Mark Sanchez: Early-Season Struggles Will Get Worse for Jets QB on Monday Night

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IOctober 8, 2012

Sep 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) sits on the bench in the 4th quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Mark Sanchez has had a rough season thus far for the New York Jets, and it will only get worse for him on Monday night.

Last Sunday, Sanchez and the Jets offense were dominated by the San Francisco defense in a 34-0 clobbering. It doesn't get any easier for Sanchez this week, either, because he will lead New York against the No. 1-ranked defense if football, the Houston Texans.

This isn't great news for a quarterback who is just struggling to complete passes.

On the season, Sanchez's completion percentage is at 49.2, he's thrown only five touchdowns to four interceptions and has a passer rating of 69.6 (third-worst mark).

And that's not even the worst of it for Sanchez.

His best receiver, Santonio Holmes, is likely out for the season after suffering a Lisfranc injury against the 49ers.

Holmes' absence leaves the struggling quarterback with much less experience on the outside. When you couple that with the Jets' anemic rushing attack—they're only averaging 86.5 yards on the ground—it will be a long game for Sanchez.

But what makes Sanchez's situation the most difficult is the omnipresent shadow of Tim Tebow. Every time Sanchez misses a pass, Tebow supporters get louder. 

Sanchez has maintained that Tebow's presence doesn't bother him, but it has to at this point. There's just an enormous amount of pressure on him, and the heavy amount of fandom that comes with Tebowmania doesn't help much.

However, all of that can change on Monday with a strong performance against the undefeated Texans, though it’s not likely.

Sanchez will be facing a Texans defense that's already blanketed Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Tannehill and Matt Hasselbeck this season. The only quarterback who performed well against the Texans was Peyton Manning, who passed for 330 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a close loss in Week 3.

But Sanchez is no Peyton Manning, not even close. His level of success will be similar to the first three, so in other words, not much.

Unless the Jets defense can come up with a big-time performance, New York will be facing yet another loss, which means even more scrutiny on Sanchez.

If you listen closely, you can hear the "we want Tebow!" chants from Jets fans already.