Inside Jets vs. 49ers Film Room: Offense

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Sept. 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) runs off the field after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. 49ers won 34-0. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Let’s talk about Mark Sanchez for a few minutes here. Everybody’s favorite guy to criticize on the New York Jets, with much of it being valid. Whether you are a fan of Mark’s or not, you have to scratch your head when you watch this guy play, because he is so frustratingly inconsistent. For every great throw he makes, he will make just as many bad ones.

After watching the tape, it’s even more than that. Mark Sanchez almost goes through a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde faze, depening upon the play that is called. I’ll explain. When the play is a quick hitting play, where Mark takes just a quick three step drop and throws, for the most part, Mark is decisive and makes a good throw. Whether it was a bubble screen to Santonio Holmes, a quick out to Jeff Cumberland, or a slant to any receiver, generally, Mark would take the drop, step up, and make a solid throw.

But, it’s a different story when Mark has to take a five to seven step drop. In these situations, he generally looks nervous in the pocket, his feet don’t get set, and he either makes a bad decision or a bad throw. This is where we all get crazy when we watch Mark Sanchez, because he makes a lot of good throws. But in almost every game, he comes up with some throws, that are just difficult to understand, and that is what we are going to take a look at.

We aren’t even going to waste time on the interception on a screen pass. Mark has to make sure he gets the ball over the rusher’s head, period. Terrible throw. Fundamental of a screen pass is to allow the rush, and then loft the pass over their heads. Bad play. We are going to take a look at a bad incompletion from the second half.

Here is your pre-snap formation. The matchup that comes into question is highlighted with the circles. Jeff Cumberland is the green circle, and the defender, linebacker NaVorro Bowman, is in the red. Let’s move forward.

Mark is stepping up into a pretty good pocket, and surveying the field. The only receiver open, however, is in the green circle. He is right in Mark’s line of vision, you think this is where he would go with the ball. Not a big gain, but positive yardage. But again, he is focused on the matchup down the field, Cumberland vs. Bowman.

Out comes the head-scratching decision. Mark forces the ball downfield, where clearly Cumberland isn’t open. Bowman looks like the receiver, and it is all Cumberland can do to force the incompletion. These types of decisions are what drive everyone nuts about Mark Sanchez.

Bottom line, there is a lot to work on here. The Jets have to get better, and fast, and not just a little bit better. A lot better.

Stay tuned this afternoon for JETSerious and his trip inside the film room to look at the defense.

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