The Eagles trailed the New York Jets for the entire game on Thursday night and unfortunately, were unable to make their way to the top to finish out the preseason falling by a score of 24-18 at MetLife Stadium.
As every NFL team must make their final roster decisions by Saturday at 4 p.m., some of the players still competing for a roster spot needed this game to make their ultimate plea.
Head coach Chip Kelly, along with the rest of the Eagles' coaching staff, have a lot of tough decisions to make in the coming hours.
"It's just like anything. We have a lot of film to watch. We'll watch it on the bus ride home and then we'll meet again tomorrow morning. We've got all three phases to look at and meet as a staff so we don't have any preconceived notions before we look at it. We always have to evaluate the last game," Kelly said in a press conference following Thursday night's game.
Quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow alternated quarters throughout the game, giving both men the only opportunity they had left to prove themselves. Tebow, who completed 11-of-17 pass attempts for 189 yards, threw two touchdowns – one to wide receiver Rasheed Bailey and the other to wide receiver Freddie Martino – and an interception. Barkley, meanwhile, completed 4-of-9 passes for 45 yards with an interception.
"We're going to make the decisions when they have to be made," Kelly said. "It's not fair to the players either to say 'Hey, we stand on the sideline, I saw this, and we're going to take this guy.' We'll do a thorough film evaluation of everything and then we're going to have everything done by Saturday at 4."
In addition to connecting with Martino on the 9-yard touchdown, which featured a spectacular one-handed grab along the sideline, the two also paired up for a 45-yard completion, the longest pass of the night for either team.
"I thought he threw a nice ball. I think that was a proper read and he put it up there and gave Freddie a chance to get underneath it and make a catch," Kelly said.
Rookie free agents Raheem Mostert and Rasheed Bailey boosted their stock on Thursday. Mostert shouldered the workload at running back with 69 yards rushing and 93 yards receiving. Bailey had the first touchdown pass from Tebow, an 18-yard completion, late in the first half. The two gave a lot for Kelly and the coaches to think about.
"Everything goes into the decision. It's can't just be a one-game, you know, this is it, make or break. This isn't American Idol, this is, you get a whole compilation of time to what we're doing and we'll go back through everything we have and then try to pick the best 53," Kelly said.
Linebacker Kiko Alonso made his long-awaited debut as an Eagle for one drive where he had two tackles.
"We just wanted to get him on the field. The last time he was on the field was against the Patriots in, I think, '13 or whatever it was so just to get him out there and make some plays and obviously he did. He flashed really quickly on that first drive and then we got him out," Kelly said.
Defensive back Eric Rowe saw a lot of playing time and Kelly was impressed with his play, although he was beat in a few situations, he showed his potential, too.
"I think, just like most of those young guys, I've seen some ups and downs. I've seen him make some big-time plays and then I've seen him get beat in certain situations, but that's going to happen especially in this league where every one of your receivers is good, your quarterback is accurate," Kelly said. "I've seen up and down from Eric but I see him improving."
Pro Bowl kicker Cody Parkey rested against the Jets, but Kelly assured everyone that he had a minor groin injury and would have been playing if it was the regular season.
The #Eagles traveled to New York for their fourth and final preseason game against the Jets. View the full gallery here...