But to many, the decision to go with Sanchez has already been made. He outplayed Clemens in the preseason opener last week against the Rams and has outperformed him throughout training camp. Sanchez also has been as impressive mentally as physically. It appears only a total meltdown against the Ravens would prevent Sanchez from receiving the official word sooner rather later.
''It's pretty much over,'' said one player, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, of the much-celebrated quarterback derby. ''Kellen has been tentative all camp. He's playing not to lose. The interceptions (12) ... He's not throwing to the right receivers. Sanchez has improved a lot. I think we'll be all right with him.''
Ryan, of course, has been effusive in his praise of Sanchez and hasn't hid his displeasure with Clemens at times. Clemens' play in the red zone and his interception total have been especially troublesome for the coach. Sanchez has thrown just five picks in full-squad drills.
Hutch says tonight could be the deciding factor, but I tend to think it really is over. Sanchez has outplayed Clemens. I get that the Ravens are a stiff test, but no matter what happens tonight, Sanchez has the better body of work. That means he should and will be the starter.