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NFL Preseason Preview - NY Jets (2-1) at Philadelphia (1-2)
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - Thursday's final preseason game between the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles had a chance to be more compelling than your average exhibition finale.
With ex-Eagles starter Michael Vick set to back up Geno Smith with the Jets and former New York starter Mark Sanchez getting ready to serve as Nick Foles' caddy in Philly, things could have gotten interesting.
But, Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly pulled the plug on any of that by saying he would sit both Foles and Sanchez in favor of third-stringer Matt Barkley. Vick, meanwhile, will start for the Jets but don't blink.
"Vick will start at quarterback, but don't expect him to play long," Jets coach Rex Ryan said.
New York is trying to finish with its head above water in the preseason and build on the solid performances of Smith, who has completed 23-of-33 passes (69.7 percent) for 268 yards with one touchdown, and has also rushed for another score.
After the second-year player's performance in a setback to the Giants last week, in which he completed 9-of-14 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown with a 120.2 passer rating, Smith was officially named the starter for the regular season by Ryan.
"He's done everything that we've asked," Ryan said.
"It's a big deal," Smith added. "But nothing's going to change for me. I think I did some good things, but I've got work to do."
For the Eagles, Foles led the team to three first-half scores last week in a 31-21 win over Pittsburgh.
The Pro-Bowl quarterback enters the 2014 regular season looking to build on last season's breakout performance in which he led the NFL with a 119.2 passer rating, the third-highest single-season mark in NFL history.
"I feel like we're improving every week," Foles said of his team. "We have to keep moving forward."
08/27 14:48:40 ET