How New York Jets' Mark Sanchez Lost His Swag

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How New York Jets' Mark Sanchez Lost His Swag
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Mark Sanchez has basked in the limelight of the New York media since he burst onto the scene in 2009.

But somewhere along the way, he lost his swag.

Oh, he still emanates that offseason swagger—if you can call confidence in beating out a rookie for your own job swagger—but he has fallen a long way since his days as a GQ cover boy. But swag? That dried up long ago.

He was certainly the butt of many jokes before the infamous "buttfumble."

His well-publicized off-field relationship with a 17-year-old and subsequent overcompensating with Eva Longoria were the subject of public scrutiny and mockery. 

Sanchez couldn't even hold a no-pants party in his own condo without it getting all over the Internet, an incident that he said was a nice reminder that he is in the spotlight.

Hello? Is anybody home?

When exactly did Sanchez turn into a pariah? Did he lose his swag when the Jets fell out of playoff contention in 2011?

Did Tim Tebow travel back in time to steal his mojo while Sanchez was in cryogenic stasis? 

Did he regain his swag for one game last season when he crushed the Bills? Or was that simply a fluke?

Don't answer that.

Tebowmania blew through the New York Jets like a Sharknado, leaving wanton destruction in its wake. Sanchez might have been its biggest victim.

Tebow is gone, but the Jets have not exactly expressed their confidence in Sanchez this offseason after signing—though eventually losing to retirement—David Garrard and drafting Geno Smith.

Mark Sanchez began his NFL life as a charmed fifth-overall draft pick. Rex Ryan loved him so much that he moved up to take Sanchez, who had only started for one full season at USC.

The Jets proceeded to make back-to-back AFC Championship games in Sanchez's first two seasons. At one point, Sanchez was an MVP candidate.

Hilarity ensued.

Much of New York's success had to do with a dominant defense and effective running game, but Sanchez was sitting pretty, poor play notwithstanding. After all, few quarterbacks can boast that sort of start to a career. 

His shaky rookie year gave way to a promising sophomore season.

Sanchez would wind up throwing 13 interceptions to just 17 touchdowns that season, but none of that would have mattered had the Jets made the Super Bowl. They got closer than 29 other teams.

The Jets stumbled off their perch in 2011, finishing 8-8 and out of the playoffs. The boo birds began coming out for Sanchez in earnest that year, sparking debate about his work ethic and playing ability.

Has Mark Sanchez ever had swag? At least on the football field, his statistics (from Pro Football Reference) don't exactly say he did.

Year  QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Y/A Rate QBR  Sk
2009 8-7 196 364 53.8 2444 12 20 6.7 63 31.64 26
2010 11-5 278 507 54.8 3291 17 13 6.5 75.3 48.02 27
2011 8-8 308 543 56.7 3474 26 18 6.4 78.2 33.62 39
2012 6-9 246 453 54.3 2883 13 18 6.4 66.9 23.37 34
Career 33-29 1028 1867 55.1 12092 68 69 6.5 71.7 - 126

There's no real improvement through four years in the league for Sanchez outside some volume statistics. But if pure statistics aren't your thing, Pro Football Focus' tape-inspired grades and advanced statistics don't paint a pretty picture. 

Since entering the league, Sanchez has been among the worst quarterbacks in PFF's overall grades, accuracy percentage and adjusted accuracy percentage under pressure, among other categories.

There is certainly some blame to be shared for his failures, namely some poor offensive coordination by Brian Schottenheimer and Tony Sparano and a dearth of offensive talent at skill positions in recent years. 

Nobody will mistake New York's receiving corps for Green Bay's, but great quarterbacks make their receivers look better.

That deal was richer than Aaron Rodgers' until the Packers quarterback signed a massive extension this offseason.

All is not lost. Mark Sanchez is not devoid of talent, and he can get his mojo back. 

The odds get longer every day, but he will have one more chance to take his job by the horns and prove the naysayers wrong. 

If he surprises everyone and plays well en route to a playoff run, nobody will care that they saw his bare bottom on a viral Internet video in the middle of the offseason.


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