Jets loss forces Rex Ryan to make a decision

The Jets and Rex Ryan reached a major point of importance today in their loss to the Miami Dolphins. With a record of just 3-5, the Jets can lose one or two more games at the most and still make the playoffs.

Their are two people on extremely hot seats right now. The first is head coach Rex Ryan. Without a playoff birth, it seems unlikely the Jets will retain him as their head coach. The other person on a toasty seat is Mark Sanchez, and his grip on the Jets' starting quarterback position seems to be growing weaker with every passing week.

Mark Sanchez has little control over his future outside of playing well on Sundays, something he hasn't done consistently at all this season. On the other hand, Rex Ryan does hold some level of control. This is his football, and it's now time for him to make a major decision about his team moving forward.

At face value, it appears that Ryan has two options at quarterback, but he actually has a third option which I'll get to in due time.

Option number one for Rex Ryan and the Jets is to stick with Mark Sanchez as the team's starting quarterback. This is the equivalent of a captain staying with his ship, regardless of whether it sinks or floats. Considering the way that Sanchez has played this season, it seems more like going down with the ship than anything else.

The first alternative to staying the course is to give in to the hype machine and install Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback. This is a drastic alternative as it changes the way the offense must function. There's no doubt that Mark Sanchez is a superior passer, but Tebow opens up the running game in a big way. Using Tebow would also help the Jets keep the game's score lower, giving themselves a chance to win a game late. Yes, it's a dramatic move, but at this point what is there to lose?

The final and least talked about alternative is to promote Greg McElroy to the starting job. In his limited action with the team (most of which came in preseason play), McElroy has looked competent, and his entrance into the game could just be that "spark" so many ill-fated teams are chasing. The attractive part of this option is that it allows your offense to function in a very similar way as it does with Sanchez taking the snaps. Frankly, I'm not sure why McElroy's name hasn't been mentioned more around the media outlets.

There it is. Rex Ryan has three options to pick from. With five losses, the lack of a change becomes a de-facto decision by Ryan. The danger is that if he waits any longer to switch it up, it'll already be too late. The ball's in Rex Ryan's court. Don't be surprised if we hear big news out of New York this week.

Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.