Top 5 Games/Moments in Mark Sanchez’s Career: Number 3


November 17, 2011; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) drops back to throw the ball during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

This morning, we continue our countdown of the top 5 games/moments in the young career of Mark Sanchez.

You can read #5, week 2 of 2009 against the Patriots by clicking here.   A comeback win for Mark was #4, check out which one it was by clicking here.

Now we reveal number 3:

2009 Wild Card Game-Jets vs Bengals

Think back to that 2009 season, specifically the end of it. Remember the circumstances? The Jets lost a tough one to the Atlanta Falcons, and Rex told the media after the game that we were out of the playoffs. Everything broke right, including Peyton Manning sitting out the second half of the week 16 game against the Jets. The Jets won the last 2, and broke into the playoffs as the sixth seed.

Mark didn’t play well over those last two weeks, not throwing for a single TD over the final games, and only throwing for 63 yards in week 17, despite the Jets decisive 37-0 win.

So the Jets were rematched against the Bengals on this wild card weekend, turn the page and we’ll talk more about that game, and why it made the list.

Mark Sanchez came into this game after two poor performances, as we outlined on the previous page. Mark’s performance certainly would not have made anyone think he was ready to perform in the post season.

And everyone would have been wrong.

The Jets were down 7-0 after a late first quarter TD from Carson Palmer to old friend Laveranues Coles. How did Mark respond? He led his offense to 21 unanswered points to put the game away.

Shonn Greene opened the scoring for the Jets with a 39 yard TD run. Midway through the quarter, the Jets were set up near midfield by a Darrelle Revis interception. Four plays later, Sanchez hit Dustin Keller with a 45 yard TD pass that broke the 7-7 tie and the Jets went on to win 24-14.

Mark Sanchez’s stats on the day? 12-15 for 182 yards and 1 TD, a razor sharp 139.4 passer rating. How’s about that for a rookie performance in the playoffs?

Mark Sanchez stepped onto the playoff stage after 2 terrible games. Nobody expected him to do anything, and he pitched a near perfect performance on the way to his first of four career road playoff wins.

And this game pitched its way to number 3 on Mark Sanchez’s greatest games and moments.