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TOP NEWS
MARK SANCHEZ, STARTER AGAINST JAGUARS
Fri, 07 Dec 2012 01:30 AM EST

Rex Ryan is sticking with Mark Sanchez as the New York Jets’ starting quarterback.

The team announced that Sanchez, benched last Sunday against Arizona, will get the start this week over Greg McElroy and Tim Tebow when the N.Y Jets play the Jaguars at Jacksonville.

Sanchez was pulled late in 3rd quarter, and McElroy came in and led the Jets to the only touchdown of the game on his 1st NFL drive and helped New York to a 7-6 victory. Sanchez was 10 of 21 for 97 and 3 interceptions, while McElroy was 5 of 7 for 29 yards and the score, and seemed to spark the team.

Ryan, who was scheduled to talk later Wednesday, claimed that he needed ”a little more time” to talk with his staff before making the decision for this week. It was maybe the biggest call in Ryan’s nearly 4 years as coach of the New York Jets, considering the sensitivity of the situation and the possible ramifications.

Sanchez, whose confidence was shaken with Sunday’s miserable performance, gets a chance to bounce back from the 1st benching of his NFL career and to get back the trust of his teammates. He has struggled the last several weeks, with 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in his last 4 games. He’ll likely be on a short leash against Jacksonville – with McElroy possibly good to go.

It’s doubtful if Tebow will be active against his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars after sustaining 2 broken ribs. He was medically cleared by team doctors to play, but Ryan chose to keep him active but not play against New England on Thanksgiving night and then made him inactive against Cardinals. Baseball spreads

If Ryan went with McElroy, a 7th-round pick in 2011 out of Alabama, it would’ve been a clear message the franchise is moving on from Sanchez.

Nonetheless money might have played a part, too, with Sanchez owed $8.25 million next year in guarantees. The Jets are likely stuck with Sanchez and his deal, so they need to see whether he will be able to rebound. If he is unable to, it is going to be an intriguing offseason for New York, especially since Tebow has not played much since being acquired from Denver in March and may not be back next year.

It didn’t seem that Tebow was much of a factor in Ryan’s call. Ryan announced all 3 quarterbacks would be in the mix, but didn’t want to speculate regarding whether he would have pulled Sanchez in favor of Tebow last Sunday if he were active.

Tebow was expected to have a major role in the offense, but instead has been just a spare part averaging about 7 offensive snaps per game. He’s been listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, but if the Jets turned to McElroy, it might have meant the No. 3 guy leapfrogged Tebow to start for the New York Jets.

Though Ryan stated that it wouldn’t factor into his decision, the fact the team is playing on the road for the next 2 games should also help Sanchez.


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