That doesn't mean Sanchez doesn't deserve his fair share of blame. He turns the ball over too much in the red zone, makes poor decisions at the line of scrimmage and has thrown almost as many interceptions as touchdowns. His passer rating is the lowest since his rookie season, and 30th out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks.
It's his fourth season in the league, yet he's playing like it's his first. Yes, he may lack quality receivers, but he clearly hasn't mastered the learning curve of a successful quarterback in the NFL.
Ryan sticks with him because he really has no choice. The reason John Elway got rid of Tebow in Denver is that the Heisman Trophy winner from Florida simply doesn't have the passing skills to be a successful NFL quarterback.
And, of course, no one tells Rex Ryan what to do.
"With me, I will never waver," Ryan said Monday. "I am not going to make a decision to save my job. I am in it to win games."
Ryan reportedly gave the team an impassioned speech after a game in which Sanchez completed only nine passes and threw an interception at the goal line. Undoubtedly, he called on them not to give up on a season that is all but over after an awful start.
Other than a Thanksgiving game against New England, the rest of the schedule is a soft one for the Jets, with games against the likes of Jacksonville, St. Louis and Arizona. Of the seven opponents left, only the Patriots have a winning record.
The temptation might be to do something dramatic to salvage the season. But surrendering to that temptation would be wrong.
Sure, it sounded like a great idea over milkshakes at the airport.
But Ryan seems to understand now what took Denver fans a whole season to figure out — that Tim Tebow is not a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg
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