Mark Sanchez will remain the New York Jets’ starting quarterback despite calls for the team to insert backup Tim Tebow following successive losses.
Asked yesterday on a conference call with reporters if Sanchez will start the Oct. 14 home game against the Indianapolis Colts, coach Rex Ryan responded: “Yes, no question.”
Sanchez’s 48.4 completion percentage ranks last in the National Football League and is the worst of his four-year professional career. His 208.6 yards passing per game rank him 26th among the league’s 32 starting quarterbacks.
The Jets, 2-3 this season, lost at home to the undefeated Houston Texans 23-17 two nights ago and to the San Francisco 49ers 34-0 in Week 4.
Ryan wouldn’t speculate about what he’ll do if the 25-year-old Sanchez continues to struggle. New York plays at the division-rival New England Patriots on Oct. 21.
“I’m not going to get into the what-ifs and all that,” Ryan said. “We’re not preparing to lose, that’s for sure. We’re thinking we’re going to win, starting this week.”
Playing without top receiver Santonio Holmes, who is lost for the season with a knee injury, as well as injured receiver Stephen Hill and tight end Dustin Keller, Sanchez went 14-of-31 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland against Houston. He also had two interceptions, one just before halftime that yielded a field goal by the Texans and another with about three minutes left in the game.
“I thought he played pretty good,” Ryan said of Sanchez’s performance, noting three dropped passes by his receivers, including one that led to an interception. “His night was going to look a lot better had those things not happened.”
Tebow, 25, who led the Denver Broncos to the playoffs last season, is 1-for-2 passing this season and also has rushed for 57 yards on 14 attempts. He ran for a first down two nights ago on a fake punt. The Jets are seeking more success with Tebow’s offensive plays, Ryan said.
“I wish we would have a little more success with it,” Ryan said. “At times, it looks really good and we just have to stay with it.”