Originally posted on One Jet At A Time  |  Last updated 8/24/13
The third annual MetLife Bowl will take place tonight, as the Jets hope to regain the Snoopy Trophy, after a 23-3 loss last preseason.  The story lines could end, appetizingly, with just the battle of New York. However, the game will have a lot more meaning for Gang Green than just a rivalry.  Geno's job to win or lose Whether you're a glass half empty or half full kind of person, Geno Smith can earn the Week 1 starting nod with a reasonably successful performance in tonight's affair.  Does he need a mistake-free game? I don't believe that's the case. But if he can show the coaching staff that he's somewhere near Mark Sanchez's level, or better, it's hard to imagine they do not roll with the rookie with upside.  Instead of just predicting a worthy stat-line, I'll look to last night's performance by Terrelle Prior, of the Oakland Raiders. Prior impressed many with his play against the Chicago Bears's second-team defense, making a push against QB Matt Flynn. Prior finished the night 7 for 9, for 93 yards and 1 TD. He also rushed for 37 yards on 4 carries. If Smith can have a game somewhere-and-around that (taking into account that he'll play with/against starters), he's the man for the job.  More after the jump... The Ole' RB Depth Chart Currently running back Bilal Powell leads the charge, while Chris Ivory has yet to prove his worth as a number one back. Injuries will do that to a player, so I'm curious to see how much playing time Ivory receives, and if he has any kind of impact, as opposed to last week.  Joe McKnight remains numero thres, for no reason, in my honest opinion. He has become nothing more than a media play-thing, and it's hard to imagine a scenario where McKnight 1) has an impact in 2013 or 2) even stays on the roster if Goodson returns from the shadows. Goodson still remains a wildcard, although GM John Idzik and company remain confident that they'll be seeing Goodson, sometime in the near future.  So, with McKnight's lack-luster-ness, keep an eye on whoever is on the field, come Q4. They might just lock themselves up a roster spot with a strong performance. I'd hope for RB Kahlil Bell to rise-up, although he posted some depressed tweets last night, so I wonder if he's on the way out. Braylon's last song? The 30-year old WR may be on the last legs of his career. Last week, Edwards played exclusively with back-ups, although he did grab a few nice receptions from a long-playing Sanchez.  With the youth movement, created by Idzik through guys like Ryan Spadola and Zach Rogers, and the return of Santonio Holmes to the active roster, it may take spectacular play from Braylon to save his job. If defense is to be Top-5 or better this season... ...CB Dee Milliner's growing pains cannot be too costly. As Cromartie will scare opposing QBs from one side of the field, Milliner will be facing a lot attention. That's where the play of the safeties, in Dawan Landry and whoever's beside him, will come in. Milliner will need back-end help as he develops, so keep a careful eye on Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, and Jaicquan Jarrett tonight.  ...Pash-Rush will need to exist. No, not just on 3rd down when the blitz is called for. With OLB/DE Quinton Coples sidelined, this'll be prime time for Antawn Barnes and his compadres to shine. If you see Eli Manning on the dirt—at all—make sure to take note of the jersey number that provided the hit.  The Game Plan OC Marty Mornhinweg's history shows that he knows how to run an offense, but the Jets have yet to really open up the playbook. Mind you, this is preseason. I want to know what kind of position that Mornhinweg wants to put Geno Smith in—does he let Smith loose, to show the upside, or play very conservative to avoid mistakes?  If former Seattle front officeman John Idzik has any say, Geno is probably brought into the offense very slow, regardless if he starts Week 1 or not. See: Russell Wilson The same goes for Mark Sanchez. Will he just be allowed to air-it-out, in the hopes of seeing a new Mark? We'll start getting some of the answers, 7:00pm ET tonight.
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