It wasn’t quite meant to be Tebow Time yet in the Big Apple. The New York Jets beat the NFL odds against the Buffalo Bills last week as 2.5-point favorites 48-28, and Mark Sanchez did just about everything right after getting picked off in the opening drive of the game. He was so good, throwing for three touchdowns and 266 yards, that the only time we really heard the name of Tim Tebow came when he recovered an onside kick as a member of the hands team in the fourth quarter.
That’s all going to change this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where the Jets have opened up as 6.5-point underdogs.
The Steelers are coming off of a game in which they were torched by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, and they are going to want to make life a living hell for Sanchez, Tebow, or whomever the Jets decide that they are going to throw out there under center.
Did we mention that there might be a little bit of animosity coming from the Steel City on Sunday? Remember that the last time that Pittsburgh saw Tebow, it was being torched for a long touchdown pass on the first play of overtime in the playoffs. It was the last play of the season for the Steelers, and the start of a long offseason.
Tebow was terrible for the most part, though it must be noted that he did hit four deep balls, including the 80-yard to Demaryius Thomas that won the game.
Sanchez did have a relatively solid game against the Steelers in the playoffs two years ago, but in his one regular season game against them, he threw for just 170 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per pass attempt.
Venom is going to be seething for sure from this Pittsburgh defense, and one of the league’s worst offensive lines is going to be challenged to keep ferocious pass rushers out of the backfield. The pressure and the split second decisions will come down to Tebow and to Sanchez, both of which I’d expect to put the ball in the air a bit on Sunday.
The Jets are flying high after beating their divisional foes by 20 points, but now is the time that really matters. This Sunday is when both Sanchez and the man that is on his heels for the starting quarterback job will truly be judged.