With the bright lights of MetLife Stadium and thousands of eyes from the New York Jets' faithful focused on him, Matt Simms emphatically answered one question surrounding the team's quarterback troubles. Despite the Week 1 starter and back-up being mired in question marks, Simms proved that he deserved to be the third-stringer on the depth chart as he led Gang Green to a 27-20 victory Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Simms, son of legendary Giants quarterback Phil Simms, showed that he could add to legacy of his name as he led the team on four scoring drives. He finished 33 of 44 for 285 yards while playing almost the entire game; newly signed Graham Harrell took a knee to end it.
"It was great," said Simms with a wide grin. "To go out there and play like that, it's just tremendous. Your dream finally comes true."
Simms hopes to make the final 53-man roster as a third string quarterback. His chances increased with his performance against the Eagles, and many expect him to make the team as long as Geno Smith is slated to start come week one. Smith, who did not play at all in the final preseason game, is rumored to be the starter for the opening tilt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Mark Sanchez still feeling the ill-effects from his injured shoulder sustained in the preseason and Greg McElroy out with a banged up knee, Simms remains the only worthwhile option to be the backup to Smith. If the former West Virginia star wants to remain on the field, he cannot throw another three interceptions like he did against the New York Giants. A performance mimicking that would only leave the door open for Simms to replace him on the field. "I laid it all out on the line and we'll see where that takes me," said Simms. "I just know that I went out there and played as hard as I could." Simms gave credit for his performance to Marty Mornhinweg who gave the young quarterback the necessary skills and confidence that he needed to perform well. "The best thing Marty has done for me is he's put me in a good position to be successful and show off my talent," spoke Simms. "All the coaches have done a great job of just pushing me along with this offense and make sure I continue to learn and improve every day." With the season now just a week away, Simms hopes to see his name on the quarterback list come final round of cuts Saturday evening. However, even if he is left off the roster, it is clear that the New Jersey native has the skills to play backup to another quarterback in the NFL.