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New York Jets' win quiets Mark Sanchez vs. Tim Tebow debate

  • By Associated Press
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Dustin Keller stood in front of his locker for nearly 10 minutes and, perhaps for the first time in months, wasn't asked about his two most popular New York Jets teammates.

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Nothing about Mark Sanchez.

Nothing about Tim Tebow.

"Hey, yeah," the Jets tight end said Wednesday with a big smile. "Yeah, you're right. It's about time."

There also was no mention of either player during coach Rex Ryan's news conference, a rarity for a Jets team that has drawn an incredible amount of attention for months because of its popular backup quarterback. New York's quarterback controversy appeared ready to boil over just a few days ago. Now, it's back to a simmer -- at least for this week.

Funny what a win can do. After all, Sanchez went out and put up a game that hardly will rank among the best of his NFL career.

Sanchez was 11-of-18 passing for just 82 yards in Sunday's 35-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, marking the third time he failed to throw for at least 100 in his three-plus seasons. But he had two touchdowns and no turnovers, leading a Jets offense that returned to its run-first philosophy under coordinator Tony Sparano with 252 yards on the ground, including a career-high 161 by Shonn Greene.

"We've got to be balanced, I've always thought," Sanchez said. "The way we rushed it last week was nice. It makes my job easy, but if we need to throw it, we'll throw it. Whatever we need to do to be efficient."

Said Tebow: "I think we're getting better as a team. I feel like we're given an opportunity to try and make the most of it. (We're) just working hard to get better every day and every week."

Now comes the big test: Sunday's showdown with New England Patriots, who like the Jets are 3-3 and in a four-way tie atop the AFC East.

A lot of the criticism of the Jets through six games has been their scattered use of Tebow, who was expected to be a major part of the offense. Instead, he has been used in just 44 offensive plays, which averages to just over seven a game.

Whatever it takes for victories. That's what will make all the Sanchez vs. Tebow talk disappear for good.

"I'm just trying to find ways to get wins," Sanchez said, "and not really worry about outside opinions."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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