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Game Previews

Game Preview: Jets Vs. Vikings

The Jets take on the Vikings tonight at the Meadowlands.  Game time is 8pm EST and will be broadcast on Fox.  During the preseason you don’t worry so much about the outcome of the game.  What is more important is how the team looks.  Every team has question marks. 

For fans that are going to the game the biggest concern seems to be parking.  Don’t forget your parking pass otherwise you will be on a shuttle bus from a remote location.  For those that are watching the game on TV here are some things worth watching:

1.  Backup Running Back. Eric Mangini tells us that Thomas Jones is day to day with an ankle injury.  What that really means is that Jones will be out two weeks.  Not the end of the world, he is a veteran so getting him healthy for the regular season is more important than preseason snaps.  The Jets know they have a good backup RB in Leon Washington.  The question is who is behind him?  Cedric Houston decided he didn’t want to play football anymore and left camp.  That leaves undrafted free agents, Danny Ware and Alvin Banks.  They will both get an extended look tonight and have a chance to make their mark.

2.  Quarterback.  We all know this is Chad’s team.  Kellen Clemens really stepped up last week and had a great game.  If Kellen continues his progress the Jets will be happy with the Chad \ Kellen combination.  Who is # 3?  Brad Smith?  Brad does a lot of other things.  He is going to touch the ball as a WR, RB and possibly even on special teams.  Do they want to spread him that thin?  Marques Tuiasosopo from the Raiders is in camp.  This is his chance to stake a claim to that # 3 QB spot.  The rotation hasn’t been announced but Marques will need to make the most of whatever opportunity he receives.

3.  Defensive Line.  Last year the Jets lost the battle in the trenches consistently.  Have they improved enough to change things?  Defensive Line coach Dan Quinn was actually allowed to talk to the media this week.  He sounded pretty happy with his defensive tackles DeWayne Robertson and Sione Pouha.  Sione is 28 years old and doesn’t have a lot of experience.  He spent last year on the I.R. so this would be a good time for him to step up and show the world that he is a football player.  At 325 pounds he could be the big body they are looking for in the middle.

4.  Wide Receiver.  There is some talent at this position now.  Competing for roster spots are Wallace Wright, Chansi Stuckey and Frisman Jackson.  Coles, Cotchery, JMac and Brad Smith are already on this team (barring a trade).  This is the kind of competition that Eric Mangini loves because there are multiple right answers.  Someone who is a good football player will not make this team.  The best way to avoid that is to make some catches tonight and stand out on special teams.

5.  Bollywood.  Can the Jets defense contain Brooks Bollinger?  He returns tonight as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.  If he can’t be held in check, it could be a long season for the Jets.  Newly signed Darrelle Revis will not play for the Jets.  It shouldn’t matter since Brooks does not have an NFL caliber arm.

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