So far this season, the New York Jets have beaten three mediocre teams, have been edged out by one superior team and have been thoroughly beaten by two dominant teams.
Throughout the entirety of their six-game season, Sanchez has been under fire for his subpar play, and rightly so. He has only put together two games that can be considered worthy of a former first-round quarterback, while wavering badly in the other four.
He had a tremendous game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, passing for 266 yards with three touchdowns and only one interception. Then, Sanchez went on a four-game bender, completing just 58-of-132 passes (44 percent) for 777 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions.
All the while, Tim Tebow has been waiting in the wings, with fans chanting "Teee-Bow!" and the media stirring the pot on a weekly basis (myself included).
Now, with a record of 3-3, facing a Patriots team with an identical record through six games, Sanchez and the Jets have a chance to silence all the haters, at least for a few weeks.
If Sanchez has a big game in victory, not only will the Jets have a one-game lead in their division over their rivals, but this team will have a perfect 3-0 record in the AFC East. Such a start to the season would give the Jets a huge leg up over the Pats and the Miami Dolphins—both of which would have a loss to the Jets.
On the flip side, if Sanchez comes up small in this monster game, the chants for Tebow will only become more intense.
Is this a must-win game for Sanchez?
If ever Sanchez was faced with a personal must-win game, it's this one. He needs this game to save himself from the unending speculation about whether or not Tebow is the real answer for this broken offense.
Beating Tom Brady at Gillette Stadium is the only way to silence the critics, whether that's fair or not. It's up to Sanchez to make it happen, or he's never going to be rid of the constant media calls and chants rising from the masses during games for a certain other quarterback.