The third game each summer is a time for the top half of each NFL team's roster. The fourth preseason game, on the other hand, is for the bottom half of the roster. Who will stick on the "final 53" roster a few days down the road? Who will be looking for a taxi to the airport and for a new team?
The Jets outlasted the Eagles, 6-0, on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium for the fifth shutout in their preseason history and in the lowest-scoring preseason game in franchise history. And while some second- and third-teamers such as rookie LB Blake Cashman, rookie DL Kyle Phillips and veteran WR Josh Bellamy improved their chances of staying around, the jury remains out on No. 3 QB candidates Luke Falk and Davis Webb and kicker Taylor Bertolet.
Here are three observations from the Jets' 10th win in their last 11 preseason home games against their similarly green-clad friends from down I-95:
1. Did a No. 3 QB Emerge?
That's hard to say since the Jets hit most of their throws in a short-passing game vs. Philly. Falk, who came on first after Trevor Siemian, completed 13 of 18 for 91 yards and a short drive to Bertolet's first field goal. Then it was Webb's turn and he hit eight of his first nine passes for 79 yards and the Jets' longest yardage drive of the game, 11 plays for 63 yards to Bertolet's second FG. Webb looked better than he had, until he threw his second interception of the night, backpedaling with 4:54 to play, with LB Chris Worley grabbing the errant throw and returning to the Jets 36. Still, he finished 18-of-23 for 176 yards.
See Best Images of Week 4 During the Preseason
2. Cashman Is Money
Rookie Cashman got the start at LB for the Jets defense and looked the part, especially on his four first-half tackles. Tackle No. 1 was for a 5-yard loss on a dumpoff pass by the Eagles. No. 2 was a hard hit for a yard loss on RB Wendell Smallwood and a forced fumble that LB Frankie Luvu scooped up and returned 24 yards. No. 3 was another hard hit, this one on Boston Scott on a kickoff return. Then Cashman sealed the 3-and-out drive with a drop of TE Joshua Perkins for a 3-yard reception on third-and-6. Cashman combined with rookie DL Phillips' two sacks of Philly rookie QB Clayton Thorson to star for the Jets' second defense.
3. Wither Taylor?
This could've been the game where Bertolet secured the foundation he erected on last week's two long field goals, from 48 and a franchise-home-record 56 yards. Bertolet did hit from 23 and 39 yards but alternated them with a trio of long misses. The first two were from 53 yards in the first quarter and from 56 again in the second. Then he came on for a 44-yarder early in the fourth, which turned into a 49-yarder when a Jets player was late reporting, which turned into a 49-yard try wide left. It's tough to fault a kicker for 49-plus fades, but combined with two extra point misses in Game 2 at Atlanta, it's hard to determine what the Jets brain trust will be thinking about their kicking situation as they head toward final cuts.