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Rex Ryan Made Huge Mistake Not Turning to Tebow on Monday Night Football

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets warms up prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 17, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Jeremy SickelContributor IIIDecember 18, 2012

The New York Jets have arguably the worst quarterback situation in the entire NFL, which is saying a lot considering teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars aren't sitting pretty in that department either.

Even more telling of the Jets' situation under center is that running out Tim Tebow—a quarterback with obvious limitations—is a better option than sticking with the former fifth-overall pick, Mark Sanchez.

During Monday night's loss to the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez completed just 13-of-28 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown. But it was his five turnovers (four interceptions) that transformed an abysmal performance into one that is completely unacceptable at the professional level—against one of the NFL's worst defenses mind you.

Tebow did see the field in the second quarter, and though it didn't yield great results, the limited play-calling with him in at quarterback would have certainly mitigated the gluttony of turnovers and given the Jets a better chance to win.

Head coach Rex Ryan must take the ball out of Sanchez's hands for good, a decision that should have been made on Monday night.

Back in Week 13 against the Cardinals, Ryan inserted backup Greg McElroy into the lineup. The second-year quarterback responded by throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Jeff Cumberland that clinched a 7-6 victory for the Jets.

While it was merely a coincidence that Tebow was inactive for that game, Ryan should have learned his lesson with that move. Instead, Sanchez gave Monday night's game away with three turnovers in New York's final three possessions.

With an outside shot of making the postseason with a victory, Ryan's decision to stick with Sanchez becomes even more arcane. For a guy increasingly on the hot seat as the weeks pass, he's sure dropping the ball when it comes to making the quick decisions that define the success of head coaches in this league.

Though Tebow probably isn't the long-term answer—nor is it Sanchez, apparently—the Jets and Ryan could have made a short-term statement with a win on Monday night.

Instead, New York's 2012 season, and possibly the careers of Ryan and Sanchez, was literally thrown away.

 

Follow Jeremy on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy.

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