Once again, the Jets did not fail to stir up a few cauldrons during the offseason. The usual "we're going to be Super Bowl champions this year; this is definitely the year" didn't come from Rex Ryan's mouth this time. Instead, the Jets decided to create a lot of controversy in a different way.
We acquired Tim Tebow.
Yes, once Peyton Manning went over to the Broncos after the Colts kicked him to the curb, Tebow was bound to be traded to a team that wanted some media hype. Of course the Jets targeted him. We've been the drama queens for a few years now. However, should you have told me that the Jets were going to have Tebow in 2012 last year, I would've laughed right at you to your face and then performed a ritual to be sure that never happened. But it did.
Ever since we got him, our organization is absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure that Sanchez is our starter. Tebow is simply going to be a role player that will have a specific package catered to him similar to the Wildcat. Tony Sparano, who is credited with bringing the Wildcat into the NFL, will be designing it. Hopefully that'll work out, but it won't stop the imagining plenty of journalists and insiders are bound to do.
Speculation has been off the charts since day one, with some analysts believing that Tebow will oust Sanchez from the starting role by the end of the season. Hell, I caught a show of First Take on ESPN with Skip Bayless saying that Tebow would be the Jets starting quarterback by midseason. All I was thinking when hearing this was that he couldn't possibly be serious.
Okay, Tebow can be clutch. I'll give you that, since I've seen him do it firsthand to the Jets last November. But, if you look at their stats, Tebow doesn't compare to Sanchez that well. Sanchez is more well-rounded than Tebow, plain and simple. Saying that Sanchez has had a year longer and more of an opportunity is a fair thing to say, but just look at what we're dealing with regardless.
Sanchez has gone 31-22 at the helm of the Jets, with a 4-2 record in the playoffs that got them to back-to-back AFC Championship games. Tebow's body of work is smaller, but still relevant. In his two NFL seasons, he has a record of 8-6 as a starting quarterback. He also lost his last four regular season games and backed into the playoffs. His postseason record is 1-1, thanks to a "Tebow Miracle" against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In terms of wins and losses, it's clear that Mark Sanchez is the better quarterback. In terms of statistics, the argument is even stronger in Sanchez's favor.
Last season Sanchez was said to have regressed, and that's true. He passed for about 3,500 yards and threw 26 touchdowns. Those numbers aren't too bad for a third-year quarterback who lacked a consistent running game, offensive line and go-to receiver. It's true that he had too many turnovers, but Brett Favre is the all-time leader in career interceptions. He is also a first ballot Hall of Famer, so it can be subjected to a trade off.
Tebow finished his season with different numbers. He passed for a 1,729 yards, 12 passing touchdowns and six rushing. He also had a completion percentage of under 50 percent and threw six interceptions.
That is just not good enough to consistently win games in the NFL.
The early reviews from Jets OTAs only add to the argument is Sanchez's favor. The coverage of those workouts had the reporters booming that Sanchez was sharp while Tebow struggled. Sanchez threw a long touchdown pass while Tebow threw back to back picks. If anything, it cemented the idea that Tebow was going to be the back up. He would get a package designed for him, and that would be his only time to shine.
All us Jets fan can hope for is that the addition of Tebow doesn't send the Jets into a quarterback disarray, but rather it motivates Sanchez to live up to his potential with number 15 waiting for his shot. I might not like Tebow, but I know New York Jets fans. If Sanchez does a great deal of screwing up during the season, the hums of Tebow starting could grow louder and louder. Skip Bayless could very well be right, and we might see Tebow starting for the very team he worked his "magic" on just a year earlier.