A Look At The Jets' Predicament Surrounding The Future of Their "Franchise Quarterback".
And The New York Jets select with the fifth pick….. Mark Sanchez. In 2009 The Jets placed their hopes for the future in a young man out of USC named Mark Sanchez, a college standout who impressed scouts during his 08’ campaign with The Trojans throwing for 34 TDs to a mere 10 INT’s, and ultimately earning himself a top 5 spot in the NFL Draft. Sanchez struggled in his first season with the Jets (as many rookies tend to do) but his improvements in his second season gave fans hope that the squad had found their franchise quarterback.
However, in 2011 things really went south for both the team and Sanchez as the Jets missed the Playoffs (8-8 record) and Sanchez - despite having improved in nearly every statistical category - failed to produce in big games late in the season. The game I highlight is the Week 16 match-up vs. the Giants, a game which had huge implications for both teams. Sanchez delivered a truly subpar performance going 30-59 with 258 yards and two Int’s while only throwing one touchdown pass. Even though those numbers aren’t horrific his passer rating of 54.2 (coupled with a huge fumble loss) is, and shows that he simply took his team out of the game.
I watched Sanchez play at USC and I’ve watched him play with the Jets and I’ve just never been impressed by him. I know skeptics like to say it takes time to learn the NFL game but it doesn’t take time to become a good decision maker, because it’s just something you’re born with. Mark Sanchez is a tremendous athlete and his dedication to fitness can be seen in his style of play but there’s just no getting around how awful a decision maker he is.
Besides this he doesn’t have the strongest arm in the league so it’s hard to hide his shortcomings. The Jets were able to get by with Sanchez behind the helm the previous two seasons because of their “ground and pound” style of play that limited the amount of throws (and decisions) their young quarterback had to make and it also opened up a lot of things for Sanchez. If you watched The Jets this year teams were stacking the box against Sanchez daring him to throw the ball deep and often times he would get baited into making horrible throws.
His inflated numbers this season are merely a product of him throwing the ball more; they are not an indication of growth on his part. If the Jets are smart they will look seriously into acquiring a new quarterback and at least giving him a chance because the Jets have a good offensive unit now, they just don’t have a quarterback capable of winning a Super Bowl. That being said I can understand why it’s so hard to give up on this guy, especially when the Jets' organization has put so much effort into giving him a chance to win. They brought in Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress, LaDainian Tomlinson and many others trying to take pressure off Sanchez by giving him a multitude of offensive weapons but quite frankly… none of these moves have helped. Sanchez will always be a middle of the pack type of guy; although his numbers can sometimes be deceiving I think it’s time the Jets admit failure (while they still have most of their core intact) and look to other options.