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Mark Sanchez's role minimized in New York Jets' win

The New York Jets still are alive. Not by much, but we can detect a pulse.


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Continuing to take advantage of the soft underbelly of their schedule, the Jets held off the host Jacksonville Jaguars for a 17-10 win Sunday.

At 6-7, the Jets remain in the AFC playoff picture, with another favorable matchup on tap next Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. At a modest two games, the Jets have their first winning streak of the season.

Coach Rex Ryan opted to stick with quarterback Mark Sanchez this week, a decision that didn't look promising in the first half of Sunday's game. Sanchez missed several open receivers and again showed his lack of ball security on a strip-sack by Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin. The first half ended with the Jets scoreless in 16 consecutive possessions with Sanchez under center -- that's a difficult level of futility to pull off.

Fortunately for Ryan, he was spared from the decision to bench Sanchez for a second consecutive week after the Jets' first drive of the third quarter. The Jets marched 57 yards on nine plays, capped by a 1-yard plunge by Shonn Greene. The Jets ran the ball seven times on the drive, executing a strategy aimed at keeping the ball out of Sanchez's hands as much as possible. The Jets rushed for 167 yards against the NFL's 31st-ranked defense.

For the game, Sanchez completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards with one turnover and no touchdowns.

The Jets have turned back the clock to 2009 in their offensive strategy: Repeatedly run the ball, lean hard on the defense and limit Sanchez's opportunities. This can be effective against weak competition, but the Jets can't hide their quarterback woes forever.

Now nearly four full seasons into the Sanchez era, the franchise must be deeply disappointed to be playing this way.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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