It's common for teams to sit their starters in the final preseason game of the year, and let the backups duke it out for roster spots. The Eagles and Jets did just that on Thursday night, deactivating most of their starters and benching the rest of them.
Philadelphia let second string QB Nick Foles take the reins in the first quarter, and his strong play continued. Rookie RB Bryce Brown carried most of the load on the first drive, showing a good combination of size and speed while on the field. The drive would stall, but the Eagles best scoring chance came when Foles found WR Mardy Gilyard who beat the defending cornerback, only to have it drop out of his hands. Foles would only play the First Quarter, going 4/6 for 60 yards.
Both teams would go scoreless in the First Quarter, with S Jaiquawn Jarrett and LB Ryan Rau making strong impressions on the Eagles defense. The Jets would put the first points up on the board, thanks to RB Joe McKnight and QB Greg McElroy. McKnight ran for 34 yards on the drive, and McElroy connected with RB Terrance Ganaway on a 6 yard TD pass. It was New York's first Touchdown of the entire preseason.
It would be the Trent Edwards show from the Second Quarter on. He developed a fantastic drive his first time on the field, connecting with Chad Hall twice for gains of 35 yards. He showed incredible poise in the pocket, finding more than one target, and exposing holes in the Jets Defense. Edwards may have done all the hard work, but it would be Bryce Brown that finished the drive, breaking to the outside and scoring on a two yard TD touchdown run, making it 7-7.
After the Jets couldn't move the ball upfield, Edwards inherited the ball on the Eagles 46 yard line, and made quick work. He connected with Chad Hall, Mardy Gilyard and Damaris Johnson on three separate plays, and then hooked up with Gilyard again on a 31 yard TD, giving Philadelphia a 14-7 lead.
Just before halftime, the Jets made it only to the Eagles 40 yard line, but Nick Folk came through. He nailed a 58 yard FG with room to spare, and sent the Jets into the half only down 14-10.
It was a rough 3rd Quarter for both teams, with neither McElroy or Edwards able to sustain a drive. Philadelphia's Defensive Line continued to give McElroy fits, and LBs Keenan Clayton and Brian Rolle disrupted the short passing game.
Chris Polk, who was on the bubble for a roster spot, ran for 26 yards on the drive, and his ability to keep the drive alive led to Trent Edwards finding TE Brett Brackett on a 7 yard TD pass. Polk would continue to work late into the 4th Quarter, bruising his way through defenders and cashing in on a 3 yard TD run, making it 28-10 Eagles.
The score would end that way, and Philadelphia went undefeated in the Preseason.
Trent Edwards almost certainly solidifed a roster spot after Thursday's victory, going 22/32 for 197 yards and 2 TDs. His coutnerpart, Greg McElroy, would throw for just 90 yards on 12/17 passing. After a strong performance from Chris Polk, the battle for the 3rd Running Back position is certainly up in the air. Polk rushed for 61 yards on 14 carries, an average of 4.4 yards. Brown would run for only 20 yards on 9 carries. Mardy Gilyard may have won a roster spot with his performance tonight, with 5 catches for 71 yards and 1 TD.
Roster cuts are to be done by Friday night, and jobs were certainly won and lost against the Jets.
Jake Pavorsky is a contributor for Eagledelphia. You can follow him on Twitter @JakePavorsky.