CINCINNATI (AP) — Tim Tebow didn't do much in his Jets debut to get the fans back in New York excited. Same goes for the rest of the new-look offense.
No matter who took the snaps, they spent a lot of time running around and getting nowhere.
Tebow threw an interception during his two-quarter debut on Friday night, and the rest of the Jets' offense struggled as well in a 17-6 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
"The big plays will come to us," said Mark Sanchez, who went 4 of 6 for 21 yards in the first quarter before yielding to Tebow.
"The running game will get going and things will open up in the passing game. We're not game-planning for this, so a couple of things caught us off-guard."
The Jets (No. 17 in the AP Pro32) have reconfigured the offense under new coordinator Tony Sparano. They didn't show any of the wildcat-style packages they've installed during training camp.
The Bengals (No. 14) got steady pressure on Tebow and the rest of the Jets quarterbacks, giving them little time to do much of anything except scramble.
"I did some things pretty good," said Tebow, who was 4 of 8 for 27 yards with an interception on his final throw. "Obviously I want that last throw back. I tried to put it low and outside. Just a stupid play by me."
Tebow also ran three times for 34 yards, avoiding sacks each time.
"I liked the poise he showed," coach Rex Ryan said. "Obviously, (he) made some big runs and that's what we say he can do. If you want to come after him, you better get to him. In time, he'll kill you running and that's what he did."
The crowd of 44,161 at Paul Brown Stadium booed loudly, and photo flashes went off around the stadium when Tebow jogged onto the field. He got the same reception in 2010, when he made his pro debut in a preseason game with Denver in Cincinnati.
Tebow completed his first pass, a 12-yarder to second-round draft pick Stephen Hill, who's aiming for a starting spot across from Santonio Holmes. Tebow scrambled twice for a total of 24 yards on a drive to Josh Brown's 42-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Tebow forced a throw that linebacker Vontaze Burfict intercepted.
"I feel like I'm getting better," Tebow said. "Today was one more stride in getting better. I feel like my timing and rhythm were pretty good for the most part."
Perhaps his worst moment came when the Jets came up short on third down with Tebow forgot about his new role as protector of the punter on special teams.