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Sanchez named Jets' starting QB for Week 14

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By Kevin Fishbain

Rex Ryan named Mark Sanchez the Jets’ starting quarterback for their Week 14 game against the Jaguars.

Ryan met with the quarterbacks on Wednesday morning to tell them his decision.

Sanchez, who had started every game but one since being drafted in 2009, was benched for the first time in his career in last Sunday’s 7-6 win over the Cardinals. He threw three interceptions in the first half and has 13 picks and five lost fumbles on the year for the 5-7 Jets.

2011 seventh-round QB Greg McElroy replaced Sanchez, as QB Tim Tebow was inactive with a rib injury. McElroy completed 5-of-7 passes for 29 yards and one touchdown.

Sanchez, who signed a contract extension in March, is due a guaranteed $8.25 million for the 2013 season.

The way we see it

This is not a long-term decision, and Sanchez will certainly be on a short leash on Sunday, but this is the decision the Jets had to make. They have a heavy financial commitment to Sanchez for 2013 and, as much as he has struggled — especially over the last two seasons — he’s still the best quarterback on the roster.

What’s interesting is that reports indicate Tebow was never really an option, nor should he have been, to start for the Jets in his hometown of Jacksonville. McElroy did his job last week, and could get another chance in the last month, but he was a seventh-round pick for a reason.

The location of the game — on the road, and not in the New Meadowlands — reportedly played a role, since the home fans would have been relentless against Sanchez. That says a lot about Sanchez’s mental strength and the circus at quarterback thus far this season for the Jets.

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