Jets vs. Eagles: New York's Biggest Winners & Losers from Preseason Week 4
Now that the least-watched game of the year is over, the Jets are going to have to make some tough decisions as they prepare for Friday's roster cuts.
Despite a rather significant discrepancy in the scoreline, there are a lot of good things to take away from this game for the Jets.
Here are the winners and losers from the Jets' final preseason game.
Winner: Greg McElroy
McElroy was the MVP tonight; he looked poised and unflappable, making smart, accurate throws. He showed terrific pocket awareness and did a few Tebow impressions with his legs.
But most importantly, he got the Jets a much-needed touchdown early in the game.
Sure, it was in the fourth preseason game that was filled with mostly backups, but the last thing the Jets needed was to answer questions about going an entire month without finding pay dirt.
Either way, McElroy looks like a capable backup and should feel comfortable if they ever had to put him in a regular-season game based on what we saw tonight.
Loser: Julian Posey
Posey was not particularly bad, but he was clearly out-played by his main competition, Isaiah Trufant.
Posey has a distinct height advantage over Trufant, but he has yet to show that he can be a reliable cover corner or special teams player, which is where the Jets would use him more often than not.
Posey's job was on the line coming into this game; now, I would be surprised is Posey is even in the conversation for a spot on the 53-man roster after Trufant's strong game.
Winner: Damon Harrison
Damon Harrison was one of the players who really stood out to me. He was consistently blowing up running plays and hustling to the ball.
He forced plays outside while taking on double-teams, opening up plays for others to make. You could tell that Harrison was getting good leverage because his arms were outstretched when taking on blocks and engaging offensive lineman.
From there, he was able to use his leverage and become difficult to move off the ball. He also looked faster than expected coming off the ball.
Harrison is in direct competition with Martin Tevaseu for the final defensive tackle spot. Based on this game, he appears to be the favorite to win the final spot.
Loser: Matt Simms
While McElroy looked poised and confident, the game seemed too fast for him. He was slow to make reads and was inaccurate when trying to hit wide-open receivers.
Under Simms command, the Jets' offense came to a virtual standstill, accumulating a pathetic eight yards in thirty minutes of action. Granted, McElroy enjoyed better protection, but the added pressure clearly got to Simms.
Coming into this game, Simms had a pretty good chance to earn a spot on the practice squad with a solid showing at the Green and White scrimmage under his belt, but after shrinking under the lights, such an opportunity could be in jeopardy.
Simms has potential and a talented arm, but he needs more experience before a team is going to be willing to sign him to a roster spot.
Winner: Quinton Coples
Coples was only in for about a half, but he was absolutely dominant in that half. He shoved around guards like teddy bears and was clearly on a completely different level in terms of physical dominance.
He has now recorded a sack in every single preseason game. So much for being a bust.
With the regular season around the corner, Coples now needs to prove that he can be just as dominant against starters. So far, Coples has arguably been the Jets best defender of the preseason.
Loser: John Conner
In just a few short weeks, John Conner has gone from being a roster lock to being in serious jeopardy of getting cut.
The Jets have already tried to replace him with Nick Bellore, an inside linebacker. To make matters worse for Conner, he only got action late in game, which is not when roster players see playing time.
While Conner certainly knows how to lay the wood from time to time, he makes too many mental errors to consider as a "lock" to make the team as the lone fullback.
If the Jets really want to keep around an extra defensive lineman or receiver, Conner may be the first to go.
Winner: Bilal Powell
We finally saw the explosive Bilal Powell that we have been hearing about all summer long.
Powell was quick on his feet and showed great lateral agility. He exploded with his first step and was a huge part of the drive that led the Jets to their only touchdown drive.
Powell was actually replaced by McKnight as the starting runner, so perhaps that was just what he needed to light a fire under him and show the explosion that coaches were raving about.
Loser: Martin Tevaseu
As mentioned earlier, Tevaseu is in direct competition with rookie Damon Harrison for the third defensive tackle spot.
While Tevaseu didn't have a bad showing, Harrison played well enough to make it nearly impossible for the team to choose Tevaseu over him, even if he does have more experience.
In addition, Harrison has more raw ability to work with and can possibly develop into a starter, while Martin appears to be a career backup.
If he does get cut, Tevaseu could get picked up by another team, but his days as a Jet are in serious jeopardy.
Winner: Garrett McIntyre
Since there really was not a whole lot of negatives in this game (despite the lopsided score), I am going to focus on some positives that need to be addressed.
Garrett McIntyre, who was in serious danger of not making the team before tonight, all but locked up a roster spot with his performance. He nabbed two sacks and looked like the best pass-rusher on the team.
There are a lot of other bodies at outside linebackers, but the Jets may be forced to keep McIntyre on the team, even if it is at the expense of another position.
Winner: Offensive Tackles
As expected, Austin Howard had a solid night against the Eagles backups to follow up his also-solid outing against the Panthers' starters last Sunday.
What we didn't expect was to see a heavy dose of the newly-acquired Jason Smith, who played every snap of the first half. The fact that he picked up that much of the offense in such a short amount of tie is impressive in itself.
Both players more than held their own against a deep Eagles defensive line, although they got a bit of help from Greg McElroy's pocket presence.
It is still early, but it is starting to look like the Jets won their trade with the Rams.
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