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Mark Sanchez: From cornerstone to bench in two years

Mark Sanchez officially lost his starting job with the New York Jets on Tuesday. So how did we get here?

Jan. 16, 2011: Sanchez throws three touchdown passes as the Jets upset the New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Playoffs. The unquestionable high point of the Ryan/Sanchez era.

Jan. 23, 2011: Despite excellent second-half play by Sanchez, the Jets are narrowly defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in their second consecutive AFC Championship Game loss. The tipping point.

Oct. 2, 2011: In a primetime showcase that changed the trajectory of their season, the Jets are blown out by the Baltimore Ravens. Sanchez turns it over twice and throws for 118 yards. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes later criticizes Sanchez and the Jets' offensive line.

Nov. 17, 2011: In another primetime affair, Sanchez throws a deadly third-quarter pick six that keeps the Denver Broncos alive. Old friend Tim Tebow stuns the Jets with a game-winning 95-yard drive in the final minutes.

Jan. 1, 2012: Sanchez throws three interceptions against the Miami Dolphins as the Jets end their season on a three-game losing streak. In the week that follows, Sanchez is ripped by anonymous Jets. He later calls the criticism "gutless."

March 12, 2012: The Jets end months of speculation about Peyton Manning by giving Sanchez a three-year contract extension. The deal guarantees Sanchez $8.25 million in 2013.

March 21, 2012: The Jets acquire Tebow from the Broncos for two draft picks. The Jets make it clear Sanchez will remain the starter, but Holmes later says the move "rattled" Sanchez.

Sept. 9, 2012: After the Jets' first-team offense was blanked for the entirety of the preseason, Sanchez throws three touchdown passes in leading the Jets to a rout of the Buffalo Bills in the season opener.

Sept. 30, 2012: The Jets are shutout at home by the San Francisco 49ers. Sanchez throws for 103 yards, one of seven games he'll throw for 150 yards or less during season. Chants of "Te-bow" ring through the Meadowlands.

Nov. 22, 2012: The Butt-Fumble.

Dec. 2, 2012: Sanchez throws for 97 yards and three interceptions before being benched in favor of Greg McElroy. Ryan takes three days before announcing that Sanchez will start the following Sunday.

Dec. 17, 2012: Sanchez throws four interceptions and loses a fumble as the Jets are eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the Tennessee Titans. After consecutive trips to the AFC title games to start his career, Sanchez and the Jets miss the postseason for the second year in a row. After the game, Ryan won't call Sanchez the starter.

Dec. 18, 2012: The Jets announce McElroy will start in Week 16.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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