Two months ago, the Jets were 3-0, and every fan was in love with the new coach and quarterback. Now? Those same fans have seem to accept the fact that a postseason birth is about as realistic as Mark Sanchez throwing more touchdowns than interceptions in a game.
The team has dropped six out of their last eight to find themselves at 5-6, and third in the AFC East. As a Jets fan, it is very frustrating. Especially after last year, when Brett Favre led them to 8-3 but they still missed out on the playoffs. One can blame the fall on injuries, but it’s more than that. I’m not saying that the loss of Pro Bowlers Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington hasn’t hurt them, but they really need to evaluate Sanchez. Maybe starting him this season was the wrong idea after all.
Here are his stats (warning: they’re not pretty): 10 TDS 17 INT 62.1 RTG. Ouch. It is unfortunate, because many of these games were very winnable. The defense has kept them in every game this year, but stupid throws by the young quarterback has been the story for Gang Green every single week. They lost to the Bills in overtime last month, even when Sanchez threw five pics. What if backup Kellen Clemens was playing? He may not be as athletic as Sanchez, but I’d be willing to bet that he would have protected the ball better. I honestly believe that the bad instincts from Sanchez lately has cost the Jets two to three games. Instead of being a prime candidate for a wild-card spot, they are already looking ahead to next year.
I also think that Sanchez came into the league at an unfortunate time. People were expecting him to be like Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan. That was rare, though. Two rookie quarterbacks that have that much success in the same season almost never happens. Sanchez is the example of how most rookies play, and fans of the game aren’t used to that, because of Flacco and Ryan.
For the Jets to feel good about themselves for the remainder of the season, two things need to happen: Rex Ryan needs to continue to have his hard-hitting, blitzing defense play with intensity every week, and Mark Sanchez needs to be much smarter in the pocket.