It’s almost “Tebow Time” in New York.
After another embarrassing performance on Sunday, it’s only a matter of time before Mark Sanchez gets replaced by Tim Tebow. The Jets quarterback went 28-for-54 for 283 yards and an interception in New York’s 30-9 Week 8 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The defeat drops the Jets to 3-5 and sole possession of last place in the AFC East. With the team’s playoff hopes quickly fading, Rex Ryan will soon have no choice but to replace the team’s former No.1 draft pick.
Tebow may not be the answer. New York traded for him to use him in different packages, not to be their starter. However, Sanchez has proven that he can’t get the job done.
Through eight games, Sanchez has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. His 72.8 quarterback rating is 30th in the league, just ahead of Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel. He’s taken 18 sacks, in part because of a poor offensive line, but also because of his lack of awareness in the pocket. Sanchez has also left too many points on the board, leading the league with three red zone interceptions.
At Sunday’s post game press conference, Sanchez didn’t express much concern over his poor play.
“There’s a lot of positive guys in our locker room, so we just have to keep believing in it, weather the storm, literally and figuratively, these next few days and weeks,” said Sanchez. “Just stay positive, really stay positive, get away for this bye week, see your family, see your loved ones, take care of your body and come back with a great attitude, a positive attitude and a winning attitude. We’ll knock this thing out one game at a time, position ourselves back.”
Despite Sanchez’s numbers, Ryan insisted that Sanchez is still the team’s starter.
“I believe in all of our players, and I believe in Mark,” said the head coach. “I think Mark has proven that he can win in this league. I think he gives us our best chance to win. That’s my opinion and that’s the one that matters.”
Ryan and the organization don’t want to give up on Sanchez. They traded up in the 2009 draft to acquire him, and signed him to a contract extension in the offseason. If Sanchez doesn’t improve, though, they will have no choice but to give Tebow a shot.
Tebow has a lot of doubters. His 46.5 completion percentage from a year ago is not good enough for an NFL starter, but he did lead the Denver Broncos to a division title and a postseason win.
While he’s been used sparingly in the wildcat formation, Tebow hasn’t gotten much playing time with the Jets. He’s thrown just three passes in 2012, even though Ryan once said that he could play up to 20 snaps per game.
With New York’s offensive struggles, Ryan said Tebow will get an increased role, moving forward. If the Jets keep losing, his role will become much bigger than the head coach ever intended.
The Jets have a bye in Week 9 and visit Seattle on Nov. 11.