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Jets players don't make strong impression in final preseason game
It's a good thing this was a preseason game for the Jets.
Their final exhibition Thursday night against the Eagles was an opportunity for backups and bubble guys to make their case for a spot on the 53-man roster. And there weren't many bright spots during a 37-7 loss.
The Jets surrendered 568 total yards to Chip Kelly's offense. Eagles third-string quarterback Matt Barkley (21-for-33, 253 yards) passed for one touchdown and ran for another. And with 8:33 left in the game, fourth-stringer G.J. Kinne threw a 21-yard TD pass to put Philly up 30-7.
"We were poor today," coach Rex Ryan said. "Today was more about trying to find out the back end of our roster . . . With that said, it's really hard to pinpoint who stepped up. It was a really poor performance by us, without question . . . It was just an awful performance."
Worse, the Jets suffered several injuries, primarily on defense. Linebacker Nick Bellore didn't return after suffering a calf injury in the second quarter. Cornerbacks Johnny Patrick (head) and LeQuan Lewis (hand) were ruled out in the second half. Safety Josh Bush also had his night cut short because of a leg injury. Saalim Hakim was shaken up with minutes left in the fourth quarter.
And on a night when former second-round pick Stephen Hill needed to impress, the receiver had just two targets -- a catch for 13 yards and a drop.
There were some positives, though. Backup safety Rontez Miles was everywhere on the field and knocked down opponents every chance he got. And after the Eagles took a 13-0 lead, sixth-rounder Tajh Boyd threw a 42-yard TD pass to Clyde Gates in the third quarter.
Thursday night also served as an opportunity for Philly fans to show their love for Michael Vick one last time. Ryan made sure the former Eagle had his moment in front of the home crowd. Vick was the only Jets captain during the ceremonial coin toss, and after a quick three-and-out by the Eagles, he trotted onto the field for the Jets' first offensive series.
After Vick handed off to running back Daryl Richardson, Ryan called a timeout with 13:30 left in the first quarter and third-stringer Matt Simms ran onto the field holding Vick's white visor. The two shook hands before Simms handed over the visor and Vick walked slowly to the sideline, waving his hand to the crowd.
"Very classy," said Vick, who spent five seasons with the Eagles. "You never know what to expect when you're the opposition. It was very warm. I appreciate it. It's a bittersweet feeling being back, but hey, it is what it is.''
Geno Smith told CBS that he and his teammates "were betting on if he'd get booed or get the ovation." Asked which bet he took, the Jets' starting quarterback smiled and said: "I bet on the applause, and he got it."
Boyd, who was sacked twice, was 7-for-12 for 92 yards. Simms was 7-for-17 for 121 yards. "I thought I did a lot of good things, I thought the offense did some good things," Simms said. "We just didn't quite connect the dots. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a few times."
Sanchez sits. Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, now Nick Foles' backup on the Eagles, did not play. He had been lighting it up, going 25-for-31 for 281 yards, two TDs, an INT and a 112.5 passer rating in Philly's first three preseason games.