Jets QB Quandary The Sanchize or The Big Tebowski
By David Owen Cymerman
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The New York Jets have a starting quarterback. His name is Mark Sanchez. He's the guy who led the Jets to back- to-back AFC Championship Games after the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Now in his fourth season, at the age of 25, Sanchez is just entering his prime. Based on his ability to lead the team to gritty playoff wins, Jets fans dubbed their signal-caller "The Sanchize." Surely, the Jets have a quarterback locked up for the foreseeable future, right?
Apparently not. Despite setting career highs with 26 touchdown passes and 3,474 passing yards, Sanchez led the Jets to a disappointing 8-8 finish. It didn't help that he turned the ball over 26 times. So when the dominoes of the Peyton Manning saga fell, the Jets front office pounced on a backup plan. With Manning in Denver, Broncos incumbent QB, Tim Tebow, became expendable, despite leading the Broncos to an improbable playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tebow's stats pale in comparison to those of Sanchez. Tebow completed a downright terrible 46.5-percent of his passes in 2011. But he repeatedly came up big in the fourth quarter, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. That ability to "just win" compelled the Jets to acquire Tebow, launching a quarterback controversy that has the media buzzing.
So how is the Jets QB soap opera going to play out? Well, my honest opinion is that a change is coming. The NFL is a "What have you done for me lately?" league. Those two AFC Championship games seem like ages ago. The team has a strong defense and wants to win a Super Bowl before their window slams shut. Sanchez is the man ... for now. But his leash is shorter than a Yorkshire Terrier's.
To make matters worse for Sanchez, the Jets early schedule is nightmarish. They did open with an impressive victory over the Bills, but the Jets have always had the Bills' number. The Steelers, 49ers and Texans all loom in the weeks to follow. The Jets could easily be 2-3 out of the gate.
Prediction: despite their strong season opener, they'll be lucky to have a winning record after five weeks. Rabid Jets fans and media members alike will start calling for the high profile backup.
Enter Tim Tebow to save the day. Or, more likely, deliver a new form of mediocrity. It's unlikely Tebow will pull off the miracles he achieved in Denver. First of all, the league has seen him now. Other teams are more familiar with his game. Secondly, to be frank, the Jets don't have the offensive talent that the 2011 Denver Broncos had. Swap out Willis McGahee, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker for Shonn Greene, Santonio Holmes and a lack luster group of supporting receivers. (Though Stephen Hill did have a very nice debut, despite facing harsh criticism from Rex Ryan.) That's not likely to help boost Tebow's completion rate.
Bottom line: the J-E-T-S will be a mess, mess, mess. It's not a good sign when you're starting running back needs 27 carries just to have a decent game. In my nine fantasy leagues (that's right, nine), I steered clear of New York Jets altogether. Well, almost. I did snag Tebow late in a deep dynasty league to ride the bench behind Aaron Rodgers. But that was purely a flier that will only pay off if a) Mark Sanchez regresses and b) the Tebow Mania magic picks up where it left off. Divine intervention, anyone?
David Owen Cymerman is also known as The Fantasy Geek. He runs a fantasy
sports web site appropriately named TheFantasyGeek.com. Stop by for more
observations, advice and absurdity from the world of fantasy sports, including
articles, live chats and podcasts.