Barring injury or an unforeseen cataclysmic event, Mark Sanchez will be the New York Jets opening day starting quarterback. Rookie signal-caller Geno Smith looked the part of a first-year pro as he tossed three first half interceptions; squandering his opportunity to put heat on Sanchez and make the Jets' quarterback battle a neck-and-neck race.
Instead Smith gift wrapped Sanchez the starting gig and the embattled veteran will likely have one last stand to win over his coaching staff and disgruntled fan base. In the wake of Smith's dismal performance, the Jets will turn to their fifth-year gunslinger to regain the swagger that lifted Gang Green to consecutive AFC title game berths in 2009 and 2010.
While Sanchez's job appears safe for now, if the veteran struggles early in the season, New York could give Smith another chance to showcase his skills at some point in 2013.