I always find the incessant criticism of Mark Sanchez both entertaining and not surprising. He is the face of the most obnoxious, brash talking team in the NFL alongside Rex Ryan. Just like people can’t stand Ryan, people can’t stand Sanchez and refuse to credit his success while only focusing on his shortcomings.
Let’s be clear, Sanchez has been far from great in his first two years as a NFL starter. Yet, considering he started 16 games in college and he was thrown in as the starter from day one, I think he has shown enough to believe he will develop into a very good NFL quarterback.
He is constantly characterized as an “average” to “below average” player by the national media. You never hear anybody talking about him developing into a better player as the years go on, even though he took major strides in year two. However, you get people like Bill Barnwell saying Chad Henne can develop into Drew Brees. Matthew Stafford, Josh Freeman, and even the pathetic in any big spot Henne all get discussion about developing into future stars but not Sanchez, the guy with 19 regular season wins and 4 road playoff victories in two years.
The stat line on Sanchez’s first two years won’t impress anybody on paper. Yet keep in mind he threw 5 more touchdowns, 7 less interceptions, over 800 more yards, and won two more regular season games from year 1 to year 2.
I am really not concerned about the paper stats. I know that Sanchez plays better when the spot is bigger. I know he is clutch and I know he has taken every step since being drafted to becoming the leader of his team. I also know that average or below average quarterbacks don’t go into New England and go for a 16/25, 195 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs stat line while knocking Tom Brady out of the playoffs.
Other young quarterbacks get passes for being inconsistent, they also seem to get passes for not winning. Fortunately, Sanchez doesn’t even need to worry about a pass for the latter. The Jets are in good shape with their quarterback position and will be for the long term with Sanchez under center.