The quarterback is the spotlight position of the NFL. Do it right and you get praise and accolades.
Do it wrong and you get run out of town by an angry mob.
Mark Sanchez has done it right and wrong over the years, and the mob in New York has slowly been gathering, lighting torches and chanting, “Tebow. Tebow.”
Everyone speculated as to whether or not the mob would get its way Monday night; it didn’t, and Sanchez started the game for the Jets.
His dismal performance against the 49ers last week was behind him, and he needed a big start and a win to disperse the mob.
He didn’t get either. Sanchez finished 14 for 31, just under 50 percent passing. He threw for 230 yards, which is respectable. Some might argue, however, that the Jets' dismal running game led to more passing attempts for Sanchez. Couple that with two critical interceptions, and it may be best if Mark Sanchez begin sprinting across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Is the feeling in New York justified? Looking at exactly what Sanchez cost the Jets yesterday, it may be:
Sanchez threw a pass out of bounds instead of to a wide open Antonio Cromartie. Points cost to the Jets: Seven.
Sanchez threw an interception to Brice McCain at the end of the second quarter that resulted in an 86-yard return and led to a Huston field goal.
Points: 7 if the Jets got a touchdown, 3 if they settled for a field goal, and -3 if you count the ensuing Texans' field goal. (Which I do)
Although J.J. Watt made an outstanding leap to block the pass, the fact that Sanchez didn’t account for Watt when he threw to the wide open Bilal Powell in the end zone is very telling. Points Cost: 7.
And then, there is the last interception. During the final minutes of the fourth quarter, with the Jets down by six, Sanchez threw a pass behind Jeff Cumberland that was intercepted by Kareem Jackson.
Although this didn’t directly cost the Jets any points, it ended the comeback drive and resulted in a last second Hail Mary attempt that was immediately squashed when Sanchez was hit by J.J. Watt.
Points: It is impossible to know if the Jets would have kept driving and scored, but the fact remains that they didn’t, because Sanchez threw the interception.
The final point total that Sanchez cost the Jets is somewhere between 20 and 24, plus the possible game-winning drive at the end of the fourth quarter. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances, such as the lack of a running game or the fact that the Jets receiving corps can be described as battered to say the least.
That said, no one is going to remember those things when they discuss the Jets' quarterback options. They are only going to remember the key interceptions and blocked passes. Fair or unfair, it looks like that mob is not going to go away any time soon.