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Mark Sanchez could win Jets' job despite uneven game

The New York Jets know what they have in Mark Sanchez. Nothing he showed during his preseason start Saturday night changed that.

The quarterback's performance in a 37-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was emblematic of his career. He started strong, directing a quick touchdown drive and completing his first five passes. He subsequently threw a red-zone interception and was booed off the field entering halftime after badly botching a clock-management situation. (Sanchez ran out of time before the Jets could attempt a field goal.)

The final numbers were solid: 13-of-23 passing for 169 yards and one touchdown with the interception. Sanchez played deep into the third quarter because rookie Geno Smith and No. 3 quarterback Greg McElroy both sat out with ankle injuries.

Sanchez, who left the game with a big lead, hasn't done anything in this preseason to prove he's made strides. The quarterback battle in New York really is about Smith battling himself. (Smith currently is losing.)

The second-round draft pick has to show he's healthy and effective next week or Sanchez will win the Jets' QB job by default. As usual.

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