The New York Jets didn't earn any style points doing it, but for the second week in a row Gang Green pulled out a win, downing the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-10 Sunday in a game that set football-as-entertainment back about 15 years.
Embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez got the start for the Jets after being yanked in last week's win over the Arizona Cardinals, and while the team emerged with a victory, it wasn't because of anything that the fourth-year pro did.
Sanchez wasn't asked to do a whole lot on Sunday, attempting only 19 passes. Sanchez completed 12 of those passes for 111 yards, and even with that limited amount of work Sanchez still managed to turn the ball over, losing his sixth fumble of the year on a strip sack by Jason Babin.
That fumble put Sanchez in some rather dubious company, according to ESPN.
SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 9, 2012
It's rather hard to give any real "review" of Sanchez's performance as a quarterback on Sunday, if only because he very rarely played that role against the Jaguars. However, as Ben Shpigel of The New York Times points out, given how this season has gone for Sanchez, that may have been for the best.
It was seemingly the perfect environment for Sanchez to regain some confidence as he played in front of a mild-mannered crowd that would not boo his every step, against a feeble defense, and without much competition to replace him. Tebow’s ribs still ached, and last week’s savior, Greg McElroy, was deactivated to accommodate the inclusion of Kahlil Bell in case Joe McKnight’s migraines worsened.
With that said, that didn't stop fans of the team from offering some reviews of their own at the Jets message board Jet Nation, and not surprisingly said reviews were not glowing.
User RevisIslands610 was not overly impressed:
Same crap for sure. They barely beat a very bad Jaguars team without some of their playmakers. Mark Sanchez was again horrible. He was so bad that they just took the ball out of his hands in the second half and just ran the ball. Clueless Rex Ryan thought Sanchez played "Good". Are you kidding me? 11/19 for 111 yards and 1 fumble and you think he played well. Rex, please get your head out of your ***. They almost blew a 17-3 lead and had to torture us until 15 seconds remained in the game. Yeah, same crap.
Over at Gang Green Nation those sentiments were basically echoed by users such as Noam.
Sanchez did not win the game. Sanchez was the reason the game was so close. The defense won the game along with the coaching staff taking the ball out of Sanchez's hands in the 2nd half. Sanchez had everything to do with why were down 3-0 at the half and had nothing to do with our two TD drives. Sanchez should have been replaced today. He was terrible again and almost cost us another game. Fortunately the CS had enough and said no more. Hopefully they will go a bit further next week and put him on the bench where he belongs.
I hate to break it to Noam, but that benching isn't coming. It's become crystal-clear that Rex Ryan is not going to give the ball to Tim Tebow, and the team had so much faith in what Greg McElroy accomplished that he wasn't even active against Jacksonville.
What Should the New York Jets do With Mark Sanchez?
The rest of this season is going to be a carbon copy of Sunday's game plan. Lean heavily on the running game and don't ask Sanchez to do too much in an effort to minimize his mistakes.
In other words, the game plan that the Denver Broncos used last year...with Tim Tebow.
After the season a hard decision is going to need to be made, as, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN, releasing Sanchez would bring with it a crippling $17.1 million cap hit thanks to the "We're Sorry" extension to which the team signed Sanchez after its failed courtship of Peyton Manning.
That would seem to leave the options of rolling with a starting quarterback you don't trust to throw the ball, or paying a backup quarterback over $10 million who, once again, the team doesn't trust throwing the ball.
Well at least there's that to look forward to.