Mark Sanchez: The Real Problem

While Jets players lay into Tim Tebow, Khaled Elsayed breaks down the real problem with the Jets.

| 5 years ago
Sanchez Emotional Face

Mark Sanchez: The Real Problem

Just when you think the New York Jets can’t sink any lower, they do this.

In an effort to “support” their franchise quarterback, they’ve taken to ripping into Tim Tebow. Obviously their woes are all down to Tebow, that notorious rebel rousing trouble maker. So more than a few, some with the audacity to even give their name, have laid into the former Bronco in this piece by Manish Mehta.

It has to be read to be believed.

Besides the lack of awareness these players show and how awful it makes them as teammates (because you know Tebow is on their team just as much as their starting quarterback), it shows a continuing problem throughout the Jets organization.

They just keep making apologies for Mark Sanchez.

He’s young and learning. His receivers aren’t good enough. His line is terrible.

All we ever hear are excuses for why Mark Sanchez plays poorly. How about this for a novel concept. Hold the man accountable and when he struggles punish him for it. Bench him. Make him feel threatened. Obviously the pampering he gets isn’t helping him and motivating him to be a better player. Let’s take a look at how he has played the past few years.

YearPFF GradePFF RankQualifying Quarterbacks

Our grading isn’t flawless. But why is he consistently near the bottom? We account for things like dropped passes and how receivers impact a quarterback. We even developed a signature stat that takes this into account. Our adjusted Accuracy Percentage treats drops as completions and doesn’t factor thing likes throw aways and spikes. How does ‘The Sanchize’ do? Well see for yourself.

YearAdjusted %RankQualifying Quarterbacks

I know people want to blame the offensive line for giving up a load of pressure but look at the numbers. How often is Sanchez under pressure compared to his peers? This is one table where the lower you’re ranked means your facing less pressure. Sanchez consistently spends a smaller percentage of his time under pressure than those around the league, and that includes any pressure he brings on himself.

YearPlays Under PressureRankQualifying Quarterbacks

It probably just seems more than it is because he performs so badly when he is under pressure. Have a look at his adjusted Accuracy Percentage when he’s pressured.

YearAdjusted Acc. % Under PressureRankQualifying Quarterbacks

The sad thing is I need to stop myself. I have probably 10 more tables that will highlight how woeful Mark Sanchez has consistently been for the Jets but you already know this. He fails the eye test nearly every time he steps onto a field, and what’s more he doesn’t look all that much better than the rookie we saw in 2009. Yes he has won some playoff games but don’t go thinking that was because of his brilliance. That was because of the guys around him. So poor has he been that we now seem conditioned to praise him for simply not making the mistakes that have characterized his career.

That the Jets coaches and players can’t see this, and don’t want something done about this speaks volumes for where they appear to be heading. Full scale rebuild.

At this point what do the Jets have to lose by playing Tebow? His accuracy may be even worse than Sanchez, and his mechanics remain sluggish, but he has always been a better game-time quarterback than a practice player, and he does have the ability to spark an offense and be a leader of men.

I didn’t think it possible but Sanchez has been so bad but I genuinely believe the Jets have a better chance of winning with a quarterback like Tebow. And I get why people would disagree with that, which is why if the Jets don’t want to go down that road you have to start looking at Greg McElroy and seeing what he’s got.

But the Jets need to make a change at quarterback. It doesn’t need to be permanent but the bury their heads in the sand approach to Mark Sanchez isn’t working. What’s more if they’re not careful it’s going to cost a lot of people their jobs when the season is over.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

  • Martin

    Not a fan of Mark Sanchez – at all – but Tebow has averaged only 3.4 yards per carry while at a QB. He hasn’t thrown enough while at QB to reasonably infer how he’d do running the Jets offense.

    It seems like a switch to Tebow would lead to a lot of 3-and-outs because teams have already been very effective stopping Tebow in his limited snaps, and a switch to Tebow would allow teams to devote even more practice time to stopping Tebow.

    Also, there are no Jets receivers comparable to Demaryius Thomas or Eric Decker, and the Jets O-line isn’t as good as the Denver O-line, so it would seem like putting Tebow out there would be setting him up to fail.

    Just my thoughts – with Sanchez, Jets are going to get plenty of missed throws. With Tebow, I strongly suspect, the Jets are going to deal with a lot sacks/tackles for loss.

    • ohitsdom

      That’s a weak argument because of how the Jets use him. When he comes in, defenses know he’s going to run between the tackles. If he was starting quarterback, he’d be throwing and running, keeping the defenses honest. Just ask the Steelers.

    • izach

      tebow cant do worse than what sanchez is doing i seriously believe that, and i think rex does too, but his ego wont let him have the fans choose who he plays, rex wants it to be his choice to put tebow in not anybody elses so as long as everyone says start tebow rex will resist it. tebow deserves to be on a better team where he could learn behind someone, the broncos could have kept him.

  • Post Corner

    You’ve got to be kidding me. Tebow getting 3.4 yards up the middle as a QB is the very reason he’d be better than Sanchez. Other teams know Tebow is coming up the middle because that’s the same play the jets have called for him the entire season. Everything Tebow has done as been a positive. Blocking DEs from hitting Sanches, Fake Punts (3-3), no turnovers, making passes, getting first downs, sparking the offense (Pit, Miami—) only to be pulled. Kiss my arse Jets– I’m done cheering for you dirtbags.

    • Martin

      Citing Tebow as a good pass blocker and punt-protector isn’t relevant to the argument about him being a good replacement for Mark Sanchez.

      It’s akin to arguing Ray Rice should take over at QB for Joe Flacco because Rice is excellent at blitz pickup and gets first downs – those are good football skills but are irrelevant to the discussion about his ability to play QB.

