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Thread: Schatz's article on Sanchez

  1. #1
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    Schatz's article on Sanchez

    Football Outsiders via ESPNInsider since some don't have access.

    [quote=Aaron Schatz][B][U]The truth about Mark Sanchez[/U]
    Despite public perception, the Jets' quarterback isn't as bad as people think[/B]

    Can the New York Jets win with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback? That's a question a lot of Jets fans are asking with the team off to a mildly disappointing 5-4 start. Sanchez is getting a lot of the blame. Giving him a larger role in the offensive game plan didn't seem to work early in the season. With the NFL such a passing-driven league right now, with teams generally needing star quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady to win the Super Bowl, Jets fans are wondering if Mark Sanchez is really a guy they can win with.

    Try to picture Sanchez in your mind. Perhaps you are picturing his playoff heroics from the last two postseasons. More likely, a lot of fans are picturing Sanchez throwing the ball to a guy from the other team, maybe the end zone pick he threw against the Buffalo Bills a couple weeks ago. With that vision in your mind, you probably think that Sanchez must be near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category.

    But that's not the case.

    Sanchez definitely has accuracy issues. This past offseason, Football Outsiders wrote numerous times about Sanchez leading the league in dropped interceptions in 2010 and how this presaged a rise in his interception rate for 2011. That's exactly what has happened; after 13 picks a year ago, he's on pace for 16 this year. His interception rate of 3.1 percent is 24th in the league among quarterbacks with at least 100 passes, and his completion rate of 57.5 percent ranks 28th.

    Yet overall, Sanchez is not terrible. He has an 81.5 passer rating, which is 18th among all quarterbacks with at least 100 passes. In Football Outsiders' DVOA ratings (explained here), he's at 2.6 percent, which also ranks 18th. He's near the middle of the league in these other stats as well:

    • Touchdown rate: 4.7 percent, ranks 12th
    • Net yards per attempt: 6.3, ranks 16th
    • Adjusted sack rate: 7.2 percent, ranks 19th.

    By DVOA, Sanchez has been better this year than Josh Freeman, Jay Cutler and Sam Bradford. One reason: He's been particularly good in the red zone, ranking sixth in DVOA among quarterbacks once he gets past the 20.

    Why do Sanchez's numbers not line up with our mental image of his play? Many fans live in a strange NFL Lake Wobegon where there are no average quarterbacks. Our minds tend to place passers in one of two categories: "elite" and "terrible." We have a hard time considering that some quarterbacks are going to be a little above average, or a little below average, rather than at the extremes.

    Sanchez is a prime example of this problem. When he plays well in the playoffs, some fans insist he's a winner whose regular-season struggles can be ignored. When he has a bad game in the regular season, other fans come out and declare that the Jets will never win with Sanchez running the offense. Very few fans seem to be able to accept the truth: Mark Sanchez is a slightly below-average quarterback who still hasn't necessarily reached his potential.

    The last part of that sentence is an important part of the Sanchez story. He's not a good quarterback yet, but Sanchez is progressing instead of stagnating. His completion rate, touchdown rate, net yards per attempt and NFL passer rating are all higher than a year ago. And there's reason to believe that more improvement is likely in 2012.

    A few years ago, when Football Outsiders first created our Lewin Career Forecast for projecting college quarterbacks into the pros, we also looked at what to expect from the career progression of an average NFL quarterback. It turns out that on average, NFL quarterbacks see the biggest efficiency improvements before their second and fourth seasons. (You'll find this essay in our book "Pro Football Prospectus" 2006.) Sanchez certainly saw improvement between season one and season two. That fourth-season improvement is not a guarantee -- Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco this year being prime examples -- it's still a good reason to give Sanchez one more season before kicking him to the curb.

