Jets

NFL Analysis: Jets Need Better Effort Out of Mark Sanchez, Offense

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If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you already know that I feel the biggest weakness on the New York Jets team is at the most important position. I’ve written plenty of articles like the one making a case for the Jets to unload the bank for Peyton Manning. How great would it be for the world to see Manning vs. Brady twice a year for the next 5 or so years?

I think Sanchez should join the Broadway plays that he forces his teammates to go see. I’m sorry, I rather my quarterbacks take out the team to a bar and if a fight breaks out so be it. Maybe this makes me a meathead but I’ll take that rather than having NFL quarterbacks taking their teammates out on dates like in “Pretty Woman”. And it’s not only that I don’t like the fact he takes them there, I don’t like his feminine reactions when talking about the date.

Seriously though, if Sanchez was a franchise quarterback, I would look past his patting on his teammate’s butt. I wouldn’t pay attention to his immature act of whipping boogers on veteran teammates. I would turn a blind eye to him almost crying every time a coach criticizes him. But he’s not a franchise quarterback.  He’s mediocre at best. Sometimes I feel that I’m the only one watching Sanchez’s quarterback play. Sanchez’s supporters like to mention him playing in two consecutive AFC Championship games. My rebuttal, Trent eff’ing Dilfer won a Super Bowl. Two things tie those last two sentences in well. The first thing is that neither one of the quarterbacks mentioned are better than backup QBs. The second is Rex Ryan factored into both defenses. Ryan was the defensive line coach on the Ravens team that “Dilfer led to a Super Bowl” and he implemented the defense for the Jets that routinely set up Sanchez with great field position at a rate well above the league average. 

Rex Ryan traded up to get Sanchez and so he’s loyal to him when he shouldn’t be. He should have drafted a replacement this year or he should go after a free agent quarterback when it’s allowed. This team is capable of winning the Super Bowl almost on defensive merit alone. If they had help on the other side of the ball, it would be impossible to stop this Rex Ryan led train.

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If you are a Jets fan you are probably cursing at me right now saying “who the hell is this SOB bashing our QB?” Well, if you don’t trust a scout’s eye, perhaps you’ll trust the stats. Here are some 2010 numbers

It’s worth noting that none of the guys other than Sanchez played in all 16 games. While that’s a plus for Sanchez as far as his durability and willingness to play hurt (all starting QB’s get dinged), it’s actually embarrassing when you see guys who played half or even less than half the games that the Sanchize did end up with better stats. Also, Mark had the best defense by far on this list and as I said before, was given more opportunity to score with better average starting field position.

Take note that I purposely listed comparison names that aren’t considered franchise guys.

  • Garrard and Smith just had their replacements drafted because the teams wouldn’t settle for subpar performance like this and they need a game-changing quarterback.
  • Fitzpatrick isn’t looked upon as the future. He’s a stopgap guy.
  • Campbell will soon be replaced, when free agency hits.
  • Shaun Hill is another traveling backup.
  • Kitna and Collins have a combined age of 671 and both are considered insurance plans at best.
  • Vince Young has been cast out and will be finding a new home, and his stats were on pace to be far superior then Sanchez.

So, with a roster of quarterbacks that consist of the wiener eating Mark Sanchez (referring to the hot dog eating instance during the game, I promise), the ageless wonder, booger wearing Mark Brunell, Greg “How the Hell did I get drafted” McElroy, and a few other ghosts of failed QB draft picks past, there isn’t much more to choose from. Well they can either get someone via free agency to help win that championship while the window is open or they can give more touches to Mr. Excitement, Brad Smith.

Brad Smith is a weapon that is being drastically misused in New York. Every time he touches the ball, he’s an instant threat to “house it.” Smith played quarterback while in college at Missouri. (Did you know that when adding Brad Smith’s College and Pro career passing numbers together, he’s passed for 8,850 yards and 56 TD’s. When you do the same for Sanchez, he’s thrown for 9,700 yards and 70 TD’s. And this only includes 51 pro passing yards for Smith! I’m just saying….) Smith is often the fastest guy on the field for the Jets and they use that ability in the kickoff return game. But, outside of the return game, he averages less than 3 touches a game. It’s time for New York to become more creative.

Would it hurt to take Sanchez out from under center more and sit him on the sideline? He would probably enjoy it and be able to eat something or catch up on the latest reviews of the newest Broadway play that all the girls are screaming about. While he’s getting his mani / pedi with the Jets logo on his nails for his red carpet premiere that night, Rex could slide Smith into the game in the Wildcat. I realize that the Jets use this, but not nearly enough, because they can open it up more. Smith, more than any of the other QBs that run the Wildcat can throw the ball (as evidenced by the above Sanchez/Smith passing comparison). Smith should take snaps with Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell lined up behind him, but he should pass it almost as much as he runs (and that will actually help him when he does run it). I know it sounds crazy for a speedster with quarterbacking ability to actually attempt a pass in a NFL game…oh yeah, that’s right Antwaan Randle El did this to perfection, but the kid can throw. Go back and watch some old Mizzou highlights of his. He can’t be any worse than Sanchez. The Jets could also give Smith more touches as the slot receiver, if Mark can get him the ball.

One thing is for sure, the Jets can’t just go into the season hoping to be one dimensional on offense and beat everyone with defense. There are three other teams in the AFC that drafted and got better this offseason and they’re also known for having a hard nose defense like the Jets:  Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and San Diego.  Their quarterbacks are Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and Joe Flacco. This tips the scales towards them.  The Steelers and Ravens improved their secondary in the draft, and the Chargers improved their special teams but the Jets still have the same quarterback. The game isn’t played on paper but it helps us gauge what should happen. Here are the 2010 key stats.

  • New York Jets: Defensive Rankings - 6th in points  /  6th in pass yards  /  3rd in rush yards
  • New York Jets: Offensive Rankings  – 13th in points  /  22 in pass yards  /  4th in rush yards
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: #1 Scoring Defense  /  #1 Rush Defense   ( Jets will need great QB play to stand a chance)
  • Baltimore Ravens: #3  Scoring Defense  /  #5  Rush Defense   ( Jets will need great QB play to stand a chance)
  • San Diego Chargers: #1 Passing Defense  /  #4  Rush Defense  ( Jets can’t afford errors in QB play)

The Jets won’t be able to just beat teams with their running game and great defense. Other teams have that same formula and they have an actual, real franchise quarterback. If they don’t replace Sanchez with a free agent quarterback (which they won’t), they’ll need to be more creative in the offensive attack, which means fueling up the Jets on Brad Smith. If Ryan holds Smith down to only three touches a game again this year, the Jets won’t get off the ground.

 
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You may email Jayson directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock