Game Preview: Eagles vs. Jets

The Eagles prepare to take on the New York Jets at home in their final preseason game of 2008. Details inside.

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TV/Radio: 6ABC; WIP-AM (610); WYSP-FM (94.1)

Starters to see limited time

With the regular season getting closer and closer, expect head coach Andy Reid to hold back most of his starters for this year's preseason finale. The first-team offense will likely play only the first series so that the coaching staff can evaluate the rest of the roster in preparation of trimming it down to the 53-man limit.

New York will approach the game in the same manner, so fans should not expect to see much of Brett Favre since both coaches are concerned more about setting their final roster than winning a meaningless game.

Keep an eye in the backfield

Even though the Eagles' reserves will see most of the action in tonight's game, one position to watch is the fullback spot, where the team has yet to decide on a starter for opening day.

Tony Hunt will get the start tonight and have another chance to show that he can make the transition from halfback to fullback, but the Eagles still want to see if Jason Davis or Jed Collins can be the answer. A big performance by any of these three could land them a spot on the regular season roster.

Battle at defensive end

Another position battle to keep an eye on will be at defensive end, a spot where the Eagles might have to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks.

Jerome McDougle and Darren Howard seem to be the top candidates to battle for the final roster spot on the defensive line, and both have exceeded people's expectations since arriving at training camp this year. Howard probably has the edge right now because he can play on the interior as well as the outside, but McDougle leads the team in sacks during the preseason and was a former first-round pick.

More defensive end news

Even though the team wants him to play linebacker if he makes the cut, rookie Andrew Studebaker will see action at defensive end in nickel and dime packages tonight. The Eagles drafted Studebaker in the sixth-round this year out of Wheaton College and hope he can bring his pass rushing skills to the next level.

To compensate for the fact that he played for a small Division III college and received very little exposure, Studebaker drew attention from teams before the draft by making a YouTube video full of personal highlights and workouts.

The injury front

Although they probably wouldn't play much tonight anyway, the Eagles will be missing some key players in tonight's game because of injuries.

Receivers Kevin Curtis (sports hernia), Reggie Brown (hamstring), and safety Brian Dawkins (ankle) will all be on the sideline as they try to get healthy for the regular season.

Andrew Pluta can be reached at

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