I’m starting to believe what a lot of NFL coaches and media pundits are saying— eliminate the 4th preseason game. It’s not good for the game.
I’m not sure if even 15,000 fans showed up in the Meadowlands last night. That probably has more to do with the dire straits in which the Jets football team is mired right now… but still?
As for the Eagles, there were a few guys on the bubble of making the team who gave it their all— but even the coaching staff looked disinterested on the sidelines at times. Even HC Doug Pederson failed to respond to an obvious challenge situation. What better time than now to work on your challenge presentation? I guess the feeling among the coaches was let’s just get this game over with as fast as we can…
Ugh… I don’t like the PS4 game product much at all.
At least we found out DT Beau Allen coming back from a pectoral injury is ready to play again. He started against the New York Jets on Thursday night in the preseason finale, recording two total tackles.
And now he’s ready for Washington.
“I think it’s important to remember that I practiced only three times before playing in an NFL game tonight, but it felt really good to be back out there,” Allen said. “I think the biggest thing is getting my strength back. I’ll be working in the weight room getting that strength back. I’ll be working on my hand speed and things like that. The nice thing is that I’ll be practicing all next week. I’ll be ready to go. We still have time.”
Cool Beans for that, but…
We had a few good prospects get beaten up in the game.
Eagles running backs Donnel Pumphrey, a fourth-round pick, and undrafted rookie Corey Clement saw lots of action while competing for the fourth spot on Philadelphia’s depth chart. Pumphrey had 10 yards on six carries and a 3-yard catch before leaving in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a head injury. He also averaged 26 yards on three kickoff returns and 9 yards on five punt returns. Clement had four carries for 16 yards and caught a pass for minus-2 yards.
Byron Marshall, listed as sixth on the depth chart, led the Eagles with 56 yards on 15 attempts.
Eagles DE Alex McCalister, who had a sack, left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and didn’t return.
The Jets had their fair share of injury scares, too.
QB Josh McCown had the wind knocked out of him, and the New York Jets could only hold their breath. The 38-year-old quarterback was OK after getting the start — and a big scare — in the preseason finale as the Jets held on.
“Thankfully, it wasn’t anything serious,” McCown said.
McCown hadn’t played since the opening series of the preseason against Tennessee as the Jets gave youngsters Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty extended looks. Coach Todd Bowles announced Monday that McCown would be the Week 1 starter at Buffalo, and had most of his starting offense on the field for the first two possessions against the Eagles.
But it almost ended in disaster.
McCown took a shot to his chest from Eagles linebacker Joe Walker after completing a 20-yard pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins with 7:13 left in the opening quarter. The quarterback was down on a knee for a few moments before getting to his feet and jogging off the field toward the sideline before going down to a knee again as trainers attended to him.
Bowles and McCown said the quarterback just needed to catch his breath — and he came back into the game after Hackenberg replaced him for just one play.
“You don’t like your quarterback getting hit, but football is football, whether it’s Week 1 or Week 4 of the preseason,” Bowles said. “You get hurt, you get hurt. That’s the game we play.”
McCown finished 6 of 8 for 57 yards, leading the Jets on a scoring drive that was capped by Chandler Catanzaro‘s 28-yard field goal. It was the first time since Mark Sanchez‘s rookie season in 2009 that New York started its opening day starter in the preseason finale.
Third-stringer Matt McGloin started for Philadelphia at quarterback, going 14 of 21 for 90 yards and leading the Eagles to a 33-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgisbefore being replaced by rookie Dane Evans.
Hackenberg was 10 of 22 for 105 yards while finishing the game for the Jets.
Dane Evans got the Eagles within six points midway through the fourth quarter when he scrambled to his left and found a wide-open Marcus Johnson , who streaked to the end zone 41 yards untouched for a touchdown.
With the Jets trying to run out the clock, Marcus Murphy fumbled and Philadelphia recovered. Evans marched the Eagles down the field, but couldn’t connect with Bryce Treggs in the end zone in the final seconds on fourth-and-goal from the 8.
Running back Matt Forte was one of the few Jets starters to not play. He dealt with a hamstring injury for most of training camp, but is healthy and played in the previous game against the Giants. … Eagles backup quarterback Nick Folesdid not play and went through the entire preseason without seeing any game action, although coach Doug Pederson insists he’s healthy. “I’m not concerned based on what I’m getting from the medical staff and based on Nick’s feeling and the way he worked out again today, and really through this week in practice,” Pederson said. “There’s no concern.”
INJURIES: Bowles said TE Chris Gragg might have a fractured right ankle after taking a hit after a 26-yard catch with 6:49 left in the first half. He was on crutches with his lower leg heavily wrapped. … Jets LB Corey Lemonier left in the second half with a foot injury. … Eagles DE Alex McCalister, who had a sack, left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and didn’t return.
Chandler Catanzaro 28 Yd Field Goal
Caleb Sturgis 33 Yd Field Goal
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 12 Yd pass from Christian Hackenberg (Ross Martin Kick)
Ross Martin 27 Yd Field Goal
Ross Martin 22 Yd Field Goal
Marcus Johnson 41 Yd pass from Dane Evans (Caleb Sturgis Kick)
|Passing 1st downs||9||8|
|Rushing 1st downs||4||3|
|1st downs from penalties||1||0|
|3rd down efficiency||4-18||2-16|
|4th down efficiency||0-4||0-0|
|Yards per Play||3.6||3.4|
|Yards per pass||3.8||4.2|
|Yards per rush||3.2||2.6|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-2||1-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|Greg Ward Jr.||3||17||5.7||0||8||4|
|Greg Ward Jr.||1||1||0||0||0||0||0|
Doug Pederson was reflective upon the cuts he is about to make.
“The message here in the locker room tonight was that I appreciate all their effort throughout camp, and really through OTAs,” Pederson said. “I wanted them to make the decisions tough on us. And these position battles [reporters] are talking about, we want them to make them tough. Make these decisions hard. These next two days will be very important for our football team, and really, the lives of some young men we’re going to have to let go.”
The linebacker competition was made murky by fifth-round pick Nate Gerry’s absence. Gerry has been out all week with a hamstring injury. Joe Walker started at middle linebacker and is pushing for a roster spot. He had two quarterback hits.
New cornerback Dexter McDougle played for the first time in an Eagles uniform. He deflected a pass against his former team and should hope that he did enough to impress his new coaching staff in a short period to factor into the roster mix. But the slot cornerback job might already be determined, since veteran Patrick Robinson was held out with other notable reserves. Robinson appears in line to take that job.
“We feel real comfortable with him in the slot, and then the addition of McDougle,” Pederson said. “We feel comfortable there.”
Jaylen Watkins, who has alternated between safety and cornerback in his career, had a pass break-up and near-interception while starting on the outside. Watkins briefly left the game with a foot injury before returning to action. His versatility and experience in the system could work in his favor.
Get ready for Saturday Bloody Saturday when the final cuts (and other surprises) are coming your way.