The third week of the NFL preseason is considered to be the dress rehearsal for the regular season with starters playing into the second half before essentially taking the final preseason game off. With that in mind, many quarterback competitions are decided before the third week so the team can move forward. Injuries and ineffectiveness have prevented that from happening in a few cases this year and the quarterback competitions rage on.
Here's a closer look at where things stand heading into Week 3 of the preseason.
New York Jets: Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith still battling
With Geno Smith sitting out the second preseason game due to an ankle injury, Mark Sanchez had a golden opportunity to secure the starting job. He did some positive things, but still had many of the same issues that have plagued him throughout his career. Via Gang Green Nation:
He is a poor QB, we all knew that coming into this game, in fact we knew that a long time ago. His mentality looks weak, he has problems on the simplest of throws, he still doubts himself to the point that it is detrimental to the team and he still doesn't learn from his own mistakes, regardless of how many times it happens.
Rex Ryan said the team is going to "let this thing work out" through the week as the battle continues. From the outside, it appears Ryan prefers Sanchez while general manager John Idzik prefers Smith. Regardless of who starts Week 1, if neither quarterback pulls away, this could be an ongoing situation throughout the season.
Buffalo Bills: E.J. Manuel's injury complicates things
E.J. Manuel was well on his way to winning Buffalo's quarterback competition before a knee injury threw a wrench into the situation. Manuel is expected to miss the rest of the preseason and Bills head coach Doug Marrone said the team will be able to settle on a Week 1 starter when Manuel resumes practicing.
Kevin Kolb played the majority of the second preseason game, but he's not a lock to start even if Manuel isn't able to return for the season opener. Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel has had a strong camp and could also be in the mix.
"I think if you go back and you look in the beginning, I said ‘Hey I really like this kid we took from Washington State who's really done a good job," Marrone said, via Bills.com. "I think that we've seen that he's gone in there and he's really done a nice job. At the end of the day, do I really want to say he's in competition with that? Obviously I do because I want all of our players, not just Jeff, to understand that no matter where they may stand on the depth chart, they're fighting for the position to be a starter."
Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert named the starter
After a strong performance in Week 2 of the preseason, Jacksonville announced Blaine Gabbert as its starting quarterback. Gabbert secured the starting job over Chad Henne, despite a finger injury which will cause him to miss the rest of the preseason.
Henne will get plenty of reps in the rest of the preseason, but it's still Gabbert's job assuming he is healthy enough to start. The 23-year-old Gabbert could be on a long leash as the Jaguars determine if he's in their future plans.
Philadelphia Eagles: Chip Kelly stays mum
Having played well early, some have assumed Michael Vick is on his way to earning the starting job. However, Chip Kelly said he will wait to name a starter. Both Vick and Nick Foles have shined during the preseason. Vick has been especially effective, completing 13-of-15 passes for 199 yards in two games.
This battle may continue longer than most because unlike other coaches, Kelly isn't concerned with using the third game as a dress rehearsal. Kelly had multiple quarterback competitions while at Oregon and waited until the week before the game to name a starter in every instance.
Oakland Raiders: Matt Flynn continues to lead
Some Raiders fans are enamored with Terrelle Pryor's potential and the third-year man has improved this season, but Matt Flynn is still atop the depth chart in Oakland. The Raiders' offensive line didn't give Flynn much time to throw against New Orleans and he was sacked five times. When he did have time, however, he was effective, completing 12-of-16 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Pryor completed 1-of-5 passes for nine yards.