All the buzz during the NFL offseason brewed from the New York Jets’ training camp, as if there was truly a quarterback competition between the disappointing Mark Sanchez and professional bounce-passer Tim Tebow. Jets head coach Rex Ryan preached repeatedly that Tebow did not threaten Sanchez’ starting position, and was only brought in to work out of the wildcat package, an offense the league figured out five years ago.
Week one has come and gone, and ‘lo and behold,’ Ryan wasn’t lying. The Jets dominated the Buffalo Bills, who remarkably have a worse quarterback situation than the Jets, winning 48-28. Early on it looked as if Sanchez picked up where he left off last year, as during New York’s opening drive he threw an egregious interception on a shuffle pass in the general direction of nobody.
But, to his credit, he collected himself and finished 19-of-27 for 266 yards with three touchdowns and the lone pick. On the other hand, Tebow never threw a pass and only ran the ball five times for 11 yards. The Jets incorporated the wildcat package a few times but nothing big came out of it.
The fact that Sanchez played well and Tebow was a non-factor is great news for NFL fans everywhere. For Jets fans, they can renew their belief from two years ago that Mark Sanchez is a good quarterback, even though he is not by any stretch of the imagination. One good game against a miserable Bills secondary does not make you a Hall-of-Famer.
And for those who cannot stand the Jets and their talkative coach with zero rings, two quarterbacks who are too busy posing for GQ to learn how to throw a respectable pass and annoying fan base with stupid chants, this is also a good thing. That is good because SportsCenter is now watchable, at least for a week. No longer will we have to hear about if Tebow will take over the starting job, or if he decided to eat a turkey sandwich for lunch instead of pasta salad.
But don’t hold on to the serenity for too long, as it most likely will not last. Despite the impressive showing, the Jets still are not a good team. Sooner or later, they will become what they really are, which is an average football team. Once New York’s aging defense faces a team that does not have an interception machine under center, this team could be exposed.
Sanchez won’t be able to carry the team by himself, and once he starts regressing again, the calls for Tebow will return. But under no circumstances should Tebow ever start a game for the New York Jets. Some fans who watch football will point out that Tebow was one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the NFL last season. That is true, but the only reason he was in the position for late-game drives was because of his defense that stopped opponents from scoring after every time Tebow led the offense to nothing. The 2012 Jets defense is not nearly as good as the 2011 Broncos, so don’t be expecting any “Tebow Time” this year.
If Ryan wants any shot at having a successful season, he will have to ignore the moronic chants for Tebow and hope that Sanchez can lead this team to nine wins. If he buckles under the pressure and starts Tebow, well, even God won’t be able to save this team.