Mark Sanchez: Much-Maligned Jets QB Not to Blame for Team's Struggles

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 11:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets throws in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 11, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle defeated New York Jets 28-7. (Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images)
Kevin Casey/Getty Images

After another game that saw the New York Jets look lethargic on offense and quarterback Mark Sanchez completing just nine passes, heads are going to start rolling a lot faster than they already were. 

Yet for all the problems the Jets have right now, and they are many, the idea that the whole thing can be remedied with a new quarterback is ridiculous. 

Certainly, Sanchez is not helping the cause. He is completing just 52 percent of his passes with 1,860 yards, 10 touchdowns, nine interceptions and eight fumbles. But who else is there to help Sanchez get better?

Coming into the season, what were the expectations for the Jets? They struggled at the end of last season, did not make any significant upgrades—sorry, Tim Tebow is not a significant upgrade—and yet we were supposed to accept them as a contender because...?

Four analysts made predictions for the Jets on in their season preview for the team. One of them, Adam Schein, was drinking some funny Kool-Aid by picking them to go 10-6. The other three had them at .500 or worse this season. 

Well, with that level of confidence, it is safe to say the Jets have more than lived up to their preseason hype. 

Sanchez is the focal point of the struggles because he is the most high-profile starter on the team, and the most high-profile player in the NFL happens to play the same position as Sanchez and is sitting on the Jets' bench. 

But Sanchez is not someone who can do things on his own. No player in sports can carry a team on their own. Even the best in the business need help, it doesn't matter who you are. (No, I am not saying that Sanchez is one of the best in the business. I am merely illustrating the point).

Where are the players who can help Sanchez? The offensive line, which is a far bigger problem than anything happening with Sanchez, can't block for anyone. This team used to be built on a running foundation, which starts up front. 

Rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill has had some good moments, but he is also likely to drop a pass in his chest as he is to make a spectacular play. Santonio Holmes, Sanchez' favorite target, has been out since September 30.

I could put together a group of 11 players, line up opposite the Jets starting offensive line and we could put pressure on Sanchez. 

Head coach Rex Ryan continues to insist that Sanchez is his starting quarterback, as he should. Sanchez can only go as far as the team around him will let him. Right now, the Jets aren't very good. 

Tebow isn't the answer. Anyone who watched him play in Denver knows that he needs an offensive line to give him at least seven seconds to decide that he doesn't want to throw the ball before running. 

The Jets are a poorly constructed team, especially in the trenches. That is where the change has to come. It is not a question of who the starting quarterback is right now. They need to figure out how to fix their offensive and defensive line issues before worrying about anything else.