NFL Roundup

Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders makes a touchdown catch against Panthers defensive back Reggie Smith (31) in the first quarter of Thursday night's NFL preseason game at Pittsburgh.

Eagles 28, Jets 10

Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow? How about Greg McElroy.

McElroy became the first quarterback to lead the New York Jets into the end zone this preseason in a loss to Philadelphia Thursday night.

Sanchez, Tebow and most of the Jets starters didn't play in this battle between backups and guys fighting for roster spots.

Michael Vick and all of Philadelphia's starters watched from the sideline.

Trent Edwards threw for 197 yards and two TDs to help the Eagles (4-0) finish unbeaten in the preseason for the first time since 1995.

None of that will matter when the games count.

Hours before kickoff, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie basically issued a win-or-else ultimatum to coach Andy Reid.

Lurie said the team must make a "substantial improvement" for Reid to return for his 15th season next year. He added another 8-8 record would be "unacceptable."

"I don't have a level or anything like that," Lurie said. "I want to be clear about that. You try to make the best judgment you can after the season."

The Jets (0-4) became the first team in 35 years to go three preseason games without a touchdown, matching the 1977 Atlanta Falcons for offensive futility.

That drought finally ended in the second quarter when McElroy tossed a 6-yard TD pass to Terrance Ganaway. Sanchez and Tebow failed to do that in 35 possessions.

McElroy finished 12 of 17 for 90 yards and one TD. He also rushed for 33 yards.

A seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama last year, McElroy spent his rookie season on injured reserve after dislocating his right thumb while playing against Philadelphia last preseason.

McElroy was best known for his critical comment in the offseason, saying there was a "corrupt mindset" in the Jets' locker room last year. Now he can say he was the only Jets QB to produce a TD this summer.

Sanchez was 24 of 35 (68.6 percent) for 203 yards with two interceptions and six sacks. Tebow completed 36.1 percent (13 for 36) of his passes for 151 yards with two interceptions and seven sacks.

Despite Tebowmania, there's no controversy in New York. Sanchez is the clear-cut starter, but the way the Jets use Tebow will be intensely scrutinized.

McElroy guided the offense on a 14-play, 77-yard drive that consumed 8:04 to put the Jets up 7-0. He scrambled for a first down on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive going.

Eagles rookie QB Nick Foles, who all but officially won the backup job with three impressive performances, was 4 of 6 for 46 yards before giving way to Edwards.

On Edwards' first drive, Bryce Brown ran in from the 2 to tie it at 7.

Edwards threw a 31-yard TD pass to Mardy Gilyard late in the second quarter to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead.

Nick Folk kicked a 58-yard field goal as the first half expired to cut it to 14-10.

Edwards connected with Brett Brackett on a 7-yard TD pass in the fourth. Chris Polk's 3-yard TD run made it 28-10.

Edwards, a veteran and former starter in Buffalo, is competing for a roster spot with Mike Kafka, who began training camp as the backup to Vick.

The Eagles failed to live up to enormous expectations last year and needed a four-game winning streak to close out the season at .500.

"You just got to make the best decisions you can after the season," Lurie said. "As I said, 8-8 was unacceptable. Yeah, I guess, if two-thirds of the team is not playing, there's always exceptions."

Packers 24, Chiefs 3

Backup quarterback Graham Harrell finally came through with the strong preseason performance Green Bay was looking for, driving the offense for touchdowns on all three of his possessions in a victory over Kansas City.

Harrell completed 13 of 15 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns in both teams' final tuneup Thursday night.

Second-year running back Alex Green had touchdowns rushing and receiving, and Jarrett Boykin caught a touchdown for the Packers.

Defensive tackle B.J. Raji appeared to hurt his left ankle on the Packers' first defensive play, but was able to walk off the field without assistance.

Jaguars 24, Falcons 14

Kevin Elliott had a 77-yard touchdown reception, likely solidifying his spot on the regular-season roster, and Jacksonville beat Atlanta.

The teams took vastly different approaches to the game. The Jaguars played their offensive starters into the second quarter; the Falcons played just two regulars: linebacker Akeem Dent and defensive tackle Peria Jerry.

The results hardly showed that.

Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert fumbled on the opening play. Trying to pitch to Rashad Jennings, Gabbert's toss hit fullback Greg Jones in the backside. The Falcons recovered, and Jacquizz Rodgers scored on the next play. Gabbert and his fellow starters stayed in for 25 plays, but failed to score.

Titans 10, Saints 6

New Orleans Saints took no chances in their final preseason game, resting all starters in a loss to Tennessee.

The Saints now prepare to return home to storm-ravaged Louisiana and put a scandal-ridden offseason behind them.

Saints interim coach Joe Vitt scratched 26 players, including starting quarterback Drew Brees and their top three running backs and wide receivers, ensuring the team will be on solid footing as he begins a suspension for the pay-for-injury scheme by New Orleans (2-3). Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer will lead the team into its Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Washington Redskins.

New Orleans' backups largely outplayed the Titans (3-1) starters early in what was a meaningless game for just about everyone but new Tennessee starting quarterback Jake Locker.

Notes

NFL asks US judge to toss concussion lawsuits

The NFL moved Thursday to try to shut down lawsuits filed by thousands of former players who say they suffered or fear suffering permanent brain injuries from football-related concussions, calling the issue a "labor dispute" that should be resolved not by courts but by terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

The players accuse the NFL of negligence and say league officials concealed known medical links between concussions and brain injuries, leading many of them to suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or be at an increased risk of reckless or suicidal behavior.

In a motion to dismiss the suits filed late Thursday, the NFL argues that the collective bargaining agreement covers safety and health rules - while delegating to each team decisions about a player's condition and when they should return to play. And the league said the suits lack any specific proof of concealment.

"To the extent that plaintiffs have a claim addressing injuries incurred during their NFL careers, that claim may only proceed pursuant to the grievance procedures set forth in the CBAs," the motion said.

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