Despite struggling again in a
23-17 loss to the Houston Texans, Sanchez is still Rex Ryan's guy — despite many fans and media suggesting a switch to Tim Tebow could help
the Jets (2-3) get back on track.
"Yeah, no question," the Jets coach said Tuesday without hesitation when asked if Sanchez remains the team's starter.
Sanchez has completed less than
50 percent of his passes in four straight games, and his 48.4 completion
percentage ranks last in the NFL. He also has an unsightly 66.6
quarterback rating, which is 31st in the league — ahead of only Kansas
City's Matt Cassel (66.2) and Cleveland rookie Brandon Weeden (64.5).
Ryan wouldn't speculate on
whether he might pull Sanchez for Tebow if the starter continues to
struggle and the Jets' two-game losing streak increases.
"I'm not going to get into the
what-ifs and all that," Ryan said. "We're not preparing to lose, that's
for sure. We're thinking we're going to win, starting this week."
New York is home again Sunday
against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, who stunned the Green
Bay Packers 30-27. Another loss could really ramp up the Tebow Time
Ryan thought Sanchez "played
pretty good" Monday night, especially considering that he was without
top receiver Santonio Holmes, out for the season with a foot injury,
rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill and tight end Dustin Keller — both out
with hamstring injuries. The Jets coach cited three dropped passes and
four tips as skewing Sanchez's final stats: 14 of 31 for 230 yards, a
touchdown and two interceptions.
"I thought he was accurate with the football," Ryan said.
But, he also had some poorly
timed mishaps. With the Jets trailing 14-7 and driving before halftime,
Sanchez had a pass tipped by J.J. Watt that went off Jeremy Kerley to
Brice McCain, who ran back the interception 86 yards before Kerley
caught him at the New York 9. Houston then kicked a field goal to take a
Sanchez had a chance to lead the
Jets on a potential winning drive with 3 minutes left, but a pass to
Jeff Cumberland tipped off the tight end's hands and right to Texans
cornerback Kareem Jackson to end the comeback bid.
Sanchez also missed a shot at a
big gain in the second quarter when he found a wide-open Antonio
Cromartie, but his throw caused the cornerback, playing a few snaps at
wide receiver, to drift as he caught it out of bounds.
"We had Cromartie beat his guy,
about 3 or 4 yards behind a guy," Ryan said. "That's probably one throw
we wish, Mark wishes that he had back."
The tipped passes at the line of
scrimmage are cause for concern, and Ryan said the Jets need to do
something "to maybe help him" during practice to prevent those types of
"It's really too bad," Sanchez
said after the game. "That happened quite a bit tonight, so we've got to
find a way to keep the defensive linemen's hands down."
Meanwhile, Tebow had a few
moments in which he sparked the offense – but they were again few and
far between. He ran for a first down on a fake punt, got the crowd fired
up when he ran for 13 yards for a first down in the fourth quarter and
nearly completed a nicely thrown deep pass that Jason Hill couldn't
Other than that, Tebow's time
was mostly spent on the sideline trying to keep himself mentally in the
game. In a game in which many expected to see the popular backup in
bunches, Tebow ended up playing just seven offensive snaps.
"I just want to be ready when my
number is called and however I can help this team," said Tebow, who has
repeated that line all season. "When I'm out there, I'm going to give
my heart and soul on every single play."
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