If you live in the New York metropolitan area you’ve just witnessed the public flogging of New York Jets starting 2nd string 3rd string quarterback Mark Sanchez. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, while Sanchez certainly deserves his share of the blame for the joke called the Jets offense, management is equally to blame. The play caller / play calling is awful and the talent the Jets have surrounded Mark with at the skill positions is arguably the absolute worst in the league. That said, no matter what the cause, 24 turnovers in 14 games this season by Sanchez and 50 total in the past two is unacceptable.
Based on the facts, it’s hard to find anyone to defend Mark Sanchez. So when Peter Blair from Cleveland, Ohio emailed with the subject header reading “In Defense of Mark Sanchez,” I had to read it; if nothing else for the humor…
My first thought as I started to read his correspondence was that based on where Peter lived, the guy was probably a Cleveland Browns fan desperately looking for another team to latch onto and the poor bastard chose the Jets. Talk about getting kicked in both nuts! As I read on however I could see that Peter’s argument was based on numbers and comparisons to other quarterbacks, most notably, the most famous Jets player of all time, Joe Namath.
I’m not going to recite all the stats, you can click on each players name and it will take you to them, however I will bring to your attention some of the highlighted areas of Peter’s argument.
– Sanchez has a career regular season winning percentage of .541 – (33-28-0).
– Namath had a career regular season winning percentage of .496 – (62-63-4).
– Sanchez has a career regular season completion percentage of 55.2%.
– Namath had a career regular season completion percentage of 50.1%.
– Sanchez has a career regular season TD / INT ratio of 1 – (68 / 68).
– Namath had a career regular season TD / INT ratio of .786 – (173 / 220).
– Sanchez has thrown for a career regular season average 194.9 yards per game.
– Namath threw for a career regular season average 197.6 yards per game, just 2.7 yards per game more.
– In four years with the Jets, Sanchez has a career playoff record of 4-2.
– In 12 years with the Jets, Namath had a career playoff record of 2-1
To be fair, Peter didn’t take into account that the passing game was different when Namath played. Right now receivers run free all over the place after 5-yards. Back when Namath played receivers were blanked no matter where they were and no penalties were called so long as the ball wan’t in the air headed in their direction during the contact. Peter also didn’t mention yards per attempt. Namath averaged 7.4 yards every time he put the ball in the air while Sanchez averages almost a yard less at 6.5.
Putting Peter’s analysis into perspective, discounting his 2-4 playoff record, Chad Pennington was actually the Jets best QB. Chad he has a winning percentage of .525 (32-29), the best NFL completion percentage of all time at 66%, a TD / INT ratio of 1.593 (102 / 64), averaging 199.1 yards per game with his yards per attempt at 7.2.