New York Jets

Mark Sanchez: Rex Ryan's Faith in QB Won't Last Long Without Big Improvements

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets looks on as he walks off of the field after the Jets lost 23-17 against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Jessica MarieCorrespondent IIOctober 11, 2012

It's almost a joke at this point. How much—or rather, how little—does Mark Sanchez have to do before Rex Ryan starts exploring other options?

The situation in New York seems to get more improbable by the week. Ryan refuses to acknowledge the idea that Sanchez could be replaced—seemingly out of stubbornness, at this point, because Sanchez's numbers certainly don't back him up—and yet Tim Tebow is just sitting there, doing nothing. Waiting.

What's more, Jets' owner Woody Johnson told the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta this week that the team has no intention of trading Tebow and he'll be with the Jets "for three years," at least.

To sit on the bench and watch Sanchez? To play a few snaps per game, when the Jets decide to run the Wildcat? Both of those ideas are laughable, given Tebow's potential. 

It really is difficult to understand what the Jets are thinking at this point. For some reason, Ryan and Johnson have the utmost faith that Sanchez is going to turn things around this season, even though his numbers suggest the exact opposite.

Sanchez's 48.4 completion percentage is the worst in the NFL. His 66.6 passer rating is the third-worst in the league. In fact, it is only about two percent better than that of Brandon Weeden, fearless leader of the NFL's worst team.

Johnson, however, tells us that the numbers don't matter. "I wouldn't look at the numbers too seriously," were his exact words, via Mehta. But that doesn't seem to make too much sense. It's not as though Sanchez's numbers are bad, but the team is playing well.

The Jets are 2-3. They've beaten up on two of the worst teams in the NFL in Buffalo and Miami, and they haven't held a candle to any of the teams they've faced that qualify as top-tier teams. Some say there were encouraging signs against the Texans on Monday night because the Jets showed some fight in the second half.

But since when is it a positive sign when a team almost doesn't lose?

And yet again, Sanchez was bad. Yet again, he threw more interceptions than touchdown passes. Yet again, he failed to complete 50 percent or more of his passes.

It's hard to avoid reading into those numbers, despite Johnson's advice. What those numbers tell us is that the Jets are in trouble because their quarterback isn't up to par.

Of course, Sanchez could turn it around. Obviously, that's what Ryan and Johnson are waiting for. But why wait? It would be different if someone like Ryan Mallett or Caleb Hanie was waiting in the wings.

If that were the case, it would be easy to see why the Jets would play it safe and stick with their starter who, at one point in his career, seemed mildly competent.

But that is not the case. They have Tim Tebow waiting in the wings. Tim Tebow, who could start for any other NFL team.

The Jets have a struggling starting quarterback and a backup quarterback who is capable of starting and leading a team back from the dead and towards a playoff berth. It's a fact. It's been proven. It just makes no sense to deprive him of a chance to prove himself.

Earlier this week, Sanchez told ESPN.com's James Walker, "[Ryan] has faith in me. I believe that. I'm not worried about that. I'm really not."

But at what point does he become worried? When his completion percentage falls to 40 percent? When the Jets lose to Indianapolis? When they head into the bye week at 3-5, or 2-6?

It's not a good thing that Sanchez knows his coach is OK with the fact that he is one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL at the moment. It's not good that Sanchez believes that he's doing his best, when his best appears to be throwing as many touchdowns (six) as picks.

At a certain point, at the very least, there needs to be some kind of sense of urgency in New York. Right now, there is nothing of the sort.

Faith doesn't always translate into wins. It's time for the Jets to start recognizing that before it's too late and this season can't be salvaged.

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