Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
It was a given all eyes would be on the New York Jets, as their quarterbacks, 2012 starter Mark Sanchez and 2013 draft pick Geno Smith, battled it out for the right to open the regular season under center. For the Jets, they likely hoped it was less of a circus, however.
The summer started with Sanchez as the clear front-runner, with head coach Rex Ryan saying in June that were the season to start then, Smith wouldn't be ready to take on the job. Smith improved over the course of training camp, however, and through seven practices and a scrimmage had no interceptions to Sanchez's four—though he did take 12 sacks compared to nine for Sanchez.
Sanchez was the Jets starter in their first preseason game against the New York Jets, promptly throwing an interception before calming down, completing 10 of 13 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. It seemed like the competition was wide open. However, Smith's showing didn't last long, completing six of his seven passes for 47 yards before exiting with an ankle injury.
Though Smith has missed no practice time because of the ankle, it's affected how he's performed. Earlier this week, Smith had a bad day of practice—described by Ryan as "brutal"—throwing four interceptions, most likely because his ankle isn't close to healthy. Therefore, the Jets named Sanchez as the starter for the team's second preseason game.
This battle will eventually have a winner, but the Jets may ultimately have won nothing by having to choose between these two quarterbacks to begin with.
UPDATE: 5:30 p.m. ET
According to a tweet from NFL Network's Albert Breer, Smith will not be playing in the Jets' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night.