Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sanchez Not Bad, Not Good

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sanchez Not Bad, Not Good

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - A smiling Rex Ryan said he took "a lot of positives" out of the Jets' 37-13 preseason thrashing of lowly Jacksonville at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night.

But here's one big negative, Coach. It appears the Jets got no closer to solving their quarterback riddle.

Mark Sanchez went 13-for-23 for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and partially padded his statistics by playing the entire third quarter with backups against the Jaguars' backups. Sanchez was his usual inconsistent self in the first half against Jacksonville's starting defense, going 8-for-14 for 82 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Challenger Geno Smith didn't play because of a sprained right ankle, and Ryan indicated afterward the competition likely would continue into Saturday's preseason game against the Giants.

"We'll see how it goes," said Ryan, adding he wasn't ready to name a starting quarterback. "Will we name one before the Giants' game? I don't know."

Ryan said Smith was held out because "it's a lot different being in a red [no-contact] jersey than a green-and-white one. ... We did not feel it was prudent to play him."

But they did feel it was prudent to play Sanchez throughout the third quarter, risking him to injury because third-stringer Greg McElroy (ankle) was available only in case of an emergency. Matt Simms (5-for-5, 73 yards) finally relieved Sanchez on the Jets' first possession of the fourth quarter.

The Jets likely wanted to rebuild Sanchez's confidence after a shaky first half. The Jets' starting offense looked terrific on their first series, moving 59 yards in six plays for a touchdown. Sanchez was 3-for-3 for 48 yards on the possession, with the payoff coming on a 23-yard pass to wide-open tight end Jeff Cumberland. It marked the second straight game in which Sanchez and Cumberland connected for a TD. …

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