The New York Jets still haven’t decided upon a starting quarterback for Week One of the 2013 NFL season. Even though the club is set to play its fourth and final exhibition game on Thursday night, they won’t be any closer to naming their No.1 signal caller.
New York will host Philadelphia, but the two men competing for the starting job won’t suit up. Mark Sanchez, who’s started for the club since 2009, injured his shoulder last week against the New York Giants. Sanchez took a hit in the fourth quarter, while playing behind second and third-string offensive lineman, and might not even be ready for the team’s opener on Sept.8.
Despite Sanchez’s struggles, he’s the leader to win the job if he’s healthy. Second-round pick Geno Smith hasn’t looked like he’s ready to be an NFL starter. His inexperience was highlighted against the Giants when he played most of the game. The rookie from West Virginia completed just over 50 percent of his passes, threw three interceptions and ran out of the back of the end zone for a safety. He won’t have a chance to redeem himself in the final preseason game with the Jets decision to keep him off the field. They don’t want to risk further injury to Smith, considering he hurt his ankle in the first preseason game.
Backup Matt Simms will get the start for New York. He’s performed well in 2013, completing 11 of his 15 attempts for 203 yards and a touchdown. He might be able to take the No.3 quarterback spot from Greg McElroy, who has a knee injury. McElroy started one game last year, in place of a struggling Sanchez.
The Eagles began training camp with a quarterback competition, but no longer have questions like the Jets. First-year head coach Chip Kelly has named Michael Vick the starter over Nick Floes. Vick, who is injury prone, will sit against New York. Foles and Matt Barkley will play much of the way. They’ll take snaps behind backup offensive linemen, since all five starters will sit, as well.
Both teams enter the contest at 2-1 in the preseason. Philadelphia has been dominant offensively, averaging 435 yards per game, ranking them second in the NFL. New York has allowed 20 points per game, playing with seven new starters from a year ago.
The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium. Viewers can watch a live stream online with a subscription to NFL Preseason Live.
Even though the Jets are at home and Vick will not suit up, starting such an inexperienced quarterback has made the Eagles favorites. They are giving the Jets four points, according to most Las Vegas casinos.