Tim Tebow made his well-publicized debut in a New York Jets uniform— only it was on a special teams punt. The highly anticipated appearance of Tebow behind center didn't happen until 14:01 of the second quarter after starter Mark Sanchez had already marked his territory.
Tebow's first set of downs as quarterback for the Jets— in an exhibition game against the Cincinnati Bengals— didn't look much different from where he left off with his old team the Denver Broncos— a sprinkling of free-flying passes and stampeding runs through the defense.
You know what they say: The more things change, the more the QB stays the same.
The Jets' new "backup" did complete his first throw in green and white— a 12-yarder to Steven Hill. Other high and low lights in Tebow's first game with Gang Green included a first down run, a holding call, and another 10 yard run before throwing it away on a third-and-two. The Jets settled for a 42-yard field goal. He later threw a bad interception in the third quarter to end his night 4/8 for 28 yards, an INT and 34 yards rushing.
The Wildcat was nowhere to be seen.
While Tebow already looked like he was in shaky mid-season form, Sanchez came out flat and finished his quarter by going four of six for 21 yards. He was sacked twice and scrambled on one play. Later, Sanchez joked he was using "his inner Tebow" on that run.
Rex Ryan said he was happy with Tebow's game. At half time, the head coach said that opposing defenses were going to have to "go after him" to keep him from making plays.
Tony Sparano, the Jets offensive coordinator, said he was going to keep the offense "vanilla" for the first game. Tebow added a little Rocky Road as usual.