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May 22, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez throws a pass during organized team activities at the New York Jets training facility. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

What If Mark Sanchez Performs Well For the New York Jets?

Just throwing around ideas here, but what if Sanchez wins the quarterback battle over Geno Smith? Before people say he stinks, just consider the idea. Many say then it would automatically turn into Geno’s year to be groomed and learn the NFL, and Sanchez would be traded or cut at season’s end. But in that scenario, no one ever poses the question that if Sanchez wins the job, what if he has a great season?

Drew Brees had a pretty good season, and then was left to sign with the New Orleans Saints following his first Pro Bowl season. The reason was that the younger 1st round pick Philip Rivers was waiting in the wings. If I had to guess, I would say the Chargers would wish to have that one back again. Not comparing Sanchez to Brees, but the idea of trading or releasing a guy who is coming off a Pro Bowl year seems absurd.

By throwing around numbers, and making assumptions I can come to any conclusion I want. I’m going to go with this scenario. The Eagles threw the ball 618 times in 2012 (7th), 554 in 2011 (13th), 561 times in 2010 (11th most attempts). This averages out to 577 pass attempts a season and 10th most in the NFL over that period. Mark Sanchez’s biggest year by comparison was 543 attempts in 2011 in which he threw for 3,500 yards and 26 touchdowns. His completion percentage was right around 57%, while Mike Vick’s was right at 59%. I use 2011 as my measuring stick, because I view that as about his norm, and not 2012 which I think was his aberration.

If I use the average of Marty Morhinweg’s Eagles offenses in the run game as a guide, the last 3 seasons show the Jets attempts usually above the Eagles, but the Eagles outgaining the Jets in average, and total yardage. Simply put, the Jets averaged about 70 more rushing attempts per season, the Eagles averaged ½ yard more per attempt, and over the years the yardage comes out even. So even with the inflated pass attempts, the spread formations create more room, and larger yards per carry.

All this being said, if Sanchez plays in 16 games this season I would expect his stats to look somewhere around this: 30.5 passing touchdowns, 14.5 Interceptions, 3,850 yards. The hitch is that if the running game can benefit from a more spread offense, and the yards per carry can get up from 3.8 to a more respectable 4.5 or so, the run game would still be able to amass around 1,800 yards this year which is only 75 yards less than the team amassed last season in the ground in pound era.

If you add all this together, and I will admit it’s a big stretch, the Jets would be a top 10 in offense. While they do not have LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson, they did put up good offensive numbers in 2011 with Santonio Holmes and a sub par Plaxico Burress, so it can be done. No playoff or record predictions, but it’s safe to say it would be a successful season if those numbers can be reached, and they are not plucked out of the sky, but more like averages of a Mornhinweg offense.

The biggest question though, is if this season is successful, do the Jets try to trade Sanchez while his value and confidence are high, or let him walk by trade or roster cut? What I’m asking is what does Sanchez have to show to retain his starting job for the duration of his contract?

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  • Joe Willie

    I think after the last 4 years Rex has seen and felt enough, he’s showing signs of PTSD. Excuse my extreme pessimism about Sanchez but after the last 2 years in my 45 yrs of watching the Jets and the NFL I don’t remember such poor play out of the position and a total lack of accountability on the players part.

    • Craig Hoffman

      I don’t know if I would say PTSD but his confidence is shattered. Is it shattered beyond repair under a good OC in Mornhinweg? That is the question but we have not seen any reason for optimism just yet.

      • Joe Willie

        I meant Rex with the PTSD -with Rex watching his team and career go down the drain the last 2 yrs–lol On the other-hand Sanchez probably has NFL QB shell shock aka “Jim Plunkett syndrome” siting down 2-or 3 years on another team did Jim wonders maybe the same could be true for Mark.

        • Craig Hoffman

          Rex’s struggle the last two years came from trying to be hands-off and active on both sides of the ball and his strain publically was trying to conform. I think he is returning to his roots this year as a defensive minded coach who says what he feels.

          • Joe Willie

            Rex has one of the best defensive minds in the NFL today—other coaches fear him—he is a genius> On the other-hand as a head coach his administrative and diplomatic skills are still a work is progress—but he’s learning—Im a big Rex Ryan fan— Im old enough to remember when Buddy was LB coach of the 1968 World champ NY Jets.

          • Craig Hoffman

            I agree he is learning and I think he is making a wise decision this year emphasizing his positives which are motivating,teaching defense and calling defensive plays. He finally has a competent OC and needs to give his input and get out of Mornhinweg’s way.

  • Tyler Cary

    What if the sun doesn’t rise tomorrow, and everyone’s penis falls off and the human race dies?

    • Dick Ott

      Then the per yeard average is going to go down

  • Piazza31nyj

    There is a very small chance that Sanchez performs well let alone have a pro bowl season. As a Jets fan I don’t give a shit who’s the QB as long as they’re successful.

  • Frank Antonelli

    As usual the pessimistic Jet fans are out in force! I don’t believe that it is impossible for Mark to reach those numbers, I just wouldn’t bet on it. The Brees analogy is a cautionary tale that should be heeded especially if Mark does turn it around in a significant way. If he wins the job in training camp he deserves the right to see what he can do during the regular season. Stranger things have happened and this would be a good result for fans who truly love the Jets.

  • matr dontelli iii

    wow, and i thought i was an optimist! i think the numbers and idea are feasible. i don’t know if his head can handle the fans. this site is not reflective of the fans who will be at psl stadium. i think if he can keep us in the playoff hunt he’s gotta continue to play (provided he starts the season) until marty decides geno’s ready. that’d be a tough call, though, to pull a qb who’s got you pointed towards to playoffs.

  • Dustin Schrank

    what about his average fumbles? its around 10.3… no way he throws 25 + TDs….but if he got hit by lightning and magicaly went from 32nd(31 teams) ranked qb in league to the first well most would argue for an extension but im a person that looks at the total body of work 68 TD 69 Ints 43 fumbles this is not a winning formula I dont think he was ever an average QB let alone an elite pro bowl caliber one and he never will be but if he is for one season get the most you can for him and let us forget this nightmare we call sancheeeez…..I know I shouldn’t even have commented.