Dec 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) drops to pass as Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams (94) rushes during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28-9. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
You guys didn’t think I would go an entire off season without writing an article in defense of Mark Sanchez, did you? Of course not.
The Butt-Fumble. It’s a term that is in our lexicon thanks to our wonderful Jets. It has come back in recent weeks, as various media outlets televise countdowns from the 2012 season. Truth be told, the play was so unique and funny, the play will go down in history and never leave the lips of anyone who talks about the New York Jets.
Here is the play again, at full speed, for everyone to get their laughs in:
I know, hahaha very funny. Actually, it is pretty funny to watch Mark’s head snap back basically from getting tackled by Brandon Moore’ rear end. Even as a Mark Sanchez fan, I would be being dishonest if I said I didn’t laugh, after the fact, when watching the play.
A lot of people like to use this play as the prime example as to why Mark Sanchez is no good. People point to this play as how bad football can get, some people even point to it and compare with the Rich Kotite era, and use it as why Mark Sanchez needs to be out of a job.
I agree, Mark does deserve blame for not protecting the football. But when you look at the play, there are a couple of other factors in play, that have nothing to do with Mark Sanchez. And you know what? If both of these elements do not happen, the likelihood of the butt fumble is much less. It may not even happen. Let me show you what I mean.
The first factor, the mis-communication between Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Greene is in the blue circle since he is a Titan now, and Mark is circled in green. Can you see, in the smaller circle, that Mark Sanchez is extending the football? He is expecting to have Greene there. Greene, however, is headed out into the flat. Clearly, a problem. Mark clearly is expecting Shonn, as he is extending the ball, waiting for Greene. If a handoff occurs, obviously, no butt-fumble. So where did that leave them?
Here. With the confusion that always comes from a broken play. The quarterback is stuck with the ball, trying to figure out something to do with it. Now we see the second factor. Keep an eye on the matchup of Brandon Moore vs Vince Wilfork, in the red circle. Mark is going to scramble to his right, and there is no butt yet. Keep an eye on it as we turn the page.
Take a look in the green circle. Mark Sanchez is making his scramble into the area, and Brandon Moore still does not have his behind in the way, yet. But take a look at the way that Wilfork is handling Brandon Moore. If you look closely, you can see that Wilfork has his hands up underneath Moore’s shoulder pads. To put it simply, he has complete control over Moore, and he is about to send Moore, and his butt, rocketing to Mark Sanchez’s face. Watch.
If you look closely here, you can see that Wilfork actually got Moore off of his feet, with his sheer brute strength, and has him moving backwards. At the same time that Moore moves backwards, Sanchez arrives, so here is where Mark and butt become acquainted. They already have made contact in this picture.
Finally, Wilfork completes the play by completely knocking Moore over, and onto Mark, making hanging onto the football difficult.
Without Wilfork, the head of Mark Sanchez, and the butt of Brandon Moore never meet.
Now like I said, I am not taking away all blame from Mark Sanchez. As hard as it can be, he has to find a way to protect the football here. He cannot fumble under any circumstances. My only point here is that there were other factors contributing to the play that made the butt fumble possible.
Without them, we are not talking about this. Don’t put it all on Mark.