Rex Ryan could not believe it. He just stood on the sideline shaking his head.
The New York Jets head coach watched his talented defense get "Tebow-ed" late in the fourth quarter. Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow drove 95 yards on 12 plays for the game-winning touchdown in a 17-13 victory over New York.
Ryan guaranteed the Jets (5-5) would win the Super Bowl this season. He would be lucky if this team made it to the playoffs.
This is the time of year when the good teams step up, and the Jets have done the opposite.
New York lost its second game in five days. Getting beat by Tom Brady Sunday night was acceptable. But losing to Tebow Thursday is not for a veteran team.
Remember this two-game stretch in January if the Jets are left out of this year's playoff party.
Here are some other things we learned about the Jets Thursday:
1. Questions remain for Sanchez: We saw the good, the bad and the ugly from Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. There was a good stretch when Sanchez completed a season-high 11 consecutive passes, which helped lead to New York’s only touchdown in the third quarter. Then we saw plenty of bad, as Sanchez missed several open receivers and failed many times on third downs (3-for-14). The ugly was Sanchez's pick-six that put Denver back in the game. It was Sanchez's second pick-six in two games, and set the table for Tebow to pull off Denver's late comeback.
2. Running back depth an issue: New York's top two running backs were on the shelf by the start of the third quarter. Veteran backup LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) didn't make the trip and starter Shonn Greene (ribs) was injured in the first half. The Jets used third- and fourth-stringers Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell exclusively in the second half. The Jets will be monitoring the status of Tomlinson and Greene next week. They need both players.
3. Playoffs start now for Jets: It probably will take at least 10 wins to get into the postseason. That means New York has to go 5-1 the rest of the season to have a chance. It starts next week in a likely playoff eliminator against the Buffalo Bills (5-4). But even if the Jets are fortunate to win 10 games, they lost head-to-head tiebreakers to the Baltimore Ravens (6-3), Oakland Raiders (5-4), and now the Broncos (5-5). It's not looking good for New York. Tebow may have knocked the Jets out of the playoffs with a huge, fourth-quarter drive Thursday night.