On Thursday night, the New York Jets defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in their final preseason game, 27-20. However, the game itself will not have an impact on either team over the course of the regular season.
Both teams decided to avoid any kind of injury risk by sitting their top players. Thus, the game was primarily played by second- and third-team players.
Both head coaches were glad they did not look foolish like New York Giants‘ head coach Tom Coughlin did on Thursday night. Coughlin decided to play some of his starters, and projected goalline running back Andre Brown sustained a broken left leg. Brown is projected to be out 4-to-6 weeks, according to Fitzgerald Cecilio of GantDaily.com.
The best decision Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan made on Thursday night was sitting quarterback Geno Smith. Ryan deciding to rest Smith on Thursday night showed that Smith has the inside edge for being named the starting quarterback for week one’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ryan obviously did not want Smith to play last night because he did not want Smith to sustain an injury like Mark Sanchez did.
Sanchez sustained a shoulder injury on Saturday against the Giants, thus he did not play against the Eagles. Ryan said in his news conference on Monday that he is day-to-day.
Along with those two players, Ryan also did not play his best players like running back Chris Ivory, wide receiver Stephen Hill and center Nick Mangold.
The Jets’ Most Valuable Player of Thursday’s game was quarterback Mike Simms. He completed 33-of-44 passes for 285 yards.
However, Simms is projected to be the team’s third quarterback listed on the depth chart. He would only be able to make a big contribution to the team if Sanchez and Smith were dealing with serious injuries at the same time.
The best decision Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly made on Thursday night was resting the team’s starting quarterback, Michael Vick. No. 7 has sustained numerous injuries throughout his career, including concussions, making this a risk not worth taking whatsoever.
Kelly’s best chance of having the team contend for a playoff spot is with Vick at the helm of his offense. Among the other starters for the team who did not play last night were running back Lesean McCoy, wide receiver Desean Jackson and tight end Brent Celek.
The Eagles’ Most Valuable Player of Thursday’s game was left inside linebacker Emmanuel Acho. He had 11 tackles, one for a loss, a sack and a quarterback hit.
Acho is projected to be the team’s third left inside linebacker, according to ESPN.com. He would only be able to make a big contribution to the team if projected starter DeMeco Ryans and backup Casey Matthews were simultaneously dealing with serious injuries.
Neither team’s head coach cared about the outcome of Thursday night’s game because they were busy game-planning for their respective week one matchup. Both teams’ success this season will not be determined by the starting quarterback who started last night, Simms and Nick Foles.
Instead, both teams’ success this season will be decided be Vick and either Smith or Sanchez and their performance levels.