Sanchez to start for Jets on Sunday

Mark Sanchez will be the starting quarterback Sunday when the New York Jets take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jets coach Rex Ryan made the decision Wednesday morning.

"I made the decision to go with Mark this week," said Ryan at a Wednesday news conference. "It's a decision I feel great about. I had conversations with a lot of different people, but at the end of the day it's my decision and I'm comfortable with the decision. I have to get this decision right and I believe I have."

Sanchez was benched in the third quarter of last Sunday's game against Arizona and Greg McElroy led the Jets to their lone touchdown in a 7-6 win.

Ryan said Monday he was comfortable with any of his quarterbacks as a starter, including the injured Tim Tebow, then said he would wait until later in the week to make his decision.

"The biggest thing I kept coming back to is who gives us the best opportunity to win, in particular this week," Ryan added. "I believe the correct answer is Mark Sanchez.

"In saying that, I understand he has to play better, he has to protect the ball better."

Sanchez was intercepted three times in the first half against the Cardinals and threw for just 97 yards while completing only 10-of-21 passes before being pulled for the first time. McElroy connected on 5-of-7 throws, but for only 29 yards with a 1-yard scoring pass to Jeff Cumberland.

"You have to tip your hat to McElroy," Ryan noted. "He came in and did the job, and it made me think about what the appropriate decision was."

Tebow, the backup for most of the season, was inactive against Arizona because of a rib injury.

Ryan added that Tebow's status is still in question.

"If he was completely healthy, then Tim would be our No. 2," Ryan said.

The Jets are 5-7 and have struggled offensively throughout the season with Sanchez under center. The fourth-year starter has completed just 55 percent of his passes for 2,436 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.