      You’re correct Tebow doesn’t have any turnovers, but that’s largely because he hasn’t thrown many passes at all. There’s no way to know how well he’d do as a passer in the Jets offense (which has less talent than Denver’s) since we haven’t seen it enough. History would suggest that while Tebow’s interceptions would be limited, he would fumble the ball frequently. He fumbled 13 times in 14 games (in addition to throwing 6 interceptions) last year. The offensive line wasn’t to blame for his fumbles, since they’re doing a fine job protecting Peyton Manning, so the fumbling problem is a combination of Tebow holding onto the ball too long and not doing a good job securing it.

      And while Tebow has gotten first downs, he’s also been tackled behind the line of scrimmage (both on inside and outside runs) very frequently, which you omitted to mention. He’s been sacked 5 times in very, very limited snaps. That’s how he ends up averaging under 3.5 yards per carry – a lot of negative plays.

      • izach

        to be honest i dont remember the broncos having great WRs or a great OL before tebow?? i remember alot of bust talk about a 1st round WR in denver(thomas) and a WR that was a “possession guy with no big play ability at the NFL level (decker), 1 talented OL (clady), and a Rb who hadnt handled the load 3 years and many said was washed up. yet when tebow came in (instead of kyle orton) he won with them and then all of a sudden broncos have great OL, great 1-2 punch at WR, a probowl RB. sometimes a change is all thats needed and the players believe or buy in to what is going on and they all become better players thats what tebow offers a change that player can get behind.

        • Felix

          What you say about the players believing in Tebow is true. But remember that Decker had the weak armed Orton throwing to him, and Thomas came back from a year and a half long injury recovery at the same time Tebow became the starter. That combo is far better than what the Jets have this year. And any way you slice it, McGahee is still better than Shonn Green.

    • John

      I mean, there’s that blocked punt he gave up as the personal protector or the fact that he has been terrible in the red zone.

    • Dobleman

      I feel the same way…………. I’m sick of the JETS. This is not Tebows fault. Shame on the whole organization.

  • damion

    OUTSTANDING!!! this needs to be posted on REX RYAN,s door

  • Jesterbeast

    The term is “rabble-rouser”…just FYI

  • Skip

    Excellent analysis Khaled. Hard cold facts. There seems to be a lot of press and attention today somehow blaming Tim Tebow for the 3-6 record. This is insane. The franchise is a mess and Tebow has nothing to do with it. Your analysis shows where much of the blame lies. But the team simply is not a good one, it is not well assembled, nor is it well coached. How can we trust Rex Ryan to lead this team? Have we not seen enough of Rex over his head, on the field and off? Have we not seen enough of Mark Sanchez to judge him as a starting QB? When Rex says Mark gives us the best chance to win, is he not looking at the team’s inability to, in fact, win? 11-17 in past two seasons to-date. I’m a middle-aged die-hard fan and thought I had seen it all with this franchise. This year is drilling down to new depths. And Rex Ryan thinks we’ve shed the “Same Old Jets” aura? He is actually reinforcing it. What a disaster they are and much of it is due to Rex hyping this team, not being truthful publically (And if he believes he can win with this team, he should be fired this afternoon.) He said in August that he thought he had the best team he’s coached since he’s been here? Really? (And, by the way, don’t you think Belicheck would find a way to use Tebow effectively?) I am so disgusted with this franchise and there is zero light in the tunnel, much less at the end of it.

  • Dolittlet24

    Thank you!!!! Do you have any Statistics with regards to screen pass completion percentage?

  • Lund

    I still don’t undertand how and why did Rex Ryan and the stadd actually traded for him and drafted him fifth overall. That’s four spots away from the number one overall pick. Players picked that high are projected to be minimum all pro material. From what I remember he was average at best in his time at USC. It’s just crazy to start a player like him. Might as well start Brody Croyle instead

  • walker8084

    Not surprising the Jets would speak out like this. Teams seem to mirror their coaches. Jim Schwartz is constantly throwing hissy fits on the sideline and can’t maintain his composure, and he consequently has a very undisciplined team. Rex Ryan loves to talk trash and has a team that runs their mouths nonstop. Bill Belichick gives about the most boring press conferences in history, and the Pats players have figured about not to give their opponents and bulletin board material or extra motivation.

  • dave

    Wow really good write up….this is why I love this site. I hate to say this but this makes me smile. I can’t stand QBs who come into the nfl, havent done dick, and are treated like celebrities because they went to USC and have a pretty face.

  • That Man

    Mark Sanchez-Worst Starting QB in the NFL?

  • izach

    wow reading that article about what the jets players said about tebow, sounds an awful lot like they are not even giving him a chance, sounds like they are bitter thay lost to tebow last year….. wit what tebow actually beat them last year running a “gimmick offense”. they all say you cant win running that offense yet they wont admitt that they lost to that same offense only a year ago. those jets are sorry excuses for teammates, sorry tebow

  • Scott

    I dont understand why the Jets dont use Tebow to go for 2 every time they score a touchdown. He’s nearly automatic from that distance.

    Also (during the Jets-Seahawks game) the announcers kept making excuses for Sanchez and saying Tebow hadnt done anything? He converted 4-5 first downs by my count, thats nothing? How many did Sanchez get?
    The worst part about the game was having the Jets announcers for the game, the
    Jets are awful and the Seahawks dominated the game. Yet they barely talked about
    Seattle. Now i understand why all the Jets were named the most over-rated.

  • Rg

    Look, Tebow hasn’t earned the starting QB position in practice, apparently that clown Tebow is not doing a good job in practice…