Tim Tebow watches as Mark Sanchez, Jets’ offense struggles


All fired up with nowhere to go. (Ray Stubblebine / Reuters)

Mark Sanchez received the lion’s share of snaps at quarterback for the New York Jets in Monday night’s 23-17 loss to Houston while Tim Tebow continued to see limited work.

Sanchez also received the lion’s share of the boos that cascaded down from the stands at MetLife Stadium after two more interceptions, a number of poorly thrown balls and a few untimely sacks.

Two of the biggest roars from the home crowd resulted from a pair of Tebow first down runs. The first was a successful fake punt that extended a drive, the second a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter that gave the Jets first-and-goal on the 3-yard line.

Both times the Jets went back to Sanchez, and both times the team’s starting quarterback failed to produce a touchdown.

“I was excited for the opportunity I got with those two plays,” Tebow said (via ESPN New York) of the 13-yard run and his ensuing carry, which went for no gain. “Should have punched it in when I had the chance.”

Mark Sanchez couldn’t escape the grasp or avoid the arms of Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (Julio Cortez / AP)

Tebow did his best to give the Jets a chance in his limited touches. For the second straight week he attempted one pass – this one a deep ball down the middle of the field to Jason Hill, who dropped what would have been a big gain.

In all, Tebow gained 19 yards on five carries in his most active game as a Jet, but it wasn’t quite the “larger role” the New York Daily News predicted.

Meantime Sanchez completed fewer than 47 percent of his passes for the fourth straight week (14 of 31) and saw two tipped passes end up in the hands of Texans’ defenders.

“I think he played better than the numbers indicate,” Jets Coach Rex Ryan told reporters (via the Associated Press).

Possibly, but the numbers also indicate that Sanchez is moving in the wrong direction.

Here are his stats from the Jets’ first five games last season compared to this season.

2011: 97 of 173 (56 %), 1,171 yards, 8 TDs, 5 INTs – (2-3 record)

2012: 77 of 159 (48 %), 1,043 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs – (2-3 record)

Yes, the loss of Santonio Holmes was a big blow to an already poor receiving corps, but at some point, doesn’t Tony Sparano have to see if Tebow can give his 28th-ranked offense a spark?

Today, Ryan was asked if Sanchez remains his starting quarterback. “No question,” he said (via Bob Glauber).

As for Tebow, he was asked after the game if his bit part in the offense is getting to him.

“Yeah, I’m still excited to be a Jet,” he said, invoking the catch phrase from his introductory press conference. “But do I have to say it like 50 times, though?”

Translation: “Is it Tebow Time yet?”

Follow us: @MattBrooksWP | @CindyBoren

More

Report: Tim Tebow will get “larger role” against Texans

Santonio Holmes out for the season with foot injury

Rex Ryan tables Tim Tebow talk… for now

Sanchez hits Tebow’s helmet with pass, co-stars on “Kiss Cam”

Tebow: “I’m a quarterback”

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.

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Cindy Boren · October 9, 2012

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