Why Jets should start Sanchez

Mark Sanchez, right, gives the Jets a better chance to win this season. Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night in Detroit, Mark Sanchez will take the field as the starting quarterback in the New York Jets' first preseason game. But that means almost nothing when it comes to the question of who will start for the Jets once the games start to count.

Reports out of Jets camp at SUNY Cortland say that second-round rookie Geno Smith has far outplayed Sanchez in scrimmages. But it was just a week ago that reporters were noting that Smith looked out of shape, and in minicamp, Smith seemed nowhere close to being ready to start.

The Jets haven't decided whether Sanchez or Smith should be their starting quarterback this year, but whom should they choose? That decision comes down to two questions: Which QB is better for the Jets if they want to try to win this year, and which is better for the Jets in the long term?

Of course, the idea that the Jets should care one bit about the short term may seem ridiculous to most fans who currently think of them as one of the NFL's most screwed-up franchises. But it was only two seasons ago that the Jets were 8-5 going into the final three games, despite having the subpar Sanchez at quarterback.