New York Jets: Mark Sanchez's Early Success Is Big Reason for His Criticism

John NizinskiAnalyst IIIFebruary 10, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 18:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets walks to the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The New York Jets are looking forward to next season and trying to forget about the disappointing season that just passed. Much of the blame is being put on their quarterback, Mark Sanchez.

Many feel that he has regressed in his third year. Realistically, Sanchez's overall stats improved, however his poor decisions and turnovers make people think he is a draft bust.

Sanchez has increased his touchdown passes each year, from 12 to 17 to 26. The errors that Sanchez is making are the errors of a young quarterback. In his first three seasons, Sanchez has thrown 51 interceptions.

In his first three seasons, Peyton Manning threw 58 interceptions. His brother Eli threw 55 interceptions in his first three seasons. Sanchez is not the same type of quarterback as the Manning brothers, but why is he getting so much criticism?

He is getting ripped apart because of the early success he has had in his career. 

Mark Sanchez started only one full year of college football at USC. The Jets traded up in the 2009 NFL Draft and selected Sanchez with the fifth overall pick. 

He immediately was thrown onto the field and was the Jets' starting quarterback in his rookie season. Sanchez did not get to sit under a veteran quarterback and did not have much experience overall, however in his first two seasons he brought the Jets to back to back AFC Championship games.

This accomplishment gave Jets fans new life and hope. It also raised the Jets 2011-12 expectations. People around football and the Jets believed they were Super Bowl contenders.

So when the Jets collapsed last season, fans were frustrated, disappointed and started playing the blame game. Fans seemed to have lost faith in Sanchez and are ready to ditch him and look somewhere else. There are beliefs that the Jets can't win a Super Bowl with Sanchez as their quarterback.

Sanchez is most likely going to get better as he gets older, so why can't he take the Jets to the Super Bowl if he already has taken them to two AFC Championship games?

What is forgotten is that he is still a young quarterback and still needs time to learn and develop. The thing that Sanchez is struggling with is his decision-making, not his talent. He has the talent to be a quality quarterback in the NFL and everyone needs to realize that it is a good thing that Sanchez's issues are with decision-making and not ability.

Young quarterbacks take time to develop into star players. It is very rare for a quarterback to come into the league and have it all together. Sanchez started off his career very high with back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances, which left little room to go up from there and a ton of room to go down.

Everyone should pump the breaks on the harsh criticism of Sanchez. He is still a young developing quarterback with a relatively small amount of experience.