Mark Sanchez Is the X-Factor in the New York Jets' Late Collapse

Chris Dela RosaContributor IDecember 16, 2010

Mark Sanchez
Mark SanchezNick Laham/Getty Images

For two weeks in a row, the Jets have suffered embarrassing losses at the hands of the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

Going into last Monday night's game, the Patriots were favored, but many expected it to be a game where both teams fought all throughout the game.

For those who witnessed the massacre, the game was all Patriots, all night.

After such a devastating loss, a home game against the Dolphins was looked to as the rebound game for the Jets, where they would be able to keep up in the race for the playoffs, but after sloppy play in terrible conditions, the Jets could not win.

In the four games the Jets have lost this season, they have not been able to reach the end zone. In these losses, the Jets combined for a meager 18 points. One of the key people in this lack of scoring is quarterback Mark Sanchez. With his success, the Jets excel; with his failure, the Jets fall down with him.

Up until the last two games, Mark Sanchez was playing like a true NFL quarterback. Against the Patriots and the Dolphins, Sanchez played like the scared rookie he used to be.

In New England, Sanchez completed 17 passes for 164 yards with an astounding three interceptions. Against the Dolphins, Sanchez completed only 17 of 44 passes for 216 yards with an interception.

In both games, the conditions did not help Sanchez, since he has shown his best in venues with warmer temperatures and less precipitation.

The key to Mark Sanchez doing well in the future is making smart decisions. One of his downfalls is interceptions. Against the Dolphins, he threw several passes in the direction of cornerback Sean Smith, who proceeded to try to intercept Sanchez, but because of the poor conditions Sanchez was lucky.

The Jets still have a chance at the playoffs, and poor choices by the quarterback when you have weapons like Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards cannot happen if the Jets want to become Super Bowl champions.