Jets vs. Raiders: 5 Reasons Mark Sanchez Will Lead Jets to Week 3 Victory
The Jets are coming off of a 29-point rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars in which Mark Sanchez threw for two touchdowns and two interceptions. By the end of the game it was clear that the Jets defense was the real difference in that game, despite three offensive touchdowns, one coming off a rush from Shonn Greene.
When Sanchez suits up against the Oakland Raiders he will have the advantage. Not only because of the defense he has supporting him but also because of his growing ability as a quarterback and his proven ability to improve and keep himself in the game.
Sanchez will lead the Jets to victory, and here's why...
5. Back to Cali
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There's no doubt Sanchez loves California.
He was the starting QB for powerhouse USC.
Since becoming the Jets starting QB, Sanchez has played back in California twice and won both times. The first was a 38-0 rout of the Oakland Raiders. The second was a playoff win against the San Diego Chargers that led Sanchez to his first AFC title game.
Intangibles count a great deal in sports, whether acknowledged or not, and Sanchez's comfort in California should help him keep cool against the Raiders.
4. Another Opportunity To Start Strong
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Slow starts are the Jets Achilles' Heel. Many of the games the Jets have lost since Sanchez became the starting quarterback have been because they couldn't come out and set the tone. The previous two AFC title games are perfect examples.
Despite having a disappointing performance against the Jaguars, the one diamond in the rough was how well Sanchez began the game. The Jets scored on their opening drive with a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes and Sanchez completed his first 12 passes, save the two interceptions.
Its no secret Sanchez needs to improve his touchdown-to-interception ratio, but having a start like he had last week against Jacksonville is a good sign if he can do the same against the Raiders. Although it is the regular season, games against teams like Jacksonville and Oakland can serve as preparation for big games against New England.
3. Sanchez Is Getting More and More Comfortable with His Recievers
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Sanchez has two seasons throwing to Dustin Keller and one throwing to Santonio Holmes. No doubt those are two of the better options around the league.
Now Sanchez adds Plaxico Burress to the mix who gives the QB the option of throwing the ball high and deep knowing he has a big receiver on the other end who can get as high as anyone on the field.
Sanchez is about progress. He starts games slow and ends strong. His regular season passer rating pales in comparison to his playoff rating. Each year he's returned to the field he's been gifted with a Super Bowl winning receiver. This season, he will be throwing much more than his previous two seasons.
Two games into the season should be enough for Sanchez to understand what he is working with. The man has been one game from the Super Bowl each of his first two seasons, so there is no doubt his comfort level is growing and it will show against the Raiders and beyond.
2. The Raiders Secondary
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Raiders fans miss this image dearly.
Last week the Raiders imploded and lost 38-35 to the Buffalo Bills after having the halftime lead at 21-3.
Mark Sanchez should have a field day in the air with Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes running around with no Nnamdi Asomugha running around with them.
1. Sanchez's Will
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Sanchez is a quarterback who grows with the game. Although the slow starts hinder the Jets ability to pick up more wins, Sanchez keeps his cool and almost always comes to form as the game progresses.
Through Week 2 of this season, Sanchez has six fourth-quarter comebacks and eight game-winning drives for his career.
Sanchez displays will power and the ability to lead his team from behind when it's most important. He's not close to being a Tom Brady yet, but he's on his way. Should the Raiders have the advantage at any point in the game, Sanchez will find a way to bring his team back.