New York Jets

Tim Tebow: Jets' QB Will Emerge as Starter After Monday Night Game

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16 :  Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets reacts after running for a first down against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 16, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 27-10.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2012

The struggles of one Mark Sanchez have been well documented, dissected, critiqued and analyzed.

Whether he or Tim Tebow should be the starting quarterback for the 2-2 New York Jets has been hotly debated for months, going back to the day that the former Denver Broncos' QB arrived in New York.

There's no point in rehashing what we already know, but there is one question that remains: Where do the Jets go from here?

While Sanchez will start tonight's game against the mighty Houston Texans, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes that Tebow will not be sitting idly by holding a clipboard:

Jets prepared all week to give Tim Tebow a larger role/more reps vs Texans tonight. They realize he's probably their best playmaker now #nyj

Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) October 8, 2012

Mehta is correct in his statement that Tebow is arguably the best playmaker that the team has, and I'd argue that he was their best playmaker even before Santonio Holmes went down with a season-ending foot injury last week against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sanchez hasn't been bad over the past three games, he's been awful, completing only 43.5 percent of his passes (44-of-101) for 547 yards to go along with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

It's true that Sanchez will be without Holmes, that Dustin Keller has been sidelined since the season opener against the Buffalo Bills and that rookie receiver Stephen Hill is likely to miss tonight's game as well.

But let's be honest: Keller is not Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski, and Stephen Hill has caught five of the 15 passes thrown in his direction. They aren't exactly big-time weapons.

It's also true that neither Shonn Greene nor Bilal Powell is a legitimate NFL running back, which has led to opposing defenses not worrying about the Jets' non-existent running game, allowing them to drop back into coverage and take away any passing lanes that might have opened up were they focused on the line of scrimmage.

That's even more of a reason why Tebow will emerge from tonight's game as the starter under center for Rex Ryan and Gang Green.

They have no playmakers on offense, and while Tebow is challenged when it comes to throwing the ball, he's not completely inept.

Ryan, for as boisterous and arrogant as he is, isn't stupid. Both he and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano can implement a game plan that plays to Tebow's strengths, utilizing short crossing routes and, dare I say it, read-options where Tebow has some freedom to make a decision as the play unfolds.

It's not an ideal scenario, but neither is what the Jets have produced on the field thus far in 2012.

We've seen what Mark Sanchez brings to the table, and it's not enough to satisfy a ravenous fanbase, nor is it enough for him to simply be a game manager, like Trent Dilfer was for the Ravens back in 2000 or Alex Smith typically is for the San Francisco 49ers.

The Jets' defense, without Darrelle Revis, isn't a dominating unit. They cannot afford to be on the field as often as they are after routine three-and-outs by Sanchez.

They need someone who can make things happen under center.

They need someone who can keep a defense guessing.

They need Tim Tebow.

After tonight's game, they'll come to that realization.

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