The offensive futility continued for the New York Jets on Sunday night as they fell to 0-3 in the preseason with a 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Quarterback Mark Sanchez did have his best outing of the preseason going 11-of-18 with 123 yards, but still couldn't get in the end zone. Tim Tebow took over in the third quarter and looked frankly bad, going 4-of-14 for 55 yards with a ghastly interception. The Jets lost Dustin Keller and David Harris to injury during the game, but neither injury appears to be serious.
Sanchez came out of the gate firing, hitting Dustin Keller and Patrick Turner for 24 and 20 yard gains, respectively, on his first two passes of the game. On the Jets' third drive -- after their first netted a field goal and the second was a three and out -- Sanchez advanced the Jets deep with a few completions, including a 32-yarder to rookie Stephen Hill. But once again, the Jets had to settle for a field goal.
Later in the half the Jets turned the ball over, as Hill dropped a perfect spiral in between the numbers from Sanchez, and the ball was picked off by Captain Munnerlyn. The Panthers turned the good field position into the only touchdown of the first half, taking a 10-9 lead.
In their first offensive possession of the second half, Shonn Greene finally showed that he could break off a run, scampering for 18 yards and advancing the Jets to the 26 yard line. But the Jets were docked 15 yards on an unsportsmanlike penalty, and Josh Brown missed a 45 yard field goal attempt.
Then it was Tebow Time. The Jets were given good field position when LaRon Landry picked off Derek Anderson, and Tebow took over. After completing a nice pass to Hill and following up with a should-be pick and a rogue missile on 3rd down, the field goal barrage continued and Nick Folk made his third of the night to give the Jets the lead, 12-10. On the ensuing drive the Panthers went 76 yards and re took the lead, 17-12, on a 1-yard pass from Anderson to Gary Barnidge.
Tebow's next drive showed the good of Tebow and the bad. On a 3rd and 16, Tebow avoided a sack and scrambled for a first down, breaking a few tackles at the first down line and gaining 20 yards. But three plays later on another 3rd and 16, Tebow broke out of the pocket but threw the ball right at Reggie Smith -- who plays for the Carolina Panthers. On the Jets next and final possession, they stalled at the Carolina 27-yard line.
There were some positives for the Jets, as the first team defense looked very good in keeping Cam Newton in check, but the Jets will now go into the season with neither of their top two quarterbacks having reached the end zone. It's not exactly how they drew it up.