FN Follies

Every week, I try not to write about the New York Jets or the San Diego Chargers. But every week, these two teams seem to find one way or another to make it into this column. And yet again, this week is no exception.

Good news, Chargers fans – despite your team’s pathetic performance in a 31-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, your team will be spared this week. But I can’t guarantee that going forward.

And you can thank Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez for that.

Sanchez had yet another poor performance in a 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans last Monday night, Sanchez threw four interceptions, and had a costly fumble late in the game that locked up another loss and ended the Jets’ slim playoff hopes. On Tuesday, head coach Rex Ryan named backup Greg McElroy the starter for Sunday’s game against the Chargers, ending Sanchez’s nightmare season and bypassing Tim Tebow yet again.

A fitting end to a mess of a season, indeed. So much for the term “Sanchize.”

And now the media vultures in New York are circling, complete with back page headlines and columnists calling for the team to cut Sanchez, salary cap nightmares be damned.

But don’t expect it to happen.

Sanchez has regressed, but the Jets were beset by injuries and has far less talent than the squads that went to successive AFC Championship Games. On top of that, cutting Sanchez would also create a salary cap nightmare for the team.

 I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – blame Mike Tannenbaum. As we discussed earlier this season, he is the man responsible for putting a poor product on the field, trading draft picks for the seldom-used Tebow, and for giving Sanchez an undeserved contract extension that only worsens the team’s future cap problems.

The irony of it all? Sanchez is liable to keep his job, while Tannenbaum will likely be the fall guy.

Enjoy it while you can, Mark. Just don’t expect “buttfumbles” and interceptions to be tolerated much longer.

Other quick-hit observations from Week 15:

  • In the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I have some very strong opinions about gun control. But unlike Bob Costas, I realize that this is a football forum, and I will keep them to myself.

  • On a serious note, kudos to New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who visited the family of Jack Pinto, a 6-year old who was one of the victims in Newtown. Cruz learned that Jack was a huge fan of his, and was buried in his number 80 Giants jersey. Cruz and the Pinto family requested that there meeting be private, and did not make it a PR event. He is truly one of the classiest players in the NFL.

  • Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you, Chargers. You are equally pathetic. And thanks to the news that a team won’t be moving to Los Angeles in 2013, looks like you’ll subject the fans of San Diego to yet another season of Mediocrity next year.

  • My new least favorite ubiquitous commercial? The Pepsi ad featuring New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and boy band One Direction. America hasn't seen acting this bad since the primetime slate of shows on the CW Network. Stick to criticizing Roger Goodell, Drew.