The back-to-back losses by the New York Jets are about as bad as it can get. To make things worse, this loss was their third blowout loss of the season. The Jets are crashing, fast, and although there is enough blame to go around, a lot of it has to be put on quarterback Mark Sanchez (9/22, 124 yards, 6.4 QBR).
On Sunday, Sanchez was simply awful and could not do anything for his offense, except turn the ball over. The greatest damage was done in the red zone, which they only got into because of the defense, when he throw a totally ill-advised pass to Dustin Keller that was picked off by CB, Richard Sherman, and ran back 26 yards. If he threw the ball earlier when he was suppose to, it probably would have been a TD, but instead he waited and turned it over. This was Sanchez’s fourth red zone interception, after only three last season. The Jets had the best red zone offense last season, this year however they are ranked in the bottom five.
“It’s a critical error,” Ryan said on Sanchez’s interception. “Those are things that really kill you down there.”
Now the question is what does Rex Ryan do with Tim Tebow (who became the Jets glorified screen passer)? If Ryan makes a move, this would be the time for it and if he does not do it now he may never. The Jets have to win the rest of their games if they hope to make the playoffs, even losing one may be expectable, so if you’re Rex why not give the ball to Tebow?
Sanchez has had over three and a half years to show improvement and instead he has regressed. Ryan needs to stop defending his mentally weak quarterback and get on him and if benching him means it will mentally break him, then he should not be in the NFL. Tebow managed to save the Broncos season last year and make his coach look like a genius, so why would Rex not give it a shot?
Sanchez has repeatedly made crucial mistakes that the Jets cannot recover from. He hasn’t been able to spark the offense or motivate them on any level. These are the things Tebow can do for a team, he might not be able to make all the throws, but he doesn’t make those critical turnovers that cost his team a game. Ryan will have to figure out who is starting soon because his decision could not only effect Sanchez’s job security, but his own too.
“That never really crosses my mind,” Sanchez said of his job security. “I’m too confident for that. We’ve won too many games together. We’ve had some great success here, so I don’t expect anything different. It’s my job to keep playing, play hard and make better decisions and help this team win.”
Confidence is something Sanchez has had trouble with ever since declining Pete Carroll’s advice and entering the NFL early. Because of it, the franchise has cuddled him like a baby, telling him everything will be ok (this is an exaggeration of course). That is no way to help your quarterback grow, the Giants didn’t do it with Eli, the Patriots didn’t do it with Brady, and the Broncos didn’t do it with Tebow when he was in Denver. What do the three all have in common because of it…. they got better and they won games.
So, no the loss cannot be put solely on the shoulders of Sanchez, as his line let him down, his receivers struggled to get open, and his coaches, well let’s just say all of their jobs should be in jeopardy. All of these do not make up for the way Sanchez has played this season though. Ryan will have to make a decision and stick with it, and either way he will receive criticism, but it won’t matter if he can find a way to win games.