When the 4-0 Houston Texans travel to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets Monday night, they’re going to be heavy favorites against a team in the early stages of turmoil. Thanks to national media outlets like ESPN, all football fans are aware that the Jets just got embarrassed at home by the San Francisco 49ers 34-0, are now without injured CB Darrelle Revis and WR Santonio Holmes, and that QB Mark Sanchez has played extremely poor. Furthermore, nobody will let fans forget that a certain polarizing backup QB is still on the Jets roster. So, with the Jets going up against one of the NFL’s top ranked defenses Monday night, could it be the final starting performance for Sanchez, ultimately leading to a second coming of Tebowmania?
Through four games, the Texans have absolutely terrorized quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning, and even Peyton didn’t have his best game. Unfortunately for Jets fans, Sanchez isn’t exactly in Peyton’s league and fans should be very worried about his performance this coming Monday night. Sanchez has thus far led the Jets to the 27th ranked passing offense and 26th overall unit, and as already mentioned, Sanchez just lost his top receiver in Holmes. That stat line entering a game with the Texans’ third ranked defense and fourth against the pass is cause for concern. There is a very strong likelihood that similar to QBs Ryan Tannehill, Blaine Gabbert, and Jake Locker/Matt Hasselbeck before him (combined 59.02 QB Rating), Sanchez is going to have a brutally bad game against the Texans D.
What does another bad Sanchez performance mean for the football community? It means we all inch one step closer to the reemergence of Tim Tebow as a starting NFL quarterback. During last week’s blow out loss to the 49ers, the Jets fans still left in attendance began a “Tebow” chant late in the game, indicating that at least some Jets fans are fed up enough with Sanchez that they would like to see Tebow get a shot at leading their team. Monday night on national TV, they might just get their wish.
Depending on how bad the Texans rough up the Jets offense, fans could see Sanchez get benched before the conclusion of the game in favor of Tebow. There are several other reasons for this, both political and football related. Aside from Sanchez’s poor play, Tebow might actually give the Jets the best chance of beating the Texans. An offense run by Tebow will unquestionably be run-oriented and through four games, if you have to pick a weakness in the Texans’ defense, it would be stopping the run. Just going by the numbers, it would appear running the ball against the Texans could be a key for success, if there is one at all. Tebow is a better fit to lead that sort of offensive attack than Sanchez is, so from an Xs and Os perspective, Tebow might actually be the better option.
There is also the political side of things. Jets owner Woody Johnson has been vocal this week in his support of Tebow and the possibility of starting him at quarterback. Johnson is the one who gave the go-ahead to trade two draft picks for Tebow back in March and has a Jerry Jones-esque appeal for media attention and circus hoopla. Johnson brought in Tebow for one thing and one thing only, to grab headlines, and what better way to do that than be the starting quarterback for the Jets.
Now, there is always the possibility that Sanchez plays well Monday night and garners extra kudos because it would be against a great defense. It’s very unlikely, but is a possibility nonetheless. So if and when Sanchez is benched against the Texans, Tebowmania will officially take hold of the national media once again. Fans around the NFL will be forced to suffer through excessive coverage of a mediocre backup QB in lieu of coverage of their favorite teams, as was the case during most of the 2011 NFL season.
The plead from Texans fans like myself to the nation is this: please don’t blame us. We’re sorry if our Texans’ ass kicking of the Jets sparks Tebowmania all over again. Yes, we know it’s not like the national media outlets cover us anyway despite our dominant 4-0 start, but any headway we have made with the masses will be stunted. Brace yourselves for the Yahoo!s, USA Todays, and jEtSPNs to turn their focus into shoving Tim Tebow down our throats again, the writing is on the wall.
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