Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sanchez's focus is on role, not status

Playoff glance


Team/Div. Rec. Div. Cnf.

y Falcons-S12-2 3-2 8-2

z 49ers-W 10-3-1 2-1-1 6-3-1

y Packers-N 10-4 5-0 8-3

Redskins-E 8-6 3-1 6-4

Wild card

Seahawks 9-5 1-3 6-4

Vikings 8-6 3-2 6-5

In the hunt

Bears 8-6 2-3 5-5

Cowboys 8-6 3-2 5-5

Giants 8-6 2-3 7-4

Remaining schedules

Falcons: at Lions, vs. Bucs

49ers: at Seahawks, vs. Cardinals

Packers: vs. Titans, at Vikings

Redskins: at Eagles, vs. Cowboys

Seahawks: vs. 49ers, vs. Rams

Vikings: at Texans, vs. Packers

Bears: at Cardinals, at Lions

Cowboys: vs. Saints, at Redskins

Giants: at Ravens, vs. Eagles


Team/Div. Rec. Div. Cnf.

y Texans-S 12-2 5-0 10-1

y Broncos-W 11-3 5-0 8-2

y Patriots-E 10-4 5-0 9-1

z Ravens-N 9-5 4-1 8-3

Wild card

Colts 9-5 3-2 6-4

Bengals 8-6 1-3 5-5

In the hunt

Steelers 7-7 2-2 4-6

Remaining schedules

Texans: vs. Vikings, at Colts

Broncos: vs. Browns, vs. Chiefs

Patriots: at Jaguars, vs. Dolphins

Ravens: vs. Giants, at Bengals

Colts: at Chiefs, vs. Texans

Bengals: at Steelers, vs. Ravens

Steelers: vs. Bengals, vs. Browns

y—clinched division z—clinched playoff

Clinching scenarios


• First-round bye: win OR Packers loss OR 49ers loss

• Top seed: win OR losses by the Packers and 49ers


• NFC West: win

• First-round bye: win AND Packers loss


Playoff berth: win AND losses by the Giants, Bears and Vikings


Playoff berth: win OR losses by the Bears, Vikings and Redskins


Playoff berth: win AND losses by the Bears, Vikings, Cowboys and Redskins


• First-round bye: win OR Patriots loss or Broncos loss

• Top seed: win OR losses by the Patriots AND Broncos


First-round bye: win AND Patriots loss


AFC North: win


Playoff berth: win OR clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over Bengals OR Steelers loss


Playoff berth: win

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — In the span of five days, Mark Sanchez has gone from starter to benchwarmer to, possibly, offseason trade material. But the beleaguered Jets quarterback said he isn't focused on the trade rumors.

"I haven't really thought about it," he said Friday about the team's reported interest in exploring "all options" regarding his 2013 status. "I'm focused on this game and the game next week and then we'll assess all that stuff at a later date."

For the time being, he said his sole responsibility is helping third-stringer Greg McElroy prepare for his first NFL start.

After Sanchez's five-turnover performance in a loss to the Titans, coach Rex Ryan tabbed McElroy as the starter ahead of Sanchez and former Gator Tim Tebow. "I'm just getting ready and helping Greg as much as I can," Sanchez said.

Meanwhile offensive coordinator Tony Sparano praised Tebow's efforts and defended their use of the wildcat, saying he "wouldn't use the words 'didn't work' at all."

"We had a plan going into this thing," he said. "Just predicated on what we saw out there. Tim has worked really hard out here, he's done a good job."

Bills to renovate stadium: The Bills reached an agreement with Erie County and the state on a lease deal for the Ralph Wilson Stadium that will keep the franchise in western New York until at least 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and team officials said. The agreement includes $130 million in renovations, with the Bills providing $35 million and the state and county covering $95 million.

RG3 probable: Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (sprained right knee) was listed as probable against the Eagles, or, as coach Mike Shanahan put it: "There is a very, very good chance he is going to play."

Fines: Falcons safety Chris Hope was fined $30,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Giants receiver Victor Cruz. Hope was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play. Other fines levied by the NFL included 49ers safety Dashon Goldson ($21,000, illegal hit), Titans defensive end Antonio Smith and Jets defensive end Quinton Coples ($15,750 each, helmet-to-helmet hits), and Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin and Ravens cornerback Cary Williams ($15,750 each, unnecessary roughness).

Steeler changes aim: Linebacker James Harrison said he has changed his approach to tackling because of the NFL's new standards on player safety. "I've really lowered my target area to where it's down around the knees," he said on ESPN Radio.

Bears: Linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring) will miss his third straight game.

Colts: Interim coach Bruce Arians is cautiously optimistic that coach Chuck Pagano, cleared to return by doctors after chemotherapy to battle leukemia, will be running the team Monday.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Sanchez's focus is on role, not status 12/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 9:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'


    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now


    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.