Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/19/12

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets stands on the field prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Rex Ryan has most certainly heard the rumblings that his job could be on the line this season, so one has to figure that he’s being exceptionally mindful of how his team is run nowadays.

Mark Sanchez has definitely heard the rumblings about his job security, even after signing a big extension this past off-season.

Then, to ice the cake, the team traded for the most polarizing figure in sports, Tim Tebow (no, that is not hyperbole…name one other person in sports who is as divisive both off and on the field).

You would think that would all put some pressure on them, right?

If it did, they don’t handle it very well.

After a sterling 48-28 victory over Buffalo in Week One, where Sanchez played the game of his life and the team was as prepared and well-coached as could be, they followed it up with an epic dud in Pittsburgh.  The team was thoroughly outclassed, and Sanchez flopped after obliterating the Bills’ secondary.

In and of itself, that’s one thing.  The Tebow factor, however, changes the circumstances entirely.

Tebow made it onto the field for three plays, the first of which saw him scramble for 22 yards.  The second was a 12-yard run, but the third went for a loss of six.  Apparently, second-and-sixteen is Sanchez territory.  Ryan apparently wasn't aware that Tebow could do this.  or this.

Or, you know, the thing he did two plays earlier.

For the record, Sanchez finished that drive with two incomplete passes.  That was something of a theme for him that night.

For comparison's sake, here's a look at what the team did with Tebow on the field compared to what the Jets managed to do in the fourth quarter as a whole.

 

 SanchezTebowPlays11 (plus two defensive penalties)3Plays With Positive Yardage32Total Yards3628Time of Possession2:342:26

 

Now, Tebow has his very obvious shortcomings.  It's also not in a team's best interest to be switching quarterbacks continuously, as it hurts chemistry and continuity in an offense.  Ryan also can be commended for not bowing to pressure and sticking to his guns, while also showing faith in his starting quarterback that very few people outside of the organization share.

However...

Sanchez was struggling mightily.  He was having trouble hitting receivers, and when he did he was throwing into double and triple coverages that make his lack of turnovers in that game astounding. 

He completed as many passes against the same Steelers as Tebow did in the playoffs last season, just on six more attempts with 178 fewer yards, one less touchdown, and (most importantly) one less victory.

Actually, scratch that.  The Steelers defense Sanchez played against and the one Tebow played against weren't the same.  Tebow didn't have to deal with Casey Hampton of Ryan Clark, two very good players who have both made Pro Bowls. 

He did, however, have to deal with Troy Polamalu and James Harrison. two much better players who have both been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Again, switching quarterbacks in and out isn't a good way to run an offense in the NFL.  That's one of the reasons nobody does it (that, and the cost of carrying two NFL-ready quarterbacks who would be willing to work in such an offense). 

Still, the Jets have an offensive system in place for Tebow, and ran it effectively in the three plays he was in for.  At the very least, they could have brought him in for a play or two to throw off the Steelers.  It couldn't have hurt any more than what actually happened did.

The Jets brought in Tebow because they know he adds a dimension to an offense that few others can, and Sanchez is not one of those quarterbacks.  In the rest of the NFL, the only backups that are as markedly different from their starters are Washington's Rex Grossman and Philadelphia's Nick Foles, and both of their starters can do exactly what the backups can do, only better.  Sanchez has a career total of 314 rushing yards, so nobody is going to mistake him for Randall Cunningham anytime soon.

The point is this:  Mark Sanchez was playing awful in crunch time, and Rex Ryan had someone on the bench who has had success against the Steelers, both in the past and in the game they were playing.  Ryan has shown a willingness to use Tebow in spot situations, but chose not to in a situation where it may have helped the team.  They might not have won the game, but they couldn't have been much worse than the Sanchez-led offense turned out to be in the final frame.



GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top eight takeways from Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas

Tony Romo upset with situation, distancing himself from teammates and coach

Kings owner looking for an executive to place over Vlade Divac

Elway: Broncos plan to 'stay the course' with Siemian, Lynch

Boykin may have violated probation, could face jail time

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USF suspends DB indefinitely for role in shooting, arrest

Softball player, coach get physical in handshake line

Kraft: Patriots do not intend to trade Malcolm Butler

Brandon Marshall talks about how he can help Odell Beckham

Scherzer makes Tebow look silly in spring training at-bat

Lonzo Ball discusses headlines his father creates

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker