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By the Numbers: How good or bad is Mark Sanchez?
By Casey McLain

Mark Sanchez is a lightning rod for controversy in New York, but does he deserve it?

Mark Sanchez has become the subject of a lot of fan discontent in New York. For selfish fans like myself (who love the Seahawks), he serves as confirmation of the notion that I’m happy my team didn’t end up with a quarterback I wasn’t sold on.

That said, Sanchez has shown flashes of brilliance at times in his career. Maybe it’s because of his proximity to the media circus in the town in which his team plays their home games, but Sanchez’s successes have been massively overblown, arguably his failures have received the same treatment.

You see, Sanchez basically came out of college looking for bulls eyes to pin to his back. He started by going to USC, which had churned out NFL quarterbacks in the past near-decade, and then he left with this warm exit. After being drafted into the world’s largest media market, he promptly posed for these pictures, which was as dumb a decision in a world full of masculinity and testosterone as, well, just being Ndamukong Suh for the past two weeks.

So why the bad rap for Sanchez? Well, a lot of people expected him to advance considerably when he showed a propensity for winning football games early in his career. He went 8-7 his rookie year, and 11-5 last year. Undoubtedly he got too much credit for the team’s victories, and there is no doubt that he’s received a lot of blame for the team’s struggles in the past two years. Check out these numbers:

Sanchez

Y/C

A/G

Comp%

Int%

TD%

2009

12.5

24.3

53.8

5.5

3.3

2010

11.8

31.7

54.8

2.6

3.4

2011

11.7

33.8

56.5

2.7

4.7

 

Jets

Rush Y/G

PPG

Against

YD/G

Against

Record

2009

172.3

14.8

252.3

9-7

2010

148.4

19.0

291.5

11-5

2011

100.4

21.7

317.5

7-5

 

Since Sanchez became the team’s starter, he’s had a larger part of the offensive responsibilities put on him while the defense has gotten considerably worse. Thomas Jones, who was the leading rusher in 2009, has essentially aged himself out of two jobs since then, and the team is presently relying on the suspect Shonn Greene and the antique version of LaDainian Tomlinson.

Not to mention, Sanchez has lost his leading receiver in Braylon Edwards, and replaced him with a guy who had caught more cases since 2009 than passes of any kind, literally.

Considering that, it’s hard to argue that he’s improved considerably. Sanchez has improved his numbers while the team around him is self-destructing.

Reports that he’s regressing are quite frankly a crock. However, if one were to argue that he was never that good, it’d be hard to argue against them. His numbers weren’t very good in his rookie year, and while they’ve improved he is really a below-average quarterback still.

So while Sanchez is certainly improving, it’s possible he’ll never be good enough to truly lead his team to victory, and if that’s the case, both his and Rex Ryan’s tenure may come to an end soon. 

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