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After his last pitiful performance, New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez is looking a young quarterback again. Except he’s not getting any younger and the Jets can’t afford him to continue regressing. With big expectations on both the team and Sanchez coming into this season, he’s already been on a roller coaster.
After a poor start, Sanchez was able to lead the team back and steal one from the Dallas Cowboys the opening week. The following week the Jets handled business and beat up the lowly Jaguars with Sanchez having a good game. When the team left MetLife stadium, things took a turn for the worse.
Sanchez was abused by the Raiders front seven and seemed unable to complete a pass against Oakland’s questionable secondary. The Ravens gave him even more punishment. Sanchez had 4 fumbles (3 recovered by Baltimore) in Sunday’s game and one interception, but the worst part of the turnovers was that three of them were returned by the defense for touchdowns.
The one-dimensional offense has put a burden on Sanchez, who has nine turnovers in four games. Against the Ravens, he was rattled and completed only 31.4 percent of his passes, the lowest mark in team history for a quarterback with at least 35 attempts in a game. Ryan, who gave a harsh assessment of Sanchez after the game, softened his stance after reviewing the tape.
“I don’t care if Joe Monatana was back there, with that kind of pressure, it’s hard to execute,” Ryan said. The biggest issue has been Sanchez’s lack of leadership and confidence. He’s looking a lot like the kid who was overmatched in his rookie season by the NFL and not like the third year franchise quarterback the Jets need.
While the Jets have issues in the running game and offensive line, possibly adding to Sanchez’s early season woes, a lot of it is on him too. He’s not reading defenses well enough at the line, holding the ball too long, making errant throws when he needs to be more cautious, and fumbling way too many snaps.
Sanchez, who was named captain this season, needs to step up both on and off the field and show the coaches, organization, and fans that he is the player they believed him to be when they traded up to the 6th overall pick to draft him. If he can’t do that it’s going to be a long season for gang green and Sanchez’s tenure in New York won’t be nearly as long as he or anyone expected.