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What to Watch Tonight

The new Jets stadium opens on Monday Night Football.
The new Jets stadium opens on Monday Night Football.

I'm on the record that I don't think preseason games are all that useful to judge players. See the numbers Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge put up the last two years. Teams keep things vanilla to avoid giving regular season opponents tape on schemes. I don't expect this game to tell us a whole lot, but here's what I'm watching for what it's worth.

Sanchez's Decision Making: Mark Sanchez will not face many confusing looks or disguised coverages. I do want to see whether he is making good decisions with the football, though, particularly in the face of a stiff pass rush. The Jets are going to expect more out of him this season. How much the passing game improves will be determined in no small part with how Sanchez protects the football. Can he continue making smart throws like he did at the end of last year? Our questions will not be answered tonight, but it is a first look.

Left Guard Competition: There has not been much talk out of Cortland regarding the competition between Vladimir Ducasse and Matt Slauson to start at left guard. I'm not sure how important this game will be. I'm sure what happens in practice will be at least as important, but this will be our first chance to see where both are at and whether either can do a good job replacing Alan Faneca. How do they look pulling?

Fullback Competition: Take a close look at running plays to see how Tony Richardson and John Conner do.

Wilson the Return Man: The Jets did not get much out of their punt return game last year. This was one of the areas where they quietly upgraded in the offseason. Wilson had a fantastic track record at Boise State. I'm looking forward to getting a look at him.'

Holmes' Debut: A lot of big name Jets will appear in green and white for the first time, but I want to see how comfortable Santonio Holmes is with the system and what kind of chemistry he and Mark Sanchez have.