Without making the playoffs, gone is the goodwill that Sanchez, Rex Ryan and the rest of the Jets had built up after making it to back-to-back AFC Championship Games. In is talks of Rex on the hot seat and a new offensive coordinator in Tony Sparano.
It may not be fair but such is life when your team is situated in New York City, and it is only magnetized when your in-stadium rivals, New York Giants, win their second Super Bowl in four years.
With the Jets lack of a superior running game, Sanchez's erratic play, combined with his career 55.3 completion percentage and 73.2 QB rating, an upgrade behind center is needed for New York to succeed.
If healthy, and that's a big if, Peyton Manning, his career 64.9 completion percentage and 94.9 QB rating, can make the Jets instant Super Bowl contenders.
Manning has the grasp of the QB position Sanchez simply does not have yet. He can make the reads that Sanchez can't. He can appease Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Dustin Keller and Jeremy Kerley in ways Sanchez can't.
Manning has shown this ability to spread the ball throughout his career. Most recently two seasons ago when four of his receivers had over 600 receiving yards.
Here are five better options at QB.
Robert Griffin III can do it all, as he has shown in his junior season at Baylor University.
In his junior season, Griffin won the Heisman trophy after passing for 4,293 yards, 37 TDs and only six INTs with a 72.4 completion percentage. Oh yeah, he also ran for 699 yards along with 10 rushing TDs.
Griffin is a much better athlete and long ball thrower than Mark Sanchez. His running ability would bring the New York Jets a weapon that Sanchez cannot give, it would also cover up the mistakes of a weakened offensive line.
The Jets would no doubt have to trade up to draft Griffin, as he is the second-rated QB behind Andrew Luck and is most likely going to be long gone before New York picks at 16.
Possibly a package of Antonio Cromartie and multiple picks would be enough to move up to secure RG3.
Matt Flynn does not have much of an NFL body of work to be judged on. In his four-year career, he has appeared in a total of 34 games, and has thrown 132 times for a total of 1,015 yards and nine TDs.
Most of his production came in the last game of this season, when he started to rest Aaron Rodgers for the playoffs. In the game, Flynn went 31-of-44 for 480 yards, six TDs and one INT.
At Louisiana State University, Flynn was stuck behind JaMarcus Russell until his senior season. In his senior season, he started every game except one due to injury. LSU won the BCS National Championship that year, led by Flynn. Flynn was named offensive MVP of the game, throwing for four TDs.
Signing Flynn and counting on him to be the New York Jets starting QB can be a risk, given his lack of game experience, but a move like this has been done before and has worked.
In March 2007, the Houston Texans made the bold move to give up two second-round picks for backup QB Matt Schaub, who up to that point was in his third year and only threw a total of 154 times for 1,033 yards and seven TDs.
Then, on March 22, 2007, the Texans released former first overall selection David Carr, turning the starting job over to Schaub.
Schaub has been the Texans starter ever since, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl while leading the league in passing yards in 2009.
Analysts may complain about Kellen Moore's size since he is only 6'1'' and 191 pounds, but there is no way they can complain about his accuracy.
In his four-year career at Boise State, Moore has a record of 50-3 with a completion percentage of 69.8 percent.
Accuracy. What Mark Sanchez lacks.
Moore can be had with a second-round pick, which would not cost the New York Jets much if they choose to take a shot on him.
If you think he's too short, look at Drew Brees, who turned out just fine at 6'0''. If you think he hasn't faced real competition, look at Ben Roethlisberger, who after attending the University of Miami (Ohio), showed he belongs.
Brock Osweiler is a 6'8'', 240-lb. junior QB out of Arizona State University. During his junior season, he had a QB rating of 140.5 after passing for 4,036 yards with a 63.2 completion percentage.
In ASU's upset win over USC, Osweiler was masterful, throwing 25-of-32 for 223 yards, two TDs and no interceptions.
Osweiler is not a rushing QB, but when he has to show his mobility, he definitely can. Being a former basketball player, he can move very well for his size and is not easy to bring down.
Like Griffin, he can help the weakened offensive line, but with his size, rather than his speed.
According to espn.com, Osweiler is the fourth-ranked QB.
Vince Young may not be a clear upgrade over Mark Sanchez but at least he would provide a competent backup to push him in practice.
He is better than Mark Brunell and Greg McElroy.