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NFL Preseason Preview - N.Y. Jets (0-3) at Philadelphia (3-0)
By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor
(Sports Network) - The New York Jets are running out of time to get their floundering offense in gear for the regular season, though it appears the team will attempt to work out its problems on the practice field instead of using game conditions.
Gang Green enters Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field for Thursday's preseason finale with the Eagles yet to score a touchdown through its first three outings, becoming the first team since the 1977 Atlanta Falcons to fail to do so over such a stretch. The Jets have gone a total of 35 possessions without reaching the end zone, with the first-team offense on the field for 15 of those drives.
New York's woes didn't go away in Sunday's 17-12 home loss to Carolina, with kickers Nick Folk and the just-released Josh Brown accounting for the club's entire scoring output with a combined four field goals. The Jets also went just 4-of-15 on third-down attempts and have a woeful 22 percent (9-of-41) success rate in those situations so far in the preseason.
Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez didn't perform terribly, however, completing 11-of-18 passes for 123 yards while working into the second half. He did throw an interception, though it came on a ball that bounced off the fingers of rookie receiver Stephen Hill.
Hill did record game highs of five catches and 68 receiving yards against the Panthers. Tim Tebow continued to struggle, though, with the popular backup signal-caller making good on only 4-of-14 throws for 55 yards with an interception after taking over for Sanchez.
Tebow has completed a mere 36.1 percent (13-of-36) of his attempts for 151 yards and two picks over the first three games, essentially ending any talk of a potential quarterback controversy.
The former Heisman Trophy winner won't have a chance to improve on those numbers, as he as well as the Jets' entire starting units on both sides are slated to sit out Thursday's test to guard against any additional injuries prior to the team's Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Buffalo.
New York will also be attempting to avoid its first winless preseason since 1993 in this week's clash, while Philadelphia can go undefeated over an entire exhibition schedule for the first time since 1995 with a victory here.
The Eagles did top the Jets on two occasions last year, delivering a 24-14 win at MetLife Stadium to wrap up the 2011 preseason and routing New York by a 45-19 count in Philadelphia during Week 15 of the regular season.
The Jets had won nine straight warm-up games against the Eagles prior to last year's defeat and still own a 21-12 overall advantage in this long-played series.
Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid plans to rest the majority of his regulars as well in preparation for the Eagles' Week 1 matchup at Cleveland. Quarterback Michael Vick definitely will not play as he heals bruised ribs he sustained in the team's Aug. 20 bout at New England, though the veteran lefty is on track to be under center for the start of the regular season.
Rookie Nick Foles drew the start in Vick's steed in last Friday's game against the Browns, with the third-round draft choice continuing his impressive preseason in leading Philadelphia to a 27-10 win.
Foles went 12-of-19 for 146 yards with an interception and connected on scoring passes to tight end Brent Celek and backup running back Dion Lewis. The 23-year-old has produced six touchdowns through the air and a 112.2 quarterback rating over the three games, and may have gained an edge in his battle with holdover Mike Kafka for the No. 2 position on the depth chart.
Kafka, who served as Vick's backup last season, hasn't played the last two weeks due to a broken left hand and won't be available for Thursday's tilt. He could be in danger of losing his roster spot to journeyman Trent Edwards, who was a sharp 14-of-17 for 127 yards and a touchdown in the Cleveland game.
Reid announced on Tuesday that Foles would again start this week and play the first quarter, with Edwards taking over the rest of the way. He also formally ruled Vick, Kafka, defensive end Jason Babin (calf), safety Nate Allen (hamstring), wide receiver Riley Cooper (fractured collarbone) and reserve linebacker Casey Matthews (ankle) out for the contest.
08/28 16:10:10 ET
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