New York Jets Name Mark Sanchez Starter vs. Jaguars, and Other AFC East News

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IDecember 5, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets makes a pass during warm ups before the start of their game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Greg McElroy era is over before it got a chance to begin.

The New York Jets announced on Wednesday morning the decision to go back to Mark Sanchez as the team's starting quarterback as they travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday.

#RL Updating: HC Rex Ryan has named Mark Sanchez his starting QB for Jets' SUN game at Jacksonville. He has met with the QBs this morning.

— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 5, 2012

Mark Sanchez has been given every opportunity to prove that he's the right man for the job, and he gets another opportunity against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The Jaguars rank:

  • 20th in defensive passer rating (89.6)
  • 22nd in YPA (7.4)
  • 24th in completion percentage (63.6)
  • 28th in passing yards per game (260.9)
  • 32nd in sacks (13) and sack percentage (2.9)

Sanchez struggled mightily against an underrated Cardinals defense, so the Jaguars offer an opportunity to rebound from a nightmare three-interception performance. McElroy came in and led the Jets to their lone touchdown of the game. It now looks like that will be his lone touchdown of the season.

That may not necessarily be true, however. The possibility still exists that Sanchez struggles and forces Rex Ryan to make another on-the-fly decision. He made the switch once, so he may very well do so again.

None of this accounts for Tim Tebow, who has been the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart all season and was inactive for the Cardinals game with a rib injury. If he is back to full health, there will certainly be some eyes on his spot on the bench if Sanchez struggles.

That is, if he struggles.

The possibility also exists that Sanchez could have a career-saving performance against the Jaguars, and if that's the case, there will be at least a little more confidence around the Jets' $8.25 million man in 2013.

With that in mind, it's easier to tell why the Jets didn't make a full-on switch. They are financially committed to Sanchez for 2013, and if you thought it was a tough situation to be in this week, imagine what it would be like all offseason if McElroy played well.

Here's some more news from around the AFC East.

New York Jets

Conor Orr of the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger writes that the Jets defense saved the day against the Cardinals.

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York gives a scouting report on the Jaguars.

Buffalo Bills

Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News writes that center Eric Wood's injury could have been a lot worse.

Chris Brown of looks at the fine job done by defensive tackle Alex Carrington in Sunday's win over the Jaguars.

Miami Dolphins

Now that Dolphins left tackle Jake Long has been put on season-ending injured reserve, Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post wonders if his career in a Dolphins uniform is over.

Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald writes that Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby didn't know that defensive ends Jared Odrick and Cameron Wake weren't on the field on the Dolphins' final series.

New England Patriots

Former Patriots player Matt Chatham of The Boston Herald takes an in-depth look at the Patriots' win over the Dolphins.

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston analyzes the ramifications of the Patriots putting wide receiver Julian Edelman on injured reserve.

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.


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