Dream On Tim Tebow Fans, Mark Sanchez Will Be Jets' Main Man in 2012

Ryan Alfieri@Ryan_AlfieriCorrespondent IIIJune 18, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets celebrates a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Even Tebow fans cannot deny it—there is no question that Tim Tebow is the inferior player to Mark Sanchez.

Still, that does not put any rest to the seeming unending and non-existent (if that is even possible) quarterback drama in New York. 

As soon as the Jets go three-and-out (which is, based on their track record, going to be on the first series of the season), the deafening cries for Tebow will ring, even if there are scout-team players who throw the ball better than him.

Despite putting together some horrendous offensive performances, Tebow fans make tons of different arguments for why he is a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL.

But no trait is cited more often than the fact that he is somehow a "winner".

Is Tebow a charismatic guy? Sure. Is he a insanely competitive guy? You bet. Has he pulled games out in the fourth quarter? He's made a living on it.

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos talks with Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets following the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

And so has Mark Sanchez.

All of those attributes are nice, but when it comes to winning football games, "trying hard" and "not giving up" do not get the job done. Even John Elway, who has made himself a Hall of Fame career out of clutch performances late in games, recognizes that football games are not won by determination and willpower alone, and promptly got rid of Tim Tebow.

Talent, with time, will always win out.

Tim Tebow is not the only player who works hard and wants to win; everyone in the NFL works hard and wants to win. Those who do not find themselves looking for a new line of work.

I was able to see Tim and Mark take reps right next to each other in last week's practice. The difference in talent was so obvious that I started to chuckle at the ridiculousness of the situation. I was surrounded by tons of fans in Tebow gear, all excited to watch their hero practice, only to be showered in a dose of ice-cold reality of how inferior of a passer he really is.

While watching, all I could think was, "this is the quarterback controversy that is supposed to tear apart this team within a month?"

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 24:  (CORRECTED VERSION)  Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh talks with Tim Tebow #15 and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets at an organized team activity at the New York Jets Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on May 24, 2012 in
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Take the "15" off his practice jersey, and this kid would have been cut right after practice. Meanwhile, Sanchez was making NFL-like throws and truly did look more accurate than he has shown in the past.

The difference was clear: Sanchez was an NFL-talent, and Tebow was here because of his reputation. 

I understand the fact that Tebow was a huge part of the Broncos making the playoffs last season, but for some reason, we seem to dismiss the notion that the Broncos may have simply gotten some luck, and Tebow capitalized on it.

If Marion Barber stays in bounds, Shaun Prater misses just one of his kicks, or Jim Leonhard is able to wrap up Eddie Royal in the end zone, the Broncos miss the playoffs and the idea that a Tim Tebow-led team could actually work in the NFL is just a fantasy. 

I give Tebow credit for making the plays he had to make, but just about everything that had to break right for Denver last year did. Watching the Broncos last year was like falling behind in a game of Madden and switching to control the CPU's team so you can come back.

While I don't believe that there is anything of value behind the words "he's a winner", there is something to having the right mindset to not panic when the game is on the line, which is something I cannot take away from Tim Tebow. He has mastered the ability to remain confident and focused at all times, which is certainly not an easy thing to do.

However, so has Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez has been anything but consistent in his young career, but he has made plays when the Jets needed it most. Whether it was the throw to Braylon Edwards in the 2010 wild-card game or bringing the team back against the Houston Texans with less than a minute remaining, Sanchez's late-game heroics are a big reason why he is still the starting quarterback for the Jets. 

Therefore, if one was to replace Mark Sanchez with Tebow, you would not be getting the same kind of increase in experience in late-game heroics as the Broncos did when they benched Kyle Orton in favor of Tebow.

So, Tebow fans, before you start to chant your hero's name as soon as the first pass from Sanchez hits the ground, be careful what you wish for. As likable (and hate-able) of a guy that Tebow is, no team can make a living on miraculous fourth-quarter comebacks. 

While Tim Tebow's Broncos certainly exceeded all expectations by knocking out the Steelers and winning a playoff game, that is all they ever did before getting bulldozed by the Super Bowl runners-up in the following game. 

Tebow may be good enough to win college championships and squeak out a few wins in the NFL, but no team can win a Super Bowl with him starting at quarterback.

A playoff win may have been satisfactory for fans out in Denver, but simply being relevant is not good enough in this town.