After Jets QB Mark Sanchez demonstrated a singular inability to throw a football over the outstretched hands of Houston’s J.J. Watt, Capitol New York’s Greg Hanlon declared, “there seems to be a collective realization that registering disgust with Sanchez and the fact that he’s obviously not The Guy has become passé.” Or perhaps he meant, “timeless”?
The concise statistical zinger is that Sanchez the first quarterback to play four straight games with at least 25 pass attempts and a sub-50 percent completion percentage since a fellow named Stoney Case, with the 1999 Ravens. In his fourth year and well past the point of “growing pains” excuses, the best Sanchez has done is scrape a generous definition of “average.” But now he’s below that, and is playing worse than he ever has.
The eye test, once flattering, isn’t fooling anyone anymore. True, he still makes nice throws that look a lot prettier and star-quarterbackish than those of his MetLife Stadium co-tenant counterpart. And he still looks like he moves around pretty well.
But it’s a mirage. By now, Jets fans have seen enough terrible throws to know that his mechanics are inconsistent by nature, and not in a way that can be ironed out with age and experience. (Obvious example from last night: Sanchez’s blown bomb to a wide-open Antonio Cromartie, who was probably right about being the second-best receiver on the team, and may be the best overall player the Jets have left.)
Similarly, Sanchez’s “athleticism” can be more accurately described as the quality he has of looking smooth while moving. But when it comes to the more subtle functional athleticism of sensing and avoiding a pass rush, Sanchez hasn’t improved since his rookie year.