Rex refuses to name starting QB

December, 18, 2012
12/18/12
3:03
AM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Once again, the Jets have a quarterback controversy. Does anybody really care?

"I'm not ready to say who will be at quarterback for the next game," Rex Ryan said Monday night after a crushing 14-10 loss to the Titans at LP Field.

It was another non-endorsement for Mark Sanchez, who suffered one of the worst games of his career. He tied a career high with five turnovers, including four interceptions. He completed only 13 of 28 passes for 131 yards, a passer rating of 32.6.

Mark Sanchez
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesMark Sanchez, in one of the worst performances of his career, turned the ball over five times against the Titans on Monday night.
Three weeks ago, Ryan made Sanchez sweat for a few days after pulling him in the third quarter of an eventual win over the Cardinals. Greg McElroy rallied the team to the victory and was thought to be under consideration for the starting job, but that turned out to be a farce.

Ryan ended up sticking with Sanchez, dropping McElroy behind Tim Tebow, who returned to the active roster after sitting out the Arizona game with sore ribs.

This time, Ryan will lose some credibility if he sticks with Sanchez. Now that the Jets (6-8) are officially eliminated from playoff contention, he might be more apt to go with Tebow. Who knows, maybe he'll give McElroy serious consideration.

"We keep turning the ball over," Ryan said. "It's killing us. It's tough."

Tebow replaced Sanchez for the third possession -- five plays and a punt -- the first time Tebow played an entire series. He went 0-for-1 and was sacked.

Ryan said he and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano decided before the game that Tebow would get the third series, no matter what. Sanchez said he was aware of that before the game.

Why did they make that decision in a must-win game?

"I don't know," Sanchez said. "Ask coach."

It culminated a weird week of Tebow-related stories.

Four days before the game, Ryan said Tebow wasn't healthy enough to play in the Wildcat. The next day, Ryan did an about-face, saying Tebow's sore ribs had healed. Suddenly, there he was, lining up behind center. He ended up rushing three times for 15 yards.

Sanchez didn't sound confident that he'd remain the starter.

"I just have to go in and play and prepare like the starter and see what happens," he said.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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