Ryan: Sanchez Still Jets' Starting QB

Despite his quarterback's struggles, the Jets' head man came to the defense of Mark Sanchez on Tuesday.

Mark Sanchez is staying put as the New York Jets' starting quarterback.

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 chatter.

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 receiverStephen 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 10-point advantage.

Sanchez had a chance to lead the Jets on a potential winning drive with 3 minutes left, but a pass toJeff 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-openAntonio 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 miscues.

''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 thatJason Hill couldn't handle.

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.''

JetsInsider.com Recommended Stories


  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next


Tweets