Comparing Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez from Friday Night New York Jets' Game

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Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

One game is in the books in the preseason quarterback competition for the New York Jets. Mark Sanchez started the game, and Geno Smith came on in relief. It sounds like, although Geno got banged up a bit, that he is going to be fine moving ahead, so we won’t dwell there. Both guys had their ups and their downs, leaving the competition still anybody’s game.

This morning, we are going to take a closer look at what each one of them did on Friday night.  What did they do well?  What do they still need to work on?  Let’s talk about it.


Did anyone really think I wouldn’t talk about Mark Sanchez first?  If you did, you clearly just arrived at this blog for the first time.  Just kidding around.  Anyway…..

First the good.  Mark overall had a good game.  10-13 for 125 yards 1 TD and 1 INT is certainly not all bad.  A hallmark of the West Coast offense is a lot of receivers getting involved in the game, and Mark did just that, throwing to seven or eight different guys during his time in the game.

In the past, he would have sulked after a bad throw.  Friday night, Mark did anything but that.  The third drive that Mark led was absolutely stellar, where Mark went 5-5 including a very well thrown seam route for a 26 yard TD to Jeff Cumberland.  Sanchez had a confidence in the offensive scheme that I haven’t seen in a while.  The plays were set for his skill set, which is a testament to Marty Mornhinweg’s system.

The bad, is what is always bad with Mark.  It’s really what makes Mark, Mark.  Unfortunately, standard operating procedure for Mark Sanchez is bad decision-making and inaccuracy, which crept into his play again last Friday night.

You cannot give up an 6 points like that under ANY circumstances, and you would think Mark Sanchez knows that by now.  But, there he was again, throwing a pick to a defensive lineman on a screen pass.  He just really doesn’t execute those well.  This one was especially bad, because there was no chance for a completion.

You see where Mark is throwing here? Not to anybody on the Jets. It’s almost as if he were playing catch with Ziggy Ansah. Yes, as Mark pointed out, the guy had to jump to make the play, but there was no opportunity for anyone else to get this one but Ziggy. Mark should have been able to recognize this, get outside the tackles and throw it away.

But the bad decisions stay.

It’s important to be accurate on every throw in the West Coast system. Every throw has to be in the correct spot, so the receiver can make the catch and run with it. That happens some of the time with Mark, but it just isn’t consistent. If you look at the throw to Kellen Winslow that was almost picked off, you will see this issue first hand.

Winslow was wide open, but the pass sailed high and to the left. If Winslow doesn’t get a hand on it, it is another interception, and likely another touchdown.

Mark Sanchez can throw the football well. He just doesn’t do it consistently enough, and that is what drives the entire fan base crazy.

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  • Frank Antonelli

    Coming from someone that bought into the whole Sanchize concept this is hard for me to say. Bottom line is that Mark will never be the QB we need for this offense or any other for that matter. Geno has a chance to be that QB but he needs experience. Let’s get that process started sooner rather than latter. Hopefully at the beginning of the season or relatively early in the year. We know what we have in Mark let’s find out what Geno can become.

    • TheJetPress

      Not an unfair way to think either Frank. Personally I think, if it were my call, let him sit and learn, but I can’t say I would be shocked if they do it your way.

  • Paul Newbold

    Nice analysis. Of course we all knew you’d start with Mark! LOL He looked improved, even a bit more confident. Overall a good performance from Mark in a preseason game. The almost pick was more of poor throw then the screen I think. Ansah is a beast and a argument could be made that Ferguson’s block was poor as well. Mark is fighting for his job at least.
    Geno has an arm, no doubt. I’d have liked to see more of him, but the ankle made that out of the question. Relieved to hear it was a minor injury. He did however seem to be indecisive at times, and as you pointed out seemed to struggle with game speed.
    I noticed you didn’t mention McElroy in your post. Interesting because I thought he did a great job, although with the three’s. The kid plays with confidence, he’s smart and seems to have a good grasp of Marty’s system already. He’s a solid third stringer. Last season’s game aside (blame him if you want), McElroy has always made a good showing for himself. In all fairness I thought he should have been included in the QB competition. I’m not saying he would win a starting job, but he should have been given a shot for a #2 spot. He lacks arm strength, but otherwise has some tools.

    • TheJetPress

      Thanks Paul. Did you notice, by the way, that the pick 6 should have been called back? If you look at that play, Bohanon was tackled. Last time I looked that’s a penalty LOL, but still, Mark should have never made that throw.
      The only reason I didn’t, and don’t talk about Greg much is because Rex is pretty much making it clear that Greg is not involved. So I just look at the marquee matchup.

  • Dustin Schrank

    That was a fair assessment. I Liked what Mark did after the first 2 series, he scared the crap out of me on the near pick in the flat to the RB and the Near pick with Winslow but after that he was really on fire. Geno looked really accurate and I like his poise but I didn’t like him staring down recievers and he did not even throw it at some wide open targets so more awareness which should come with experience. I still say start Mcelroy let smith learn this year and have a good backup in Mark this year since we can’t trade him and Mcelroy will prolly get hurt at some point. Smith has too many good attributes to just throw him in the fire and burn him out, if we mould him he would be great.

    • TheJetPress

      Thanks Dustin. I agree, it would be smart to let Geno watch for a year. Why not? The game will only slow down for him more, if he gets to learn. You are right Mac would probably get hurt, he takes a pounding.

  • matr dontelli iii

    is mark colourblind?

    • TheJetPress

      I hope not

      • TheJetPress