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Mark Sanchez attampts a pass against Tennessee.
Quarterbacks and their offenses try to develop something called "rhythm." It's a state where everything begins to run like clockwork. When an offense gets "in rhythm," it's time to sit back, enjoy the ride and wait for good things to happen.
That's exactly what Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano did not do.
They stuck to their scripts, even when Mark Sanchez started to move the offense through the air.
A great example occurred in the third quarter of the Tennessee game. With 9:54 remaining, the Jets got the ball at their 12-yard line. On 3rd-and-6, Sanchez completed a pass to Jeremy Kerley for 11 yards and a first down. On 1st-and-10, Sanchez completed another pass, this one to Jeff Cumberland for 22 yards and a first down. It was 1st-and-10 at the Jets' 49-yard line and they appeared to be on a roll.
However, Tim Tebow replaced Sanchez for that first-down play. Tebow fumbled the shotgun snap, which Shonn Greene recovered at midfield.
An encroachment penalty negated that play and advanced the ball to the Tennessee 46.
Sanchez rejoined the huddle for 1st-and-5, but after two incompletions and a sack, the Jets punted from their 47-yard line.
Why did Tebow replace Sanchez when the offense seemed to be in rhythm?
Normally teams run a fixed script of 15 to 25 plays to begin a game. That lets coaches determine what adjustments to make thereafter. However, this Tebow substitution occurred well after those scripted plays were finished. If Sparano and Ryan continued to be slaves to a script, they displayed a lack of flexibility and responsiveness.
We will never know if Sanchez would have scored on that drive. However, with such a promising start, Sanchez deserved a chance to continue. If Tony Sparano would not give it to him, Rex Ryan should have overruled his offensive coordinator and kept Sanchez under center.
Who knows, more sensitivity to offensive rhythm might have prevented some turnovers.