The New York Jets have a major problem. They've played three preseason games, and they still haven't put the ball in the endzone. At this point, it's hard to imagine Tony Sparano feeling comfortable about his job security as the Jets prepare for their final preseason game against the Eagles.
Last night's game against Carolina showed us a few things. First off, the Jets can move the ball. Most of their field goals were chip shots. The connected on a 46 yard kick and missed a 45 yard attempt. The missed kick would have been a 40 yard attempt had they not jumped offside before snapping the ball for the kick. All their other field goals were even shorter yet.
The problem is that the Jets haven't found a way to get over the hump. On one possession, they started at the Panthers' 12 yard line, and only walked away with a field goal. That's just not how you win football games at this level.
The easy scapegoat is Mark Sanchez. I know that many coaches and players in the Jets' camp will run to his defense, but when was the last time that Peyton Manning's offense or Tom Brady's offense went on this type of slump? The fact of the matter is that great, hell even good, quarterbacks find a way to get the ball in the endzone.
The real question is, what happens if this continues into the regular season? What if the Jets can only average 1 or 2 touchdowns per game. Do the fans begin to pull for Tebow as their starter? And, do the Jets really have anything to lose by switching quarterbacks? I'm not sure they do.
Mark Sanchez is only more valuable than Tim Tebow as a starting quarterback if he's throwing the ball well and moving his team down the field for touchdowns. Anyone can come in and run an anemic offense.
Rex Ryan will find himself on a very hot seat if the Jets get off to a slow start in 2012. He may have to make a switch at quarterback out of desperation to save his job. Tim Tebow forces defenses to approach a game in a unique way, giving him the upper hand going into the game. If he could develop into a mediocre passer, he could actually give the Jets a better chance of winning than Mark Sanchez.
During a 4th quarter interview last night, Mark Sanchez joked that the Jets were saving all their touchdowns for the regular season. That would have been funny if we believed the Jets had any touchdowns in them. At this point, I'm not sure they do.