Stat line: 21/45, 306 Yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions – 58.2 QB rating, 46.7 completion percentage
Season stats: 50/99, 710 Yards, 5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions – 78.3 QB rating, 50.5 completion percentage
The editor of this website used a word yesterday that can be applied to almost every facet of this Jets team, and is also the best word to describe Mark Sanchez’s performance yesterday: a total clusterf—.
Forgive me for being crass and reductive, but it’s true. It has never been easier to be productive throwing the football in the NFL, and the Jets have spent the last two weeks making it look more difficult than achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
The Best: Goodness, saying anything was “the best” part of this game is essentially telling a flat-out lie, but I will not stray from the format! Sanchez does deserve credit for putting together three important drives in this game; the first when the Jets were down 10-0 and needed something (yes, this drive was aided by the Tim Tebow fake punt); the second to put them up 20-17 with just over three minutes remaining, leaving the game in the capable hands (ha!) of the Jet defense; and finally, after Dan Carpenter choked away the game for the Dolphins by missing a potential game-winning field goal, Sanchez finally hit an open Santonio Holmes down the field to set up Nick Folk’s three-ball for the Jet victory.
The Worst: There are at least five plays that immediately come to mind when trying to determine what Sanchez’s worst moment of yesterday was. The fact that there are five options to choose from is downright frightening. We’ll get a closer look at the offensive film tomorrow, but the floated interception to the corner of of the endzone for Stephen Hill is the type of mistake that has dogged Sanchez for his entire career. The read was poor and the technique was worse. It happened at a time when it was clear that the Jets were in for a dogfight, but could have seized control of the game with their defense having forced turnovers on consecutive plays. Instead, Sanchez singlehandedly revived the Dolphins, by throwing a floater to Stephen Hill, a play so poorly designed and executed that the man who intercepted the ball was originally assigned to mark Jeff Cumberland in man-to-man coverage.
The Key Moment: The Jets needed, and received, a lot of breaks to win this game, but the 38-yard completion to Santonio Holmes in overtime is something for the quarterback to hang his hat on. Sanchez has been criticized heavily for letting bad plays snowball into bad games, sulking, etc., but he found a way to hang in yesterday and deliver, dare I say, in a clutch situation. Credit Holmes for overpowering Richard Marshall and Sanchez for the perfectly floated over-the-top ball (remember, he’d missed two similar plays earlier in the game). It’s amazing what happens when a wide receiver actually does his job and finishes the play. I mentioned last week that Holmes and Sanchez would have to fix their issues, and for all the warts on the passing game Sunday, Holmes’ clutch 9 catch, 147 yard performance was a bright spot. Simply put, this was as good as he and Sanchez have looked together since 2010. For the Jets to have a puncher’s chance this season, that chemistry needs to be consistent.
Normally I close this article with a few snappy words about next week’s game, but I don’t even have that in me. Rooting for the Jets is exhausting.