An insane collection of media artifacts and articles have surfaced since the New York Jets (7-5) traded up in the 2009 NFL Draft to select the elusive “Sanchize” with the number 5 overall pick,” and almost none of them are affirmative.
Mark Sanchez has been arguably more subjective to extreme criticism than Tim Tebow in the first three seasons of his professional career. Don’t call it abuse, but there is a certain element of justification for which must be understood to those who discern Sanchez as an incapable quarterback in the NFL.
Despite recent dispositions, from the likes of former and bitter teammate, Damien Woody, Sanchez has in fact advanced his skill-set, and his numbers prove it. “You could make an argument that (Sanchez is) going backwards in his third year,” declared Woody, who was cut from the Jets before the lockout ensued over the summer of 2011.
To his credit, Woody made his deficient examination of Sanchez before the third-year QB out of USC tossed a career-high, 4 touchdown passes in a come-from-behind win over the Buffalo Bills (5-7) at MetLife Stadium on November 27. In the previous week, head coach Rex Ryan, made a statement. The third-year head coach let the Sanchize stand on the sidelines during a practice in Forham Park, NJ while 41-year old veteran Mark Brunell, took snaps with the Jets’ first team.
Sporting Jules stated in her feature on StateoftheSport.com that, “Mark Sanchez (was) being a jerk about it.” The boisterous “boss” had a blatantly different viewpoint, however. ”Everybody has to play (with an edge), and I just love it when he’s that way. When he’s that way, we’re extremely hard to beat,” exclaimed Ryan in his weekly press conference before the Jets beat the Bills 28-24 in a comeback effort.
There is indeed a definitive anomaly in Ryan’s approach to achieve success. Has that not been evident by the fact that the Jets have reached the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons at the helm? Was the Sanchize out-of-line in supposedly acting like a “jerk?” Or was it simply another successful ploy on part of Ryan’s mischievous mouth?
You tell me: Sanchez led the Jets down-field with 5:44 left in the 4th Quarter to throw the eventual game-winning pass on a roll-out to Santonio Holmes with 1:01 on the clock. Ryan admitted that he was screaming at Sanchez from the sidelines to run the ball. Sanchez digressed, and threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game.
It was not as if this was a new phenomenon either. This was Sanchez’ tenth career 4th Quarter comeback in less than three full seasons behind center. And no, that does not include his heroic playoff come-from-behind win over the Colts in 2010. You know, when the Colts (0-12) were actually good (when Peyton Manning was taking snaps). For the record, the Sanchize would out-play perennial, future hall-of-famer Tom Brady in the next week on Brady’s turf in Foxbourough. But, none of it was a new fad.
Mark Sanchez is 6th in the record books in terms of career playoff passer rating at 94.3. The “Sanchize” has a better career post-season QB rating than Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, Brett Favre, Steve Young, Tom Brady, and John Elway. It has been aforementioned, but Sanchez has beaten the only two active QBs on that list on the road in the playoffs.
What else do you want?
How about a Super Bowl title? It has been widespread that Ryan fiercely believes that he will be the man to lead the Jets to the “promise”-land for the first time since ’69, when Joe Namath guaranteed a win in Super Bowl III over the 18-point favorite Baltimore Colts.
It will not be Ryan that accomplishes the feat, however, at least not on his own. It will instead be the “Sanchize,” who has already won four career road-playoff games in his first two seasons. That ties the NFL record.
The “Sanchize” is not about superstar numbers that make fantasy owners drool. It is instead about the ultimate ideal: winning. So what if Sanchez has thrown 48 career regular season TDs to 44 interceptions? The “Sanchize” is still in the state of maturation. The difference between the typical “developing” QB and Sanchez is the fact that maturing quarterbacks are not supposed to win.
Mark Sanchez never got that memo.