By Tyson Rauch
On Friday night the New York Jets take on the Washington Redskins at the new Meadowlands stadium (7pm EST). This is the third game of the preseason which usually serves as a dress rehearsal for the regular season opener, with the starters playing at least 3 quarters of the game. Here are some players and situations to keep an eye on during the game.
1) No McNabb- Earlier this week the Redskins announced that their starting quarterback Donovan McNabb will not play in this game, which hurts the Jets in terms of defensive preparation. Rex Grossman is slated to start for Washington, a player the Jets defense should be able to rattle.
2) Play of Mark Sanchez- Lost in all of the hype of Hard Knocks and the Darrelle Revis holdout is the fact that Mark Sanchez has been somewhat inconsistent in camp. The excuses have been plentiful from getting rid of the rust, to working on chemistry, to the lack of game planning. On Friday night Sanchez has to put together some drives and show that he can move the chains with this offense.
3) Offensive line play- The Jets are trying to incorporate a new starter at the left guard position to replace Alan Faneca. It appears that Matt Slauson has the edge to be the starter, but rookie Vlad Ducasse reportedly still has a shot. Regardless of whom is named the starter, the offensive line as a whole has to show that they can dominate the line of scrimmage. Whether it is in pass protection or establishing the run game, it is time to start showing some cohesiveness.
4) Secondary play- The Darrelle Revis contract holdout continues therefore the Jets need to continue developing their contingency plans in the secondary. The spotlight will be on players like Dwight Lowery, Drew Coleman, and Kyle Wilson who will be asked to take on bigger roles.
5) Vernon Gholston- VG showed some signs of life last week for probably the first time in his Jets career. Can Vernon continue his progress and become a threat in this defense?
6) Performance of the “bubble” players- It is put up or shut up time for several players on the Jets as the first player cutdown is on Tuesday. Most of the players need to shine on special teams in order to make the roster, so it will be interesting to see who lays it on the line. Some players to keep an eye on: Danny Woodhead, David Clowney, Chauncey Washington, and Larry Taylor.
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