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Tim Tebow Deserves to Start for Jets After Another Mark Sanchez Clunker

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 09:  Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets warms up prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 9, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2012

The New York Jets have two games left in the regular season. It's time for the franchise to take a serious look at its alternative options at quarterback, starting with Tim Tebow, after Mark Sanchez struggled yet again in a loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday night.

Sanchez completed less than half of his 28 throws for just 131 yards. He had five turnovers, bringing his season total to 24, while accounting for just 13 touchdowns. Yet, the Jets still managed to keep the game within a single score throughout.

If the Jets would have received even an average quarterback performance, they likely would have won Monday night's game and would have given themselves a legitimate chance to make the playoffs.

Instead, a golden opportunity slipped through their fingers.

While it wouldn't be fair to blame Sanchez for all of New York's issues throughout the season, his inability to protect the football is a consistent issue. He has 50 turnovers in his last 30 games, which is simply an unacceptable stat.

It's not hard to understand why the Jets continue to stick with him. His contract for next season is guaranteed and head coach Rex Ryan has remained loyal to his starter throughout his career, despite a lack of progress.

At some point—probably weeks ago but certainly after last night's debacle—thinking about the future is more important than money and loyalty.

Enter Tebow: He played one series against the Titans, running for 15 yards on three attempts. He misfired on his only pass. Yet, even in limited action, he brought more of a spark to the game than the Jets offense has illustrated in awhile.

He deserves a chance to start next week against the San Diego Chargers. Although it doesn't guarantee the Jets offense will be successful, it's hard to imagine getting any worse. What they are doing right now isn't working.

Tebow would at least give the Jets a new look. Ultimately, the only argument against giving Tebow a chance from a front-office perspective would be the fear he does provide a spark, which would lead to some difficult choices in the offseason.

If Tebow fails to make an impact in Week 16, then Greg McElroy should get a chance to start in the regular season finale. He was serviceable in relief duty against the Arizona Cardinals a couple weeks ago, which is more than you can say about Sanchez most weeks.

The bottom line remains the same. It's time for the Jets to at least give their other quarterbacks a chance. Sanchez has been given plenty of them throughout his career and he continues to post terrible numbers like the ones on Monday night.

Trying something new can't hurt. Hand the reigns to Tebow for Week 16, and maybe he rediscovers some of his magic from Denver. If not, give McElroy a chance to show his worth in Week 17. Perhaps he will prove to be a late-round steal.

At the very least, this approach would allow the Jets to finish the regular season knowing what their options are looking ahead to 2013. Sticking by Sanchez clearly hasn't worked.

 

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