Mark Sanchez developing clutch reputation
November, 16, 2010
By Tim Graham
We're not exactly Donny & Marie, but whenever Scouts Inc. analyst Matt Williamson and I have gotten together for the occasional podcast duet, he's a little bit Henne, and I'm little bit Sanchez.
Williamson has been a Mark Sanchez skeptic.
In this week's "Scouts Buzz" column for ESPN Insider, Williamson makes it a point to praise Sanchez's ability to come through in clutch situations, as we've seen the past two weeks in overtime road victories.
This has been a trend throughout the New York Jets quarterback's short career, and it is a great trait to have. As has happened often this season, Sanchez and the Jets made a huge play very late in a game to get the win. He was far from perfect against the Cleveland Browns, but Sanchez did a much better job buying time and making plays with his feet to get the ball downfield. He also probably threw more passes than the Jets had planned but still threw only one interception. This is a major accomplishment against a Browns defense that is very well coached and very difficult to play against from a mental perspective.
Sanchez is a perfect reflection of his team in that regard. Sanchez and the Jets have gotten into the habit of flirting with disaster but pumping their fists as they job off the field.
ESPNNewYork.com reporter Rich Cimini took a closer look at Sanchez's evolving field generalship, noting that in the Jets' past three victories he has 1.) recorded the first fourth-quarter comeback of his college or pro career, 2.) was highly efficient in running the two-minute offense and 3.) played through an injury to win another late game.
Cimini noted Sanchez was 14 of 21 for 170 yards and a touchdown after injuring his calf in the third quarter against the Browns. A week earlier, Sanchez was 10 of 13 for 144 yards on his last two possessions in the fourth quarter and only possession in overtime to beat the Detroit Lions.