    Another interesting way to guess at Sanchez's future is to look at quarterbacks who were similar to him during a three-year span. We took Sanchez's 2011 season and pro-rated it to 16 games, then compared his first three years to other quarterbacks since 1978 using the Football Outsiders similarity scores system. The 10 most similar spans belong to:

    • John Elway:1984-1986
    • Joe Flacco: 2008-2010
    • Tom Brady: 2001-2003
    • Jeff Blake: 1994-1996
    • Jason Campbell: 2007-2009
    • Jake Plummer: 1999-2001
    • Eli Manning: 2005-2007
    • Brett Favre: 1992-1994
    • Doug Williams: 1979-1981
    • Trent Dilfer: 1995-1997

    That group is a mixed bag, to say the least. Remember that similar doesn't necessarily mean equal -- Favre's 1992-1994 seasons had numbers that had comparable "shape" but were definitely superior. Still, take a look specifically at two of these quarterbacks who were particularly similar to Sanchez in the third season in that span:

    Comparing Mark Sanchez with two all-time greats at a similar age
    [code]
    Player Year Team Age Comp Att PassYD TD INT COMP% Yd/At Yd/C
    Mark Sanchez 2011* NYJ 25 300 530 3700 25 16 56.7% 6.98 12.31
    John Elway 1986 DEN 26 280 504 3485 19 13 55.6% 6.91 12.45
    Tom Brady 2003 NE 26 317 528 3620 23 12 60.0% 6.86 11.42[/code]
    Yes, we do need to consider that the offensive environment has changed during the last 20 years, and John Elway's 56 percent completion rate in 1986 was a lot more acceptable than Sanchez's 57 percent now. Still, these are two quarterbacks who were on their way to developing into NFL MVPs, and they weren't that much better than Sanchez when they were roughly the same age.

    Put all these numbers together and the picture shows that Sanchez isn't a terrible quarterback. He's just not a good one yet. The Jets probably should give him another year-and-a-half to see if he can develop into something closer to what they expected when they drafted him fifth overall.

    If he still qualifies as "slightly below average" after four years, then it's time to go out and look for a new quarterback of the future. But two-and-a-half years is not enough time to give up on a player who is not as awful as many fans seem to believe.[/quote]

  2. #2
    WOW you do realize the whole premise of the article isn't that Sanchez is good its "hey he isn't terrible". Is that what you invisioned when we traded to the top 5 pick for our franchise QB? Hey he isn't as bad as he looks? Come the **** on!!!! :steamin:

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=Magnus;4236650]WOW you do realize the whole premise of the article isn't that Sanchez is good its "hey he isn't terrible". Is that what you invisioned when we traded to the top 5 pick for our franchise QB? Hey he isn't as bad as he looks? Come the **** on!!!! :steamin:[/QUOTE]I'm well aware of what the article says. I was providing it for your reading enjoyment as it's relevant to this forum. Proselytize to someone else.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Magnus;4236650]WOW you do realize the whole premise of the article isn't that Sanchez is good its "hey he isn't terrible". Is that what you invisioned when we traded to the top 5 pick for our franchise QB? Hey he isn't as bad as he looks? Come the **** on!!!! :steamin:[/QUOTE]

    no, the premise of the article is that he's a developing young QB and that his stats are not all that different from those of great QB's when they were at a similar stage of their development.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Magnus;4236650]WOW you do realize the whole premise of the article isn't that Sanchez is good its "hey he isn't terrible". Is that what you invisioned when we traded to the top 5 pick for our franchise QB? Hey he isn't as bad as he looks? Come the **** on!!!! :steamin:[/QUOTE]

    Fire Tanny NOW. Brett Ratliff would have been shattering records by now!!!!!!!!! :steamin::rolleyes:

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=ozu;4236654]I'm well aware of what the article says. I was providing it for your reading enjoyment as it's relevant to this forum. Proselytize to someone else.[/QUOTE]

    Some on this forum would have you believe he is proven to be a franchise QB, is above criticism, and it would be insane to even suggest not having him as our franchise QB for the next 15 years. Even to the point of suggesting extending his contract to save cap room. :eek:

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=Magnus;4236650]WOW you do realize the whole premise of the article isn't that Sanchez is good its "hey he isn't terrible". Is that what you invisioned when we traded to the top 5 pick for our franchise QB? Hey he isn't as bad as he looks? Come the **** on!!!! :steamin:[/QUOTE]

    How's Ratliff doing?

  8. #8
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    Why do we keep having these debates? We all know what Sanchez is. Hes a average qb, streaky, solid in the postseason, prone to making boneheaded mistakes, but is young and will get better.

    He is here for at least 2 more years. At the end of his contract in 2013, we will make the determination on if he is the answer.

