One week after being benched and having their season saved - for another seven days - Mark Sanchez returns as the starting quarterback for the New York Jets as they face the 2-10 Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida this afternoon.
Sanchez threw three interceptions last week versus Arizona and was replaced by Greg McElroy, who promptly threw his first career touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter of the Jets' 7-6 victory.
Debate raged early this week about whether or not Sanchez would be named and should be named the starter, and head coach Rex Ryan named Sanchez the starter on Wednesday morning.
State of the Jets
Tight end Dustin Keller has been ruled out and will miss another game this season due to injury. When one considers the play of Sanchez this season, do not discount the fact that he has been without his top two receivers, Keller and Holmes. Tim Tebow, who missed last week with broken ribs, is listed as questionable but is expected to back up Sanchez in his return to his hometown of Jacksonville.
What to Expect
The Jaguars are, by all accounts and statistics, a horrible football team, and they have been equally as bad at home (1-5) as they have on the road.
They rank 31st in the NFL in offense, averaging just 17.2 points per game and have the 31st ranked defense, allowing 28.5 points per game.
Teams will even average offenses would be able to exploit the problems Jacksonville has on defense, but the Jets offense ranks 29th in the league. The Jets should be able to take their 12th ranked rushing attack and control the clock, since Jacksonville is 31st against the run, allowing 144 yards per game.
Grounding and pounding would help take the pressure off of Sanchez, who is looking over his shoulder and playing for his job for the first time in his career.
Henne has played well, posting an 87.0 quarterback rating, but their passing offense still ranks just 24th in the league. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie will have to stop Jags receiver Cecil Shorts, who leads the team in receiving yards and touchdowns and is a big-play threat.
The Jets are the fourth-worst in the league in stopping the run, but luckily for them, the Jags have the league's worst rushing offense, thanks in large part to being without star running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who will miss his seventh consecutive game.
This game might not be great to watch, but it will be worth watching to see how Sanchez responds and how the Jacksonville crowd clamors for Tebow.
Jets: Sanchez -- 2,436 yards, 12 TDs, 13 INTs
Jags: Gabbert -- 1,662 yards, 9 TDs, 6 INTs
Jets: Greene -- 210 carries for 806 yards, 5 TDs
Jags: Jones-Drew -- 86 carries for 414 yards, 1 TD
Jets: Kerley -- 48 catches for 701 yards, 2 TDs
Jags: Shorts -- 43 catches for 824 yards, 7 TDs
Jets: Harris -- 91 tackles
Jags: Allen -- 102 tackles
Jets: Wilkerson -- 3.0 sacks
Jags: 5 players with 2.0 sacks
JETS @ JAGUARS
When: 12/9, 1 pm
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
TV: CBS, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcotts
Radio: ESPN New York 98.7
Line: Jets -3
Follow Jason Pafundi on Twitter @jasonpafundi.