SEATTLE – Perhaps the biggest Jets news coming out of Sunday’s 28-7 loss to the Seahawks was that despite being on the field for 10 snaps, backup quarterback Tim Tebow appears no closer to becoming New York’s starting quarterback.
Tebow directed the offense for seven plays, running the ball four times for 14 yards and going 3-for-3 as a passer, although picking up just eight total yards through the air. He was also behind the center for three other plays, two of which resulted in false-start penalties against New York and one in a defensive hold against Seattle.
Meanwhile, Jets’ starting quarterback Mark Sanchez had a grim day on the west coast, hitting on just nine of 22 attempts, throwing one huge interception in the red zone and taking three sacks. On one of the three sacks, he fumbled the ball away.
But down the stretch, as the Seattle lead increased from seven points to 14 points and ultimately 21 points, Tebow saw increasingly less playing time. Coach Rex Ryan left Sanchez in when it was time to pass the ball, irrespective of the poor passing and ball-control displays Sanchez put on.
The three passes thrown by Tebow were insignificant in terms of the game, a third consecutive loss for the Jets, but were significant in that they matched the total number of times he’d put the ball in the air in the Jets’ first eight games. The plays were put into the Jets’ playbook this week in practice.
"We’ve had some of that stuff in (for) a little while," Tebow said, "but most of it was (added) this week. I felt great (about the changes). I thought it was effective. I thought we were spreading the defense out. I thought we had opportunities for even bigger plays."
Perhaps the biggest play of the game for Tebow came when Ryan had him under center for a third-and-goal at the 1-yard line on the Jets’ first possession of the second quarter. New York was called for a false start, however, and Sanchez came into the game.
Tebow showed as much emotion as he’s shown this season on having that play whistled off.
"I thought we had an opportunity to score a touchdown," Tebow said. "I didn’t think they were in a good look to stop us after that play. When you get the opportunities, you want to make the most of them, and that didn’t happen there."
That’s a serious understatement considering what happened next. Sanchez came in with the ball on the 6-yard-line and threw a floating interception, denying New York its only chance to take the lead.
Sanchez took full responsibility for the interception, saying, "it was just a bad decision."
"I strung the play out too long and got greedy," Sanchez said. "It’s my job to move on to the next play and kick a field goal and get us some points and get out of there. That was the start of the turn of things going bad."
But after the game, Ryan said he was sticking with Sanchez as the starter, no matter how much hue comes from Tebow partisans.
Tebow, however, isn’t going to erupt.
"I’ve just got to continue to work hard in my role," he said. "That’s it."
Tebow, who was sporting a major ice pack on his back as a reward for the afternoon’s excursion, did say he’d like to get more plays at flanker – he didn’t get any
on Sunday – but he said that the failure to score from the 1-yard-line might have played into that.
"If I punch that one in there at the goal line, we’re up 14-7 and it’s a lot different game,’’ he said. ``We can keep managing the game for our offense, if best-suited."