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The Tebow Madness Is Upon Us

In case you were doing, oh, anything else with your life on Friday night, the Jets played their first preseason game and, hey, guess who the story was about? C'mon, just guess.

The Jets lost their preseason game Friday 17-6 to the Cincinnati Bengals — as much as you can "lose" a preseason game — and their offense couldn't get much of anything going at all. In fact, the only time the offense did anything was when Tim Tebow was running it. The Jets' offensive line was a mess the whole game, so the only real play the Jets had was "Wait for the play to break down and let Tebow run like crazy." That worked: The Jets' one sustained drive was led by Tebow, who ended up the team's leading rusher with 34 yards on four carries. (He also was on punt coverage and threw an interception. Busy night.)

When the offense looked as bad as it did, the question arises: If it's that bad all year, shouldn't Tebow just take over? These are the type of questions that pop up during preseason. Exhibition games don't give you much to work with.

The Jets have insisted for months that there is no quarterback controversy — Sanchez is the starter — but Tebow is arguably their second-best playmaker behind Santonio Holmes. The Jets didn’t use Tebow in Wildcat formations, but it’s undoubtedly coming. “Are we going to do it? Of course,” Ryan said. “At some point, we’re going to do it. Some people think that the Wildcat’s come and gone. No, it hasn’t. If anything, it’s just the opposite.”

This is, of course, what's going to happen every time Tebow does anything, good or bad, quarterback or otherwise: People are going to speculate — not just media, but players and fans and anyone keeping so much as a cursory eye on the team — about what it means for Mark Sanchez. (Who threw six passes and completed four of them on Friday.) This is the reason the trade for Tebow was seen as so odd in the first place. The Jets have always insisted that Sanchez is their quarterback and will remain their quarterback, and why are you people asking about Tebow, that's so strange, stop that. And no one ever, ever believes them. The Jets' next exhibition is Saturday night against the Giants, when we get to go through all this again.

Photo: Al Pereira/Al Pereira