Mark Sanchez, It's On You Now: How The New York Jets Hopes Rests On Their QB

Joe CipollaContributor ISeptember 8, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 16:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets walks off the field against the New York Giants during their game at New Meadowlands Stadium on August 16, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Darrelle Revis is signed, the NFL’s best defense is intact, and now the Jets’ season rests on the shoulders of one man: Mark Sanchez.

Before training camp and the Revis holdout began, it was already concluded that the Jets’ Super Bowl aspirations depended on Sanchez. But when the speculations of Revis’ intention to holdout came to fruition, the expectations on Sanchez took a back seat.

It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Sanchez was somewhat relieved that media scrutiny veered away from him and landed elsewhere. Even with three mediocre-at-best preseason performances, and some shellacking by the sports media for it, the biggest question after every preseason game still was “will Darrelle Revis get signed?”

Well, Revis got his deal.  So guess what Mark Sanchez, as Martha and the Vandellas so famously sang, “got nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide.” With the start of the season less than a week away, and in a nationally televised game no less, all eyes will be on you!

The questions that have all been asked before and then quietly retreated into the shadow of the Revis holdout, will be back in full force:

“Will Sanchez learn from his rookie mistakes?”

“Will Sanchez suffer the sophomore jinx?”

“Will Sanchez continue to force throws for costly INTs?”

“Can Sanchez be the leader of this Jets’ offense?”

These questions will all be answered as the season progresses. 

The term “rookie mistakes” is no longer an excuse and the defense/special teams can’t be expected to bail out a floundering offense all season. 

Sanchez will be tested early. The Jets face the Ravens, Patriots, Dolphins and Vikings in the first five weeks.  And while the talk once was, “can the defense contain Flacco, Brady, Henne, and Favre with no Revis,” it’s now shifted to “can Sanchez lead this offense against these elite defenses and avoid starting the season off on the wrong foot?”

No one is expecting Sanchez to put up Peyton Manning type numbers; it’s no secret that the Jets are a run-first team. Their efficient ground attack should open up some beautiful opportunities with the passing game and Sanchez has to take advantage of them.

If the Jets are expected to make it to the post-season, Sanchez has to show he’s matured and make better decisions. 

Basically, he has to show more than he has this preseason.