The New York Jets formula for victory the past few years has been: keep the game close and wait for Mark Sanchez to make a big play or two late to carry them to a victory. It worked last year and we have seen it work the past two weeks.
Yesterday Sanchez had a crisp first drive but was thoroughly average after that until the Jets received the football down by 3 late in the fourth quarter. He then made two plays that are the reason this team will always have a chance in close games with him under center.
3rd and 4. Sanchez eluded the pass rush as his first and second option were both covered and then found Shonn Greene in a tight space over the middle for a 10 yard gain. He has consistently thrived throughout his career when the play breaks down and this was another example. Two plays later, he used a well-timed pumped fake and dropped in a gorgeous 30 yard touchdown to Santonio Holmes who smoked his defender on a slant and go.
It isn’t always going to be pretty with Sanchez but he has a knack for coming up in a big spot, with a big time throw. Everybody who has watched him throughout his career knows that. He won’t receive the praise that somebody like Tim Tebow does because this isn’t Denver and everybody who isn’t inside of the Jets organization or a fan of the team, hates them because of how they carry themselves.
Matthew Stafford has gone 2-5 since the Lions 5-0 start. Josh Freeman has been terrible on a 4-8 Bucs team and is now hurt. Matt Ryan was outplayed by T.J. Yates by a wide margin yesterday and still has never won a playoff game. Mark Sanchez has 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on a 7-5 team that has won their last two games thanks to plays he made in the fourth quarter. It isn’t good enough to the national media but it is good enough for the Jets, who remain a dangerous team until they are mathematically eliminated from contention.