You will be hard pressed to find a bigger Mark Sanchez supporter than myself. I fully believe he is capable of leading the Jets to a Super Bowl. Whatever that “it” thing is, that quarterbacks need to be winners and successful in the NFL, he has it.
There are plenty of holes in his game and he is still suffering through frustrating growing pains. Yet, there has been a steady progression to his game with each passing year. He has already doubled his career 300 yard gams through 3 weeks this regular season and does look capable of leading an offense that is rapidly becoming more pass centric.
Sunday night is a beautiful opportunity for Sanchez to demonstrate his increasing maturation. Last year in the same spotlight, the Jets handcuffed him and he stumbled into an ugly performance in a 10-9 loss. The training wheels are fully off now and it couldn’t come a moment too soon with a questionable collection of Ravens cornerbacks coming up.
Sanchez needs to navigate away from Ed Reed prowling the middle of the field and Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata charging in his face, not an easy task. Yet, if he can manage to do that, he will have favorable match-ups on the outside where Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason should be able to get the best of Chris Carr, Cary Williams, and Lardarius Webb.
Coming off their first loss of the year and facing such a strong opponent, the Jets need more than a steady, safe performance from Sanchez. They need him to step up and put up a solid 24 points on a very good Ravens defense.
It’s go time, #6.