Feb 22, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos general manager John Elway speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Critical Nature of the New York Jets Fan

Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) enters the game against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This past weekend, I was reading over and over again how Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez were both average, or sub par quarterbacks. I had the urge to check out John Elway for some reason. I found myself wondering how would the Jets be if they had a franchise guy like Brett Favre in his youth, or John Elway. You know, one of those guys that plays 15 years on a team, and the city loves him. His is the non moving unmistakable face of the franchise. Oddly, this is what I saw.

I randomly googled Elway’s statistics, first on NFL.com, and then more detailed at pro football reference. Shout out to those guys. Here’s what I got. From the best ever “quarterback class of 83″, or so it’s called comes John Elway. Hall of fame, 9 time Pro Bowl, 2 time Super Bowl winning quarterback. Here’s the numbers line for John Elway.

In 16 years of playing (missing 22 total games), only three times did Elway complete over 60% of his passes. That’s right, THREE! 1993, 1994, and 1996 where he topped out at a whopping 63.1%. His career average for pass completions is 56.9%. I thought that wasn’t so great, so maybe it was that he was a touchdown machine. But he wasn’t that either. Only 6 times in 16 years did he throw over 20 touchdown passes. Again he topped out at a 26 two times, and a high of 27 touchdowns.

By now if you haven’t figured it out I’m getting at this fact. Why is Elway a beloved hall-of-famer, while Mark Sanchez, or all New York quarterbacks after Joe Namath not treated with such reverence? Elway had 16 years to do his thing without Denver trying to shuffle him out-of-town to my knowledge. 5 times Elway had double-digit fumbles, with as many as 12 in his 10th and 11th seasons, and another 5 times he had 8 or 9 fumbles. Basically 10 out of 16 years he was a fumble machine. If you’re talking about interceptions between his rookie year in 1983, and his 10th season in 1992 he threw 157 interceptions, for an average of 15.7 INT’s a year.

Now obviously the passing rules have changed since the 80′s through what we see today, but come on. How can so many people remember one guy that we all saw play in our lifetime, and describe him as that cannon armed, fearless quarterback, all the while sniping at the quarterback on our own team? I’m included in this, because I look at Sanchez and I think if he can’t cut down on his turnovers than he is toast. But consider the facts. He’s already had a 26 touchdown season in 2011, the best Elway ever did was 27 and that was in the twilight of his career. Sanchez has already made the post season twice. Elway’s claim to fame was his comebacks, where he had 46 game winning drives in 16 years, Sanchez has had 12 game winning drives in 4 years. If he maintains his pace, he would be on pace for 48. Would he then be a hall of fame quarterback?

This blog isn’t as much about John Elway or Mark Sanchez as it is about our thought process about New York quarterbacks. Elway you can say is better if you want, he has the accolades to prove it. He also had pro bowl receivers like Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith for a decade, to go along with hall of fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. If that wasn’t enough, he had for a brief time another hall of fame-ish guy in running back “Touchdown” Terrell Davis. Despite all these weapons, it is Elway who gets the praise, and none of the flack for the somewhat Sanchez like numbers he put up throughout the majority of his career. The stats are fact, so that part is not an opinion it is what it is.

That brought me to all NY quarterbacks, because we have one in Eli Manning who plays for the “other guys” in town, who has won two Super Bowls. When is the last time you heard his name mentioned as a great quarterback? When’s the last time you saw a billboard of Eli Manning? When’s the last time you saw 10 people within 6 months outside of a football stadium with an Eli Manning jersey on? I think that we as New York fans in general are overly critical of our signal callers, and not as quick to applaud them. Just give it a thought and think of those John Elway career numbers before you bad mouth Sanchez or whoever quarterbacks the Jets for the next ten years.

John Elway Stats
Mark Sanchez Stats

Tags: Featured John Elway Mark Sanchez New York Jets Popular

  • Frank Antonelli

    Denver is not New York and their media is quite tame comparatively speaking. However, if Elway hadn’t won those 2 Super Bowls in his last two years, mainly on the legs of Davis, he would be remembered quite differently. If Mark had won a Super Bowl in his first two years he would be remembered quite differently and given way more latitude despite the incredibly savage NY media.

    • Vincent Hall

      I hear what you’re saying, but what about Manning? He’s a New York quarterback, in the New York media and he’s probably the last guy you’d say you want on your team that’s won a Super Bowl. Literally. Of the last 10 Super Bowl winners fans would probably prefer in this order Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Rothlesburger, Peyton Manning, and then maybe Eli Manning even though he’s won two Super Bowls, and both in comeback fashion. Where is the love Frank? Maybe he get’s more love than Joe Flacco…

      • Frank Antonelli

        That’s because fans recognize that his Super Bowl wins were more luck than skill. In the old days when there were no wild card teams he would be without a Super Bowl win right now.

  • Michael Joseph Pietig

    heres the thing that i always found intresting. ken i brien in that same class, in my opinion was just as good if you compared to dan marino. i could be wrong too

    • Frank Antonelli

      Well neither one has a Super Bowl win, however Marino was the better QB. Not by as much as people think but he was better. If the Jets had drafted Marino instead of Ken they probably would have won a Super Bowl with him and our defense of that time period.

    • Vincent Hall

      I think Kenny O’Brien was pretty good, but his career wasn’t as long and he never had the huge TD season’s that Marino had. He was just stuck in that quarterback class, so he was always compared to those guys.

  • Piazza31nyj

    This is a great point. I actually think Mark will have a season very similar to 2011 if he plays 16 games this year. With maybe 18 turnovers instead of 26.

  • Frank Antonelli

    Some of this critical nature is driven by the media. The national media is finally starting to notice how shockingly unprofessional and agenda driven the local press is towards the team. Their (often unverified bullshit) stories over the past 2 years have been picked up by the bigger outlets and are primarily the reason the
    Jets are viewed the way they are by casual fans in other parts of the
    country. Just the steady drip of rumors and innuendo leading to now
    national narrative of the team being a “circus”. If the Jets had decent
    reporters, they’d be just another suck-ass (literally in Sanchez’s case)
    club and the focus would primarily be on what happens on the field.