Aug. 18, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Jets win 37-13. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Why I'm Moving On: From a Mark Sanchez fan

I wanted to make sure that I write this article before I see Geno Smith in game 3 against the Giants. Wanted it to be from the heart. I have been one of the main proponents of Mark Sanchez for the last 4 years. Many have said he’s just a good back up in terms of talent level. Many have said he’s awful. I was the first one ready to talk about the 2 back to back AFC championship game runs his first two years. When someone talks about all of the turnovers I was quick to point out that last season was his only really down year. I justified this by saying the following: If you look at his 2011 season, where he threw 26 TD’s and ran for 6 TD’s, you don’t bench someone coming off of creating 32 touchdowns and then say it’s a down season. It’s hard enough to score once, he scored 32 touchdowns and we said he was mediocre. I’ve always been of the mindset, that you need to surround him with more offensive talent, not use a draft pick on a replacement for him. Then last season came, and Santonio Holmes was lost for the year. Dustin Keller was in and out all year. Stephen Hill was out for a while. Sanchez didn’t have the receivers necessary to throw the ball. How can we blame the guy for having a bad year, when he’s throwing passes to off the street players like Jason Hill?

This off season though, I’ve been seeing things a little differently. It’s not that I dislike Mark Sanchez. And I do not think he sucks as a quarterback. I think Mark Sanchez is a victim of Mark Sanchez. This is what I mean. Last week in game 2 against Jacksonville, Mark gets to the red zone and throws an interception to a double covered Kellen Winslow Jr. If he waits, or pumps the ball, he can throw to Stephen Hill. A few series later, he holds the ball with 6 seconds left on 3rd down at the 5 yard line until time expires throwing a pass, trying desperately to create a touchdown. These two things are emblematic of Mark Sanchez. If he waits in the first scenario he either throws a touchdown, or an incomplete pass, and the Jets score 3-7 points. If he doesn’t hold the ball when he knows he has 6 seconds left, the Jets score on a field goal. Mark Sanchez has left 6-10 points on the field just this one game. Then I go back to game 1. On the first series, Mark throws an interception that results in a 7 point swing to a defensive lineman. In a two week period, in an off season all about a QB battle, Mark Sanchez has single-handedly given away 13-17 points.

Points are hard to come by in the NFL. Sanchez is on pace to, either by turnover or bad decision making, cost the team 6-10 points on offense per game. That means if they average 23 PPG for the season, they would really have averaged 30 a game had he not done these things, that he does too often. I want to clarify though. A turnover is not a big deal, and I won’t harp on every one. If it’s 3rd and 10 and you are on the opponents 45 and you let one fly and it gets picked off at the opponent’s 10 yard line, I think the turnover is a positive net result. While some people will harp on the turnover, the next play would have been a punt, so the result is the same or better. If you turn the ball over in either your or your opponents redzone it is always a big deal, because that directly results in points scored for the other team.

Now enters Geno Smith. I have no idea if he will win the starting job, or what his stat line, or game outcome will be tonight. But I will say this: If he does not “cost” the Jets any offensive points, or “give” the defense any more points, I would say I am in line to get into the Geno Smith boat. I’m a Sanchez fan still, but more than that I am a Jets fan. I am all about who can help this team win. Right now that is all about the guy that is not surrendering Jets points to the other team.

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Tags: Geno Smith Mark Sanchez New York Jets

  • Korwil

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I went into the preseason thinking Sanchez could wrap up the job, but he has had three mental lapses that have either cost us points or turned into points for the other team. I think Sanchez tries to do too much sometimes and it leads to poor decision making. For example, the screen that Ansah picked off, it was almost like Sanchez did not want the incompletion so he tried to force it. On the pass to Winslow, it just seemed like Mark thought he saw a small window and rushed the throw. The play before the half is self-explanatory.

    Right now, I am all in for Geno if he can move the ball down the field and avoid turnovers. I know some have said ‘If he doesn’t turn the ball over then he wins the job.’ While that does have merit, you still have to score points and make plays. If Geno goes 6-15 for 65 yards with no turnovers, he doesn’t win the job in my book. However, 9-15 with 110 yards and a TD is a different story.

    Two things I’m watching from Geno:
    1. How he handles pressure his overall pocket presence. The Giants will bring pressure and I want to see how Geno deals with it.
    2. Command of the team. Mark looked like he had great command in 1Q of Jags game but in 2Q he went flat. If Geno can be consistent for 2Q then he really puts himself into a position to win the job.

    • Vincent Hall

      So far the speed of the game is too fast for him (Geno). Think he’s on the other side of the line of what you said would be good enough so far with 2 INT’s.

  • matr dontelli iii

    Count me in. I could have written the exact same thing. I don’t downplay the good things mark has done and his playoff performance from a few short years ago was outstanding. That said, he makes it too easy for the other team to score, often without even breaking a tackle, while too difficult for his own team through errors, wasted timeouts, mismanagement of the clock etc. I agree completely about what he has done this preseason. We can’t continue this way. If we need to depend on the defense to win games after four years of Sanchez then we need to find a different quarterback. No ifs, ands or buttfumbles.

    • Vincent Hall

      Of course having said this, Sanchez may go out and throw 2 TD’s in a quarter, and complete 90% of his passes. Then what do you do?

      • matr dontelli iii

        Yikes! Midway through the second quarter Sanchez is looking better and better. How does that go? Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

  • Paul Newbold

    I’ve never talked to a Jet fan that didn’t want him to succeed. Gang Green was ecstatic when they drafted him, finally a “franchise quarter back!” Mark is what he is, he isn’t the worst quarter back to ever play the position, heck he isn’t even the worst QB to play for the Jets!!! I still think he will be the starter come Game1, I’m looking forward to watching Geno tonight, it should provide us with a much better idea of where he’s at in his development. Come week 1 though. I think the Jets go with the experienced QB over the Rookie, if only to buy Geno a little more time to adjust to the game speed. It’ll be Mark’s last season in NY regardless, and I can guess the Jets will draft another next season.

    • Vincent Hall

      I agree with you in part. I think it would be a disservice to Geno, if he were to start this year. However, it would be a disservice to the Jets if Sanchez leaves as many points on the field as he does.

      • Paul Newbold

        Seems it’s a mute discussion at this point. Sanchez is hurt. Geno will be thrown to the dogs and the NY media will destroy his confidence, dissecting every bad decision he makes. Sad day for Jet fans.

        • Vincent Hall

          We don’t even know the extent of his injury. Could just be a bruised shoulder, or something that will take a week or two to heal. He was throwing passes, so it’s not a broken collar bone, or rotator cuff. Those things wouldn’t allow you to lift your arm to even throw. I’m just trying to stay glass is half full here.

  • Dustin Schrank

    I think the answer is Simms or mac then because Geno needs time to learn and mature, and sanchez is a turnover machine he averages 10 fumbles a season and like 18 ints we know what we have with him, we don’t klnow about the other guys after watching simms cannon im ready to give him a go. why not? is he gonna turn it over 30 times instead of 28? maybe, but maybe he doesn’t we know that mark will give it away.

    • Vincent Hall

      I’m not one to declare this a lost season in the 3rd game of the preseason yet. Have you noticed that the yards per completion in this offense for all quarterback’s have gone up over 12 yards or so. Compare that with last year, when we were getting a league low 6.5 yards per pass completion. You might be surprised by the way the offense goes, let’s just wait and see.