Whenever a team endures a 34-point loss and is shutout in their own building, there is plenty of blame to go around. With quarterback Mark Sanchez coming off one of the worst performances of his pro career, head coach Rex Ryan still gave his young signal-caller a vote of confidence.
"I think he's definitely our guy," Ryan said of Sanchez's starting status. "We’ve had some poor performances in the past, and not just from our quarterback, from our team, and been whipped pretty good. I'm confident we'll come back, I'm confident we'll respond and play much better."
The Jets hit an ultimate low on Sunday against San Francisco, tallying less than 150 total yards and failing to score a single point for just the fourth time in franchise history. When Ryan and company traded for Tim Tebow in the offseason, the front office anticipated Gang Green ascending the rushing ranks and successfully implementing a well-balanced dual-quarterback system.
So far neither has transpired and while Ryan refuses to give up hope, he admitted things haven't exactly gone as planned.
Tebow finally attempted a pass on Sunday
"I envisioned Mark Sanchez being our starting quarterback and Tim being able to have some roles on this football team," Ryan admitted. "I think you see that as a personal protector and I think you see those things (with) some of the Wildcat. “We haven’t been as successful at running the Wildcat as I thought we would. I think that's fair to say, but again, without question, I'm not ready to give up on him. I think the Wildcat is tough to defend, and I've always said that. It certainly looked like it yesterday with them running their version of the Wildcat."
The 49ers' gadget offense featured former Nevada standout Colin Kaepernick carrying the ball five times for 50 yards including a seven-yard touchdown scamper for San Francisco's first points of the afternoon. Meanwhile, Tebow has yet to play beyond three consecutive plays this season, and when the coaching staff finally let the former Heisman Trophy winner attempt a pass, tight end Dedrick Epps promptly fumbled the football, just one of New York's four turnovers on Sunday.
With speculation growing that a change under center could be on the horizon for New York, Ryan is sticking to his guns and riding with his hand-picked quarterback.
"I just know in my heart, right now, that this is not the time," Ryan said of making a quarterback switch. "I think Tim (Tebow) is an outstanding player, I think Mark is. Right now, I think Mark gives us our best opportunity to win. I will always do in my opinion what's in the best interest of this team, and that interest is what gives us the best chance to win."
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland