New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is undoubtedly on the hot seat now that his team has hit rock bottom with a 3-6 record, but there is one way Ryan could somehow manage to keep his job after this season: backup quarterback Tim Tebow.
Tebow, arguably the most polarizing figure in all of sports, has yet to supplant Mark Sanchez as the starter in New York, but that may be coming sooner rather than later now that the Jets appear to be beyond repair.
Ryan's Jets have failed to meet expectations yet again, but this could be the last strike. His franchise quarterback in Sanchez has been a colossal disappointment, with his latest game against the Seattle Seahawks proving once again he isn't a starting NFL quarterback.
Against the Seahawks, Sanchez only mustered 124 yards and an interception through the air while completing just nine of his 22 attempts.
Despite the horrendous game in the 28-7 loss, Ryan still stood tall next to his quarterback after the game according to ProFootballTalk via Twitter:
Rex Ryan says Jets will stick with Sanchez wp.me/p14QSB-6m6K— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 12, 2012
Ryan's belief in Sanchez is admirable, but it will cost him his job. The only shot Ryan has at being a head coach for the Jets in 2013 is if he inserts Tebow in the starting lineup over Sanchez.
Tebow has yet to be anything more than a gimmick in the New York game plan after he was brought over in a highly publicized trade with the Denver Broncos, and it's pretty clear that Tebow will likely seek his way out of the Jets organization if he does not see more playing time in the near future.
For the Jets, Tebow has been nothing more than a punt protector and a wrinkle that Ryan and the staff uses on offense when running a variation of the Wildcat offense. Tebow comes in without any rhythm and is typically asked to rush the ball.
Outside of a few fake punt conversions, Tebow has had little use in New York.
While it has been well documented that Tebow lacks proper mechanics and the ability to properly read a defense, it's hard to knock his results. He entered midway through the season a year ago for the Broncos and led them to the postseason and a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers before being traded.
Tebow could have that same impact in New York if Ryan allows him to do so. He's a multifaceted weapon that catches defenses off guard because he can beat them with his arm or by pulling the ball down and running it himself.
Much of his success in Denver was because of this ability. Defenses had to account for his ability to run a read option or run the ball any play, which led to wide-open passing lanes that he could hit with accuracy.
The Jets offense has some nice pieces in place but is lacking a quarterback that strikes fear into opposing defenses. Tebow can do that. Sanchez is only completing 50 percent of his passes—Tebow can do that or better while providing the Jets with an actual running threat as well.
We've seen this story before. The head coach clearly on his way out of an organization inserts a controversial quarterback at the last second who proceeds to turn things around and save the coach's job.
Tebow can do that for Ryan, but Rex has to let him.