This is when the games really start to matter for the New York Jets. This is when they can't afford to lose.
If there was ever a time to increase Tim Tebow's role and give him a shot at really helping this Jets offense, now would be that time.
After using the backup quarterback in a limited capacity over the first couple of weeks of the season, Jets head coach Rex Ryan told the New York Post's Mark Hale that Tebow could see a few more snaps against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday:
Just like with Joe McKnight only had the one snap [against Pittsburgh], will [Tebow] play a bigger role this week? Probably. But again, things go into it. Matchups are a consideration. A lot of different things go into things.
The Jets are coming off a 27-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which their offense looked pretty atrocious. It clearly needs a spark, and perhaps Tebow could offer up what they need.
Ryan suggested he's staying mum on his plans to use—or not to use—Tebow because it gives the Jets a competitive advantage. Hopefully, for the sake of this offense, he's not just saying that to get the reporters off his back.
This isn't to say that Sanchez should be replaced as the starter. Not yet, at least. He had one bad game, and one week earlier, he looked excellent.
Granted, that was against the Buffalo Bills.
However, 266 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception isn't a bad outing by any means, particularly given the doubt that engulfed Sanchez after he finished the preseason without throwing a touchdown pass.
Either way, the 27-10 loss to the Steelers was a regression. The fact it came against the Steelers—exactly the type of team the Jets are going to have to learn to beat if they want to contend in the AFC this year—is an even bigger problem.
Sanchez connected on just 37 percent of his passes, throwing for 138 yards and a single TD, which came in the first quarter. About 10 minutes into the game, that was a wrap on Sanchez for the night.
Do the Jets need to use Tebow more this weekend?
There are complaints that the Jets should have utilized the Wildcat—and Tebow—more effectively against the Steelers. Those are valid complaints. Given the fact that no Jets receiver caught more than three passes against the Steelers, it's clear that there aren't a ton of options for Sanchez in the air.
All the more reason to get creative and turn to Tebow and the Wildcat.
As resistant as Rex Ryan is to hurting Sanchez's feelings—and as resistant as he is to giving into "media pressure," otherwise known as a desire to see the Jets win—Tebow needs a bigger role against the Dolphins.
This is a division game for the Jets, and at the end of December, this is precisely the type of loss that could keep them out of the playoffs.
A win is a necessity this week, as is an offense that is capable of compiling more than 200-ish yards.
Never will there be a better time than right now to start using Tebow to do exactly what he's good for.