Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Mark Sanchez Apologist
One rule I have about sports betting is that I can't bet for or against my favorite teams. Winning money on my team losing doesn't lessen the blow of the loss and I'm just superstitious enough to believe that maybe if I didn't bet on my favorite team to win that they wouldn't have lost. I'm aware it's irrational, yet I still don't want to feel those feelings.
So yesterday was "big" news from Jets camp. Although it's been unofficial for over a week, Geno Smith was officially named the starter for Week 1. The reason I brought up the sports betting is that the Jets Win Total in Vegas right now is 6. If I was capable of betting on this, I think the under is a pretty solid bet with Geno Smith playing. He's not ready. If Sanchez was starting the season I would have been more inclined to take the over. Don't get me wrong, the Jets are not a playoff caliber team but if I'm putting a number to it, I believe Sanchez is worth at least 2-3 wins more than Geno Smith right now.
So after everything I've seen during the Mark Sanchez era, how can I justify a statement like that? Easier than you think:
2009-2010 - These years are easy. Two AFC Championships games and beat Tom Brady and Peyton Manning on the road in the playoffs. Also overlooked is his 9:3 TD to INT ratio in the postseason.
2011 - Sure he turned the ball over 22 times but it wasn't all negative. He also accounted for 32 touchdowns (26 passing, 6 rushing). He was only one of seven QBs to reach that amount that year. Also take in to account that they chose Santonio Holmes over Braylon Edwards(whom Sanchez obviously had a better re pore with) after the 2010 season and replaced him with a fresh from prison Plaxico Burress. They also let one of his favorite security blankets get away in Jerricho Cotchery and replaced him with a finished Derrick Mason. If you watched that year you saw Plaxico and Mason weren't able to get any separation. He was routinely throwing to covered receivers. The Jets missed the playoffs and took a step back as a team, but Mark Sanchez actually showed me the ability to put TDs on the board.
2012 - Of course Sanchez takes a lot of blame for last year. It was a terrible year. But I also put a lot of it on Tony Sparano. Brian Schottenheimer wasn't a great offensive coordinator, but at least he was an offensive coordinator. Rex Ryan has made a lot of decisions that people question over the years, but for me the worst decision he made was bringing in Sparano to run the offense. Week to week it looked like the team didn't even have a game plan. I don't know if any quarterback could have succeeded in that "system" last year.
I'm not saying that Mark Sanchez's leash should have been infinite; I just really wanted to give him one more year under an actual offensive coordinator. I'm not saying Marty Mornhinweg is some offensive wizard who could have saved Sanchez's career or anything but like Brian Schottenheimer, he's a guy who at least has a plan week to week. If Sanchez fell on his head this year then I was fine going with Geno Smith at some point. But as an organization it was always going to be harder to go from Geno Smith back to Mark Sanchez then it was going to be going from Mark Sanchez to Geno Smith. So now that it is Geno Smith from Week 1, I imagine we'll never see Mark Sanchez throw another pass in a Jets uniform.