New York Jets vs Philadelphia Eagles: What Jets Fans Need to Watch

Joe CipollaContributor ISeptember 1, 2010

New York Jets vs Philadelphia Eagles: What Jets Fans Need to Watch

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    The Jets play their final preseason game on Sept. 1st against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

    Traditionally, the final preseason game is usually the one where the starters see the least action and it's the time for the twos and threes to make their best case for inclusion on the 53-man roster (which must be finalized by Saturday).  The Jets will be no exception to this.

    Even though the Jets offense has been mediocre at best this preseason, expect most of the starters to see seriously limited action—and for some (Mark Sanchez), no action at all. 

    With that being said, here are some things to watch for as the Jets wrap up their preseason and look ahead to regular season action.

Backup QB

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    It's already been announced that Mark Sanchez will be sitting out of the final preseason game (though he will be taking on the role of a coach and calling a few plays on the sideline).  So this game will most likely showcase plenty of Mark Brunell and Kellen Clemens.

    After the aquasition of free-agent Brunell, Clemens seemed to be the odd man out of the Jets' QB corps.  But he just took a pay cut to better his chances to remain on the team, and with the recent waiving of Kevin O'Connell, Clemens is slated to be the No. 3 QB going into the season.

    This must be a tough pill for him to swallow, as he's been the No. 2 QB in Jets land, backing up the likes of Chad Pennington, Brett Favre and last season, Sanchez.  He's already eluded to being upset that Brunell was named Sanchez's backup without an opportunity to compete for the job—a job he's held since 2006.

    This game will be Clemens' last chance (albeit a small one) to make a case for himself as Sanchez's primary backup.  

Santonio Holmes

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    Expect Santonio Holmes to be one of the few starters to see plenty of playing time.

    With his four-game suspension beginning immediately after the final preseason game, this will be the last chance to see him in action until Week 5 against the Vikings.

    Holmes is also leading the preseason Jets' receiving corps with 78 yards on five catches.  

Chauncey Washington/Danny Woodhead

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    The Jets are currently carrying five RBs on their roster.  This is one too many, so someone will have to be cut. 

    With Shonn Green and LaDanian Tomlinson secure in the one and two spots respectively, and rookie Joe McKnight seemingly secure in the number three spot, it's either Washington or Woodhead who will get their walking papers.  Expect these guys to see plenty of action against the Eagles.

    Washington has been excellent in the last two preseason games, both on special teams and with the offense.

    Woodhead has had limited touches, but he is a fan and coaches' favorite because of his pure grit and heart.  If you've never seen him, think of a cross between Rudy Ruettiger and Vince Papale.

    This is sure to be one of the tougher decisions the Jets have to make. Hopefully one of these guys can possibly earn a spot on special teams.

Tony Richardson/John Conner

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    There's really no competition here.  Richardson is the number one fullback, but John "The Terminator" Conner is something special!

    The way T-Rich has taken Conner under his wing is reminiscent to how Cris Carter mentored a young rookie named Randy Moss.

    I expect Conner to see more action than Richardson, but pay attention when he's in the game because he will hit people. And hit them hard.

Cornerbacks

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    Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson have looked good this preseason.  If Darrelle Revis had been on the field as well, this slide would be unnecessary. But the closer the holdout gets to the start of the regular season, questions still remain regarding who will fill the roll of the third CB in nickel formations.

    The two men to watch in this last preseason game will be Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery.  So far this preseason, they have been turned to toast (just ask Victor Cruz) but have made some big plays as well. 

    But the fact remains that these two guys need to step it up because, even if Revis comes back, one or both of them will be seeing significant playing time.

Nick Folk

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    Folk is arguably one of the most scrutinized players on the Jets right now.  Last year, his terrible season with the Cowboys led to nothing but questions regarding how reliable he can be making big kicks.

    One thing that's not in question is his powerful leg.  His kickoffs have more distance than Jay Feely's ever did (which was a big factor in taking Folk over Feely).

    All eyes will be on him every time he sets up for a FG and kickoff.  

Special Teams

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    Special teams have been spectacular this preseason.  They're a big reason why the Jets beat Carolina two weeks ago and also why the preseason games have been close scores.

    Special teams also is the best way for many of the non-elite players to make the final roster.  So, expect a lot of guys to try and make big plays on ST since this will be their last chance to make the team.