Why the Jets Should Experiment with Sanchez and Tebow in the Same Backfield

Jeremy SickelContributor IIIOctober 18, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets re-enters the game to replace Tim Tebow #15 in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The 3-3 New York Jets are mired in a bizarre, four-way tie for first place in the AFC East, but don't let that fool you. The only thing this team has going for it right now is that the entire AFC—save for the Houston Texans—is dealing with issues.

The conference's stalwarts—New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers—are struggling to find consistency this season and are dealing with injuries. This is allowing teams like the Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and even the Indianapolis Colts to look like contenders right now.

While that may change as the season progresses, these teams must find ways to stick around until Week 17. For the Jets, that may mean committing to something very unconventional by NFL standards.

Why not try Tim Tebow at running back?

Head coach Rex Ryan says that it is a possibility.

Tebow could see an increased workload as soon as this week against the Patriots, as the Jets deal with a depleted backfield.

Shonn Greene is coming off a career game, running for 161 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 35-9 win over the Colts, but after acquiring Tebow in a trade this offseason from the Denver Broncos, the Jets may be forced to find more playing time for the polarizing figure.

Tebow has played sparingly this season, attempting only three passes and 18 rushes. While he has only accumulated 96 total yards, he has shown that he is capable of making plays when the ball is in his hands throughout his career.

In an effort to keep Mark Sanchez happy as the starting quarterback, the Jets could easily use Tebow in the backfield as either a decoy or simply to feed him the ball more often just to see what happens.

While it might not yield impressive numbers, expanding Tebow's role shows that the Jets are willing to try new things to keep up with the rest of the league—especially with the lack of playmakers on the roster.

Some may question the timing of an increased role for Tebow given Greene's performance last week. But Greene hasn't shown any sort of consistency throughout his career, so a new wrinkle—regardless of when it is added—could give the Jets a spark.

Minimize the added pressure of Tebow possibly taking away playing time at quarterback, and it could prove to be a significant point in Sanchez's career in New York.


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