    But there is really no reason to even discuss this until the 2013 season.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Magnus;4236662]Some on this forum would have you believe he is proven to be a franchise QB, is above criticism, and it would be insane to even suggest not having him as our franchise QB for the next 15 years. Even to the point of suggesting extending his contract to save cap room. :eek:[/QUOTE]And those people hadn't yet posted in this thread before you went all emoticon and exclamation points. Maybe try some decaf.

  10. #10
    Lost in the mix... this guy's name is Schatz. LOL.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=SMC;4236665]How's Ratliff doing?[/QUOTE]

    LOL he never was given a chance last I checked. I find it hard to believe he would have been worse than 12td 20int 54% and a 63 rating Like Sanchez first year. Then what would he be after 3 years of nfl experience allowing to suck using the ecxuse that he is developing like Sanchez is getting?

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=ozu;4236672]And those people hadn't yet posted in this thread before you went all emoticon and exclamation points. Maybe try some decaf.[/QUOTE]

    he's still pissed that the Packers beat the Ravens in 2009.

    we NEEDED the Ravens to win in order to make the playoffs!!! :steamin:

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=southside;4236675]Lost in the mix... this guy's name is Schatz. LOL.[/QUOTE]

    :D

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Joe W. Namath;4236671]Why do we keep having these debates? We all know what Sanchez is. Hes a average qb, streaky, solid in the postseason, prone to making boneheaded mistakes, but is young and will get better.

    He is here for at least 2 more years. At the end of his contract in 2013, we will make the determination on if he is the answer.

    But there is really no reason to even discuss this until the 2013 season.[/QUOTE]

    Yep, this is pretty much it.

    PATIENCE, people. Give him a chance to improve (and he has already to this point, though not to the level we'd hope for) because he's not a finished product.

  15. #15
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    Sanchez is not as bad as people make him out to be BUT he will never live up to being a Top 5 pick and is never going to be a Top QB

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4236697]Sanchez is not as bad as people make him out to be BUT he will never live up to being a Top 5 pick and is never going to be a Top QB[/QUOTE]

    So don't draft him for your fantasy football team. He's good enough to win a Superbowl, that's what we all (except for Magnus) want right?

  17. #17
    "[SIZE="5"]Why do Sanchez's numbers not line up with our mental image of his play? Many fans live in a strange NFL Lake Wobegon where there are no average quarterbacks. Our minds tend to place passers in one of two categories: "elite" and "terrible." We have a hard time considering that some quarterbacks are going to be a little above average, or a little below average, rather than at the extremes.[/SIZE]"


    That's it. This is the problem that people have when evaluating QBs.

    "He's not great....." (therefore) "....he sucks."

    Complete lack of perspective.


    The other half of the Sanchez "debate" is the progression. Giving up on a 3rd year QB that's improving every year (he is improving, there's little room to debate this) is beyond idiotic, considering the scarcity of good QBs in the NFL.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4236697]Sanchez is not as bad as people make him out to be BUT he will never live up to being a Top 5 pick and is never going to be a Top QB[/QUOTE]

    You seem like the kind of guy that would be killing sanchez if he had put up prolific numbers in the regular season but choked in the playoffs the last two years. "Yeah he puts up big numbers, but he will never be a winner and is therefore not going to live up to a Top 5 pick"

    I remember hearing alot of the same comments about Elli just before his super bowl run. I also heard alot of people killing Peyton for not being able to win in the playoffs until later in his career.

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4236697]Sanchez is not as bad as people make him out to be BUT[B] he will never live up to being a Top 5 pick and is never going to be a Top QB[/B][/QUOTE]

    You would have missed out on 70% of the great QBs in NFL history if you gave up on them after 2.5 years.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=Magnus;4236650]WOW you do realize the whole premise of the article isn't that Sanchez is good its "hey he isn't terrible". Is that what you invisioned when we traded to the top 5 pick for our franchise QB? Hey he isn't as bad as he looks? Come the **** on!!!! :steamin:[/QUOTE]

    No.

    The premise of the article is that you can't write a young QB off after 2.5 seasons. Especially one that's improving every year. He then gave a list of comparable QBs, both good and bad.

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