A look at why Mark Sanchez needs to be the Jets Starting Quarterback
I get why this week there is an incredible outcry for Tim Tebow to replace Mark Sanchez. The game last week was without a doubt the worst offensive game I have ever seen the Jets Play. Not only did Sanchez manage a horrible 103 passing yards, but his game was even uglier than that. He missed throws all across the field, not only missing multiple open receivers, but he also couldn’t get on the same page as his receivers, which means that either the receivers were running the wrong routes, or Sanchez was throwing the balls. Despite the fact that it likely was the young receivers were running the wrong routes, the blame still falls on Sanchez. As the Starting quarterback it is your duty to make sure that you and all your receivers have a connection when playing on the field.
Anyway you look at it there is no way around the fact that Sanchez is the person most responsible for the atrocious offensive effort the Jets put forth against the 49ers. I understand why Sunday’s game is making both some Jets fans and the larger NFL community as a whole call for Tebowmania, I get it. This popular voice however is wrong. The last thing the Jets should do is start Tebow over Sanchez. It is wrong for so many reasons but I’ll stick to just two. There are many more people that must also be blamed for the Jets horrible offense against the 49ers, and the straight up fact that Sanchez is a better quarterback than Tim Tebow.
First off, it would be close to impossible for any quarterback to piece together a good offensive game when your team as a whole manages to run the ball for a measly 45 yards. Let alone the fact that this is a “ground and pound” team that is predicated on running the ball and play-action passing. The blame for the Jets straight-up inability to run the ball can be placed on many different shoulders. First is must be placed on the running backs, Rex Ryan said in Miami that the thought the Jet Running backs left yards on the field. Well that is certainly true about this latest disaster of a game. There were countless times when there were large holes to the outside of the field, but yet the running backs tried to cut it back into the inside where there was nowhere to run but into a 49ers defenders arms.
Next you must blame the offensive line, despite the holes that were often opened up to the outside, anytime a team can’t run the ball the blame must fall on the offensive lines shoulders. Running the ball is supposed to be a 0-lines bread and butter. It’s when they get to take the beating they get on every single pass play and turn it back around on the defense. It’s where they get to inflict their pain. On Sunday, the Jets showed no attempts at inflicting pain.
Lastly, the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of a man who both the Jets and he himself tout as a brilliant ground game offensive coordinator. It doesn’t matter how poorly your running backs are reading the defense, or if your offensive line is lacking any and all aggression. It is your job as head coach of the offense to find a way to make your scheme work. You need to have plays and blocking schemes in your back pocket that you can pull out when your team is literally going nowhere fast. Tony Sparano needs to find a way to better exert his influence on this team fast, or the season will truly be over before you know, regardless of who is at quarterback.
There really shouldn’t be any debate about what quarterback is the right one to start for the Jets. Mark Sanchez is a better quarterback then Tim Tebow, plain and simple. People want Tebow to start because of the person he is, not because of the quarterback he is. Sure you can bring up the incredible run he went on last year to get the Broncos into the playoffs and then beat the Steelers. (and it was an incredible run). But let’s all be honest with ourselves, the part that Tebow played in that remarkable run was secondary to that of the Broncos defense and kicker Matt Prater. Yes Tebow did play his best game when he beat the Broncos in the playoffs, but that was against a hobbled Steelers defense missing their all star safety Ryan Clarke. I am trying to take nothing away from Tebow as a person or as an athlete, I think that he should be considered a great football player, but he shouldn’t be considered a good quarterback.
Now let’s take a look at Sanchez. There is no hiding the fact that he has had some very low valleys as the Jets starting quarterback. However there is also no hiding the fact that he has had some very high peaks. Sure he has played games and suffered losses like the 45-3 mauling at the hands of the Patriots back in 2010. But there are also the playoffs of 2010 where Sanchez led the Jets to back to back wins over the Colts and Patriots. You can argue all you want about how Rex Ryan’s defense is the reason the Jets did so well in 2009 and 2010, and for the most part you would be right. However there is no way to argue against the fact that Mark Sanchez went into Gillette stadium and straight up out dueled Tom Brady in the playoffs.
I am not trying to say that just because Sanchez led the Jets to two straight AFC championships that the Jets owe it to him to remain the starter. I whole heartedly believe in the saying “what have you done for me lately.” However I do believe that the Jets owe it to their fans, possibly the most loyal fans in all of football, to play the quarterback who gives them the best chance to win. That man goes by the name Mark Sanchez.