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Rex Ryan stands behind Mark Sanchez as Jets tumble

The New York Jets' 28-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday illustrated all the problems that have sent this team disappearing into the darkness.

Shoddy quarterback play. An inability to establish or stop the run. Killer special teams gaffes. Turnovers in the red zone.

Add it all up and you have a functionally poor football team. The Jets (3-6) now need a remarkable turnaround to avoid missing the postseason for the second consecutive year.

As always, the focus is on Mark Sanchez, who was dreadful again. On his 26th birthday, the fourth-year quarterback completed just nine of 22 passes for 124 yards. It's the fourth time in nine games Sanchez has thrown for less than 140 yards. He added two ugly turnovers for good measure.

Ryan said the Jets will stick with Sanchez despite the struggles.

"I believe we can win with Mark. And I believe we can win with (Tim) Tebow, but I'm not going to let you or anybody else convince me out of it, OK?" Ryan said, his tone sharpening. "Because this is how I feel. He gives us the best opportunity to win games, and that's the only reason I make any move."

Sanchez's nadir came in the second quarter, when he badly telegraphed his end zone pass intended for Dustin Keller and was intercepted by Richard Sherman. Keller was actually open for a split second, but Sanchez didn't pull the trigger in time -- a recurring theme this season.


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"Just a bad decision. Just trying to play out too long and got greedy," Sanchez said.

The Jets' only points of the game came on a defensive score by Muhammad Wilkerson in the first quarter.

Sanchez isn't the only problem on this team, but he is a problem. Rex Ryan is too smart not to see that, which really tells you all you need to know about his belief in Tim Tebow.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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