Is the local media seriously joking here folks? Is there some kind of newspaper selling conspiracy going on in New York this season, playing off some notion that any scrutiny regarding Mark Sanchez whatsoever will increase paper sales and twitter followers? It sure seems that way.
This week alone, writers from WFAN to the NY Post to the Daily News have told Jets fans to stop thinking Sanchez can be elite, have written about his failings late in Pittsburgh based off of one incompleteion, while refusing to acknowledge the real culprit, a borderline concussion laced hit from Lawrence Timmons is what truly affected the QBs play after the fact. They have asked 6 to grow a backbone with all that surrounds him, in order to finally take control of the team?
Have they also noted that Sanchez currently owns a 95.0 QB rating, percentage points ahead of Tom Brady and three points ahead of Eli Manning, with the same amount of TD passes (4) as the Giants 2 time Super Bowl MVP has? You know the answer to that, so we won’t insult your intelligence.
We are not Sanchez apologists by the way. We have been quite hard on him in the past when we saw that look in his eyes. That of a player who when he struggled for any stretch of time, would become his own biggest enemy. Throughout his first three seasons Sanchez at his worst, has lacked self confidence, pouted, and forced balls needlessly into tightly covered places.
In that time as well though, Sanchez also won four road playoff games, while working through the teams ever changing vision of him. A dizzying sight that has seen him go from handcuffed game manager, to gunslinger, and back again. Do you find that constant request for a change in personality in just three seasons confusing? If you do, imagine how it feels to be Mark Sanchez.
On top of the altering assignments in style handed down from above, 2012 has added the acquisition of uber popular Tim Tebow in March, the many baseless reports of threats to Sanchez’s starting job that followed, early summer issues at right tackle, just one veteran receiver, an entire pedestrian running back corps, and an ever emerging tight end slowed now by hamstring issues.
How’s that 95.0 rating looking now?
Sanchez responded to a scoreless summer in nonsense games, covered as if they choking losses down the stretch in December, by leading the Jets to a 48-28 blowout in week one. It was just the Bills though right? Yea right. Heading into the game, the same revisionists who now tell us how Buffalo wasn’t a true measuring stick, had already predicted Chan Gailey and Co. were the new challengers to the Patriots throne.
It couldn’t possibly have been the play of that guy Sanchez. After all, that type of cover story doesn’t match the sensationalized one many hoped for with marquee QB crumbling under the pressure of New York as Tim Tebow take over. The fairy tale that the locals have tried to circle around like sharks since the ocean became ripe for swimming up in Cortland back in July.
Why not just tell it like it really is instead?
It’s been a small sample size, these two games, but in them, Mark Sanchez has shown more decisiveness, better accuracy, and a tougher exterior after failed drives so far in 2012. Elite or not elite, the Jets signal caller is not the one who comes to mind, when we think about Jets who absolutely must elevate their play immediately.
We will tell you who those folks are. They are as follows:
The running backs. Can Shonn Greene stay healthy for back to back games? Humor us 23. Be the workhorse for a string of games in row without limping off to the sidelines in the first half.
The Powell McKnight combo under Greene can help ease 23’s workload, but have to give the coaches a reason to be excited. We get that. The coaches however, have to find the guts to highlight their styles, which differ from Greene’s.
Hey Jets, use Powell and McKnight in other ways. They are not guys who will thrive simply by going off tackle.
The receivers. Catch the ball fellas first off. Secondly, Santonio Holmes, sorry but you have to take on more. More receptions. More yards after the catch. More leadership with the kiddie corps of Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. More presence. You’re the guy. Make that known every week. Sure we loved the three flags last week and the TD. Build off of it.
Now Hill and Kerley have to grow up fast since GM Mike Tannenbaum decided not to bring in any 40-50 catch veterans to allow these two time to mature. This duo must figure out how to play physical against the veteran corners trying push them around. The deep ball to Hill last week deep where Ike Taylor pulled the rookie’s arm away? Push back and make that play 84
Dustin Keller needs to get healthy and finally put a big season together receptions wise. It’s time already.
Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan need to find a few drives where Tim Tebow makes sense. Not just to aid the offense, but to ease the tension of what effect 15 will have on the entire operation. This unknown is beginning to cause waves and it doesnt need to. Tebow can help as a weapon, the Jets can’t be afraid of what his success will mean to Sanchez.
Rex needs to get this defense, one he tells us all is a top 5 unit, up to speed for four quarters.
The Jets pass rush needs to start getting to the QB, and stop talking about getting to the QB. Create three and outs and allow the offense more time to gel on the field.
Finally, the New York media needs to start moving the spotlight elsewhere. To the deserved and more current areas of concern noted above. Ones that don’t involve Sanchez directly.
Even if doing so means risking the sexier headline.
What fair is fair. The past has passed. You are always judged by what you do “now” in the NFL. Under that premise then, this tunnel vision, thisinability to see the whole field currently taking place in Florham Park, is not coming from Mark Sanchez, but more so from the ones who cover the Jets.