philly game when he was a rookie free agent linebacker and then last year. "It's always fun. It's kind of a familiar opponent with the Eagles. I'm excited to watch some of the rookies, too. I won't be able to spectate that much, but when their time comes, that's always fun to see who steps up."
Indeed, players on both sides will be fighting for jobs, even careers, with Saturday's final cutdown to 53 looming. Many unlikely Jets have starred and won jobs in this game, and the Birds' strong offense and weak defense could be the catalyst to an 800-yard, 60-point affair.
Here are six things for you to know about the final preseason game of 2014 just ahead:
1. Reunion with the Sanchize
The March "trade" of Mark Sanchez to Philly for
2. Chunk Plays and Points?
There are still some wideout spots to nail down, not to mention
3. Corners Under the Gun
If John Idzik, Rex Ryan and the Jets stand pat with the personnel at cornerback, this is a big game for roster spots and perhaps even quality playing time heading into the opener against Oakland. The Jets head coach has already said
Our DBs and LBs will be targeted because the Eagles have the NFL's No. 1 passing, total yardage and points offense. Sanchez, Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne (a Jets offseason QB two years ago) will be throwing to the likes of WRs Damaris Johnson and rookie Jordan Matthews and TE Zach Ertz.
4. Saunders, Saalim Bring the Speed
It's the last tuneup for our return teams.
5. Pick-Six Greenhouse
What are the odds that the Jets will take an interception back for a touchdown? Pretty good, based on past preseason meetings with the Eagles.
6. Dress Rehearsal
It's not terribly significant that the Jets lead this summer series, 22-13, and that they've won five of the last six at the Linc. More important is that since 2001 this game has been the final summer tuneup on both teams' schedules, and that since 2006 no first-team players started in this game.
Which leads to the phenomenon that unexpected Jets often rise to prominence on this night. In the previous eight meetings, Cedric Houston and Danny Woodhead had 100-yard rushing games, David Clowney a 100-yard receiving game — on two catches — Chansi Stuckey and Jesse Chatman cleared 150 all-purpose yards, DE Trevor Johnson had two INTs, and DT C.J. Mosley had three sacks.
And last year Simms went 33-for-44 passing for 285 yards in pitching his complete-game 27-20 victory that cemented his role as Geno's backup for the year.
Someone in Jets green will stand out similarly in two nights' time. Who will it be?
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