New York Jets: Tim Tebow Time Is Looming in East Rutherford as Sanchez Struggles

John EwenContributor IIIOctober 1, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 9: Quarterbacks Mark Sanchez #6, left, and Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets during pre-game warm ups before the start of their game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Ever since the New York Jets acquired Tim Tebow from the Denver Broncos this offseason, we all knew this day was coming.

After a 34-0 shellacking from the visiting San Francisco 49ers, speculation is in the air when Tebow Time will get a Big Apple start after Mark Sanchez failed to impress for the third consecutive week.

Sanchez finished the day 13-of-29 for 103 yards with one interception, his third straight week failing to complete 50 percent of his passes, on a day that the entire team played abysmal.

The defense failed to stop the run, giving up 245 yards on the ground to nine different San Francisco ball-carriers. The special teams allowed a punt to be blocked. It was the team's third-worst shutout loss at home in franchise history, a blowout prompting the Gang Green faithful to pack it in early and turn MetLife into a home away from home for San Fran.

By the end of the game, there were more fans cheering "Go Niners" than ones booing the pathetic show by the Jets.

In a postgame press conference, head coach Rex Ryan was furious. No part of the squad was saved from criticism, and the performance prompted Ryan to dismiss all personnel for two days to find themselves.

But, the biggest point of note from the talk with the media was Ryan's continued backing of Sanchez as the starter. While acknowledging the Jets require "better play at quarterback," he's "not ready to make a quarterback change."

We'll see how long that lasts.

The Jets play Monday night against the Houston Texans, a matchup that is likely to cause another poor Sanchez performance—Houston's D is fourth in the league in pass yards per game. With the long week, it allows media and fans to speculate even more as to when Tebow is going to actually play at quarterback outside of the Wildcat.

I told myself that I wasn't going to call for Sanchez's head after a bad game because it was bound to happen sooner or later. But, this team is going nowhere in its current state.

They've lost their leader on the defensive side with Darrelle Revis tearing his ACL last week. The lack of offensive weapons was depleted even further when Santonio Holmes suffered an injury on Sunday. The rushing tandem of Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell have combined for one touchdown through the first four weeks.

Would making Tebow the starter magically make this team start winning? Probably not. But, he has a way to somehow make teams click. (See Broncos, Denver) The team certainly can't play worse than they have been, and the Wildcat packages Tebow was brought in to run have been pretty useless.

Maybe it's about time to let him do more than fake a handoff, run left and get tackled for a three-yard loss. Like throw a second pass.

Tebow finally threw his first pass of the season after four weeks of waiting—a jump pass to Dedrick Epps for nine yards. And as a sign of just what kind of day it was, the catch was promptly fumbled and recovered by the Niners. But on the plus side, Tebow's sitting pretty with a 104.2 passer rating!

Everything's in place for another season of Tebow Time. There has been a series of terrible performances from the starter and an offensive unit that can't seem to click. Sound familiar?

I give Sanchez one more week to get his act together, tops. Houston is going to make his life miserable, and another big deficit is going to lead to Tebow taking non-gimmick snaps, perhaps even a future start. 

During his two days off, Sanchez better be doing more than "finding himself"; he better try finding his quarterback skills. If not, the only thing he'll be finding is a seat on the bench.

Brace yourselves. Tebow Time is coming.