Down 17-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and facing a 4th and 1 at the Steelers 7 with 5:14 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The bootleg a call that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer called into Jets QB Mark Sanchez’s headset didn’t surprise the QB, after all, he had run it against his own defense in practice, but this was in Heinz Field. This was a make or break game.
“Gutsy call.” Sanchez would say of the call resulting in a TD run.
“That was about as gutsy a performance as there was,” said coach Rex Ryan, of Sanchez’s performance. Absolutely outstanding.”
As for Sanchez, he had his own message for his players. “Lean on me.”
That’s the message Mark Sanchez delivered to his teammates after back-to-back losses against the Patriots and Dolphins.
“He told us, ‘Just lean on me. I’ll get my stuff right,’ ” right tackle Wayne Hunter told the New York Post. “‘Don’t worry about me. I’m going to make the throws. I’m going to make completions. Trust me as your quarterback.’”
With his 19 of 29 performance for 170 yards, the 24 year old became the 2nd youngest New York Jets QB to reach 3,000 yards in a season. (Joe Namath was 23 when he did it). It was a also a turnover free game for Sanchez, snapping 8 straight games with at least an INT.
“When your quarterback stands up in front of you and delivers a message like that you can feel it,” LaDainian Tomlinson told the Post. “I knew he was going to play good today. It was Monday after the [Miami] loss. That’s when I saw the look that he was starting to get it. He was going to get back into his groove.”