Sanchez Struggles In Typical Sanchez Fashion

East Rutherford, NJ – It was all there for the taking and Mark Sanchez gave it right back.

Tonight was Sanchez’s big chance to wow the coaching staff, ingratiate himself to the fans and put this quarterback competition to rest and for the first two drives that’s exactly what appeared to be happening.

But of course the metaphorical clock predictably struck midnight and the fifth-year quarterback turned back into a mistake making pumpkin.

Sanchez started out with a great, productive and mistake-free opening drive, six plays for 59 yards and a touchdown. He showed good composure throughout the drive and managed to find a wide open Jeff Cumberland for a 23-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 7-0 lead. After the Jaguars responded by quickly matching the Jets touchdown Sanchez lead another solid drive, this one six plays for 53 yards, before stalling and having to settle for a field goal.

Then those tricky wheels fell off that damn wagon.

Sanchez starts strong, before struggling in typical Sanchez fashion (JetsInsider.com photo).

After starting the third drive on the Jaguars 44-yard line, Sanchez led the offense down to the three-yard line only to make a terrible decision trying to force a pass to Kellen Winslow which got picked off by Marcus Trufant in the end zone.

“It was a tight lane. Looking back on it, probably watching film, I might want to wait for Stephen (Hill) on the outside.” Sanchez said of the pick, “I think assessing the throw, I should’ve put it out in front of Kellen (Winslow) a little more and gave him a chance to make a better play on that one. So we’ll clean that up.”

Before the pick Sanchez was six-for-eight for 70 yards, one touchdown, one field goal and no picks and was knocking on the door for touchdown number two, then came the pick and everything unraveled like a ball of yarn in a clowder of cats.

After the first two drives some were already speculating that Sanchez might have just won the starting job with his performance, but Geno Smith not being able to play tonight due to a bum ankle may have backfired on Sanchez and possibly hurt him in the long run. Had Smith been able to play tonight there’s a good chance Sanchez takes a seat after those first two drives, going out on a high note like George Constanza, instead Sanchez played three entire quarters with a steady decline after the interception.

Sanchez finished the game, 13-23 for 169 yards, one touchdown and one pick, he was also sacked six times as he continually hesitated too much.

After the second drive Sanchez had a 155.4 QB rating, after three quarters that number was basically cut in half as he ended the game with a 76.2 QB rating.

In Sanchez’s first two seasons he had a knack for being able to bounce back from early game mistakes, but for the past two years it’s been the same old story, one simple mistake blows the entire dam open and sends him into a tailspin that he can’t recover from.

And there in lies the rub.

It matters not if Sanchez shows improvement if he can’t stop committing ridiculous turnovers and compounding those mistakes by making more and more of them.

“Just eliminate a couple of mistakes.” Sanchez said when asked what he feels he needs to do to win the starting job. “For the most part I feel like, numbers wise as an offense in general and personally, we’re so much better than we were last year. But we just need to keep building on it and take the next step forward. (I) have total confidence in this thing and get rolling. (I’m) happy more or less with the first two games. Like I said, we’ll clean up a couple of things and move on.”

Tonight Sanchez had a chance to take advantage of Smith’s injury and put a stranglehold on the starting gig, but in typical Sanchez fashion he hit the self-destruct button and Smith may have managed to gain ground in the competition without playing a single snap.

Smith will need to win this job on his own merit in order to open the season as the starter, but if the veteran quarterback continues his tradition of committing costly turnovers the rookie, Smith, could very well get the nod by default.

4 Responses to “Sanchez Struggles In Typical Sanchez Fashion”

  1. since shea Says:

    Great assessment Chris. Another mistake was not making the quick read on the 3 yd line with 6 seconds in the half. He had 4 seconds to throw a TD or an incomplete and still come away with 3 points. He let the clock expire. Zero points. And Rex stuck up for MS saying it was his call. Great call but get rid of the ball and get at least 3 pts!! Should the coaching staff tell him before the play? Yes. Should MS know better? Yes. I gave MS all the benefit of doubt not having a good O line, receivers, offensive coordinator, running game etc over the last 2 years. I’m done now. He is too laid back about his poor decision making. I liked Simms better!

  2. Dave Says:

    I read this before watching the game, and I expected a disaster.
    After watching, I think you give Sanchez a bum rap. The interception was bad, the rest of the game he made good throws when they were needed.

  3. Anti-Media Says:

    The interception pass wasn’t the best decision but you have the expect the veteran TE Winslow to get under the the DB in that spot. That int def not all on Mark. I can’t believe the overreaction to a FIRST HALF non FG attempt in a game the team won 37-13!! You kidding me?? If Sanchez connects there they go into half up so he was going for the lead. What’s wrong there? It didn’t happen and there’s still half a game left. If that was an END OF GAME situation then you have a story. The media and by extension Jets fans are determined to carry last season’s offensive performance into this season. Get over last year it’s the 2013 season folks!

  4. writer Says:

    @ Anti-Media – I keep seeing people talk about the pick being Winslow’s fault and while he obviously didn’t run the route right, Sanchez should have realized that and not throw that pass. Winslow messed up, that part is correct, but a fifth-year quarterback has to realize that pass wasn’t there, but he threw it anyway.

    Now you’re saying everyone is overreacting because (paraphrasing) ‘everything was going great except for that mistake,’ well yeah, because we’ve seen this story before. If this was any other quarterback we would just write it off as preseason mistakes, who cares? But for a quarterback going into his fifth-year who still has a habit of making mind-boggling mistakes you bet it means something when the trend continues in preseason.

    The Jets lost many a game because of one or two Sanchez mistakes, in which otherwise the team played a solid game. This is the NFL you can’t win when your quarterback keeps giving up points, let alone handing them to the opponent.

    When Sanchez stops committing terrible turnovers we can move on from talking about his terrible turnovers