The TOJ 12 pack is back with a very special, very not Tim Tebow edition of the 12 pack. Today’s 12 pack is for the New York Jets starting quarterback. You remember that Mark Sanchez guy? The one who has won more playoff games than any quarterback in franchise history. The guy who beat Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in their buildings…in the playoffs. Yes, that guy –
1. I am continually amazed at how people talk down on Sanchez like he was without question the worst quarterback in the NFL last year. Did you watch Ryan Fitzpatrick play the second half of the season? Did you happen to catch any Josh Freeman last year? How about Sam Bradford or Kevin Kolb? I got news for you, there were plenty of quarterbacks who didn’t have 32 total touchdowns and win 8 games in 2011.
2. Let’s remember that despite the most “magical” season in NFL history, Tim Tebow’s team won 8 regular season games last year…the same amount Mark Sanchez’s team did, in what is considered by most Sanchez’s worst season.
3. I do know Tim Tebow beat Pittsburgh in the wild-card round of the playoffs last year. I also know he lost 45-10 to New England the following week in the divisional round. This is what Mark Sanchez did the year before to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the divisional round –
4. Considering they are both on the team now, I don’t want this article to turn into a Tebow bashing but let’s be clear, Mark Sanchez is much better NFL quarterback than Tim Tebow. If the Jets are winning a Super Bowl, it is with Sanchez playing 80% or more of the snaps and because having Tebow as a backup pushed him to a strong year.
5. You have heard this a million times before but really go take the time to do it…go look up Eli Manning and Drew Brees numbers from years 1-3, then tell me why you think Sanchez will be benched before week 4 and that it would be the right move?
6. The entire world seems to think Sanchez is timid and mentally weak. Mentally weak players don’t lead their teams to four comeback wins in a single season. Mentally weak players don’t quarterback their teams to four road playoff wins. Mentally weak players don’t find success in this market and guess what Mark Sanchez’s career record as a starter is 27-20 in the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs. Unless you are one of five teams in the NFL, that is more success than your quarterback has had in the past three years.
7. Everybody also casually forgets that Sanchez had inconsistent at best and downright horrific at worst protection from his offensive line last year. He also had a split end who couldn’t get open. A questionable offensive coordinator and a running back who couldn’t break a big run if there were eight defenders on the field. He still posted career highs in completion percentage, yards and touchdowns.
8. Through three years, Sanchez has had four different pairs of starting receivers: Stuckey and Cotchery, Cotchery and Edwards, Holmes and Edwards, Holmes and Burress, and he will have a fifth one this season…so much for building consistency and chemistry.
9. Another popular myth on Sanchez is that he lacks the physical tools to be a NFL quarterback. Simply not true. He has shown more mobility than most quarterbacks in the league and his hit every throw in the playbook over the past few years, while playing for a cold weather team.
10. Nobody is saying Sanchez is a great quarterback. He isn’t. He has plenty left to prove and he is coming off a shaky end to the season. That being said, portraying him as a hapless, 12 year old minded athlete who has never had success in this league is simply incorrect and unfortunately that is what most mainstream analysts do.
11. If you want this team to be successful this year. You shouldn’t be rooting for Tebow to take Sanchez’s job. You should be rooting for Sanchez to have the best year of his career and for Tebow to be a valuable weapon the Jets use in certain packages and at certain times.
12. The media can focus on Tebow all they want. It will be Sanchez who determines if this team is a serious contender or not. Tebow has never beat Belichick. Sanchez has beat him 3 times. Tebow lost in Buffalo by 26 points last year. Sanchez won in Buffalo by 16.