Strong game might not be enough to earn Ainge a roster spot

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brett Favre slung a few passes during pregame drills and called it a night. He put a green cap on and stood on the sideline, arms folded, jersey slightly untucked and safe from harm.

With Favre sitting out, fourth-string quarterback Erik Ainge led the New York Jets to a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason finale Thursday night.

Donovan McNabb also had a nice view from the bench, far away from potential danger. Kevin Kolb played the first half, guiding the Eagles to 13 points on their first three possessions.

Nearly all the starters for both teams watched this one, so the backups got extra playing time while bubble players had one final chance to impress coaches.

"We have a lot of tough decisions ahead of us with the back end of the roster, so I wanted to give those guys an opportunity and you can't do that without giving them reps," Jets coach Eric Mangini said.

Jesse Chatman had 180 total yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Jets (3-1). Hank Poteat intercepted A.J. Feeley's pass at the Jets 10 to end an Eagles' drive with 2:52 remaining.

With the score tied at 20, Eagles rookie Quintin Demps fumbled a punt. The Jets took over at Philadelphia's 17 and Ainge hit Marcus Henry for 13 yards. Chatman scored from the 2 to put the Jets ahead 27-20 with 6:26 left.

Chatman ran 29 times for 93 yards and caught six passes for 87 yards. Ainge was 10-of-16 for 131 yards and one touchdown.

A fifth-round pick from Tennessee, Ainge is trying to make the team as the No. 3 quarterback. He's probably headed for the practice squad.

"There's nothing I can do about that," he said. "I think they drafted me for a reason. I'll go watch film and wait."

Final cuts are due Saturday, so plenty of players will have an anxious couple of days.

"I saw some good things," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "Now we'll go back, evaluate the film and make cuts, but there are some guys here that really showed well for themselves, and guys that didn't."

Feeley had rallied the Eagles (2-2) for the tying score in the fourth quarter after throwing an interception the previous possession. Feeley, demoted to third-string behind Kolb and McNabb, completed a 54-yard pass to Michael Gasperson to set up a 3-yard TD pass to Bam Childress that tied it at 20 with 9:30 left.

Feeley finished 13-of-25 for 143 yards, one TD and two interceptions. Kolb was 13-of-21 for 138 yards.

"I'm ready to go," Kolb said. "I think I have progressed every game throughout the preseason. That was my goal. If I can continue to do that, then hopefully I'll have a great career here."

Favre wanted to play, but Mangini wasn't going to risk him getting hurt. The 38-year-old quarterback, who has started 253 consecutive regular-season games, will throw his next pass at Miami on Sept. 7.

Favre played in two preseason games with the Jets after ending his retirement and getting traded from Green Bay following a tumultuous offseason. The three-time MVP was 14-of-18 for 144 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.

Mangini had dinner with Favre on Wednesday night, but didn't talk much about football.

"I learned about alligators, crocodiles and wild boar," Mangini said.

Favre's backup, Kellen Clemens, alternated series with Brett Ratliff until Ainge took over for the two-minute drill at the end of the second quarter.

Ainge drove the Jets 67 yards for the go-ahead score on their first possession of the third quarter. A 39-yard catch-and-run by Chatman started the drive. Ainge then tossed a 6-yard TD pass to David Ball to give the Jets a 17-13 lead.

Ratliff threw an 11-yard TD pass to Paul Raymond to cut the deficit to 13-10 late in the first half.

The Eagles went ahead 10-0 on Lorenzo Booker's 3-yard TD run. Kolb fired a 25-yard pass to Hank Baskett on third-and-3 to keep the drive going.

McNabb, the five-time Pro Bowl QB, looked sharp in the preseason. He completed 63 percent of his passes (34-of-54) for 375 yards, two TDs and no interceptions.

The Eagles open at home against St. Louis.

Game notes
Eagles G Max Jean-Gilles left with a sprained knee in the fourth quarter. He'll have an MRI on Friday. ... Clemens was 3-of-8 for 18 yards, while Ratliff was 3-of-4 for 48 yards. ... Eagles FB Tony Hunt was the only potential starter in the lineup. Hunt, a third-round pick last year, is still adjusting to his new position after moving from halfback.

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