Mark Sanchez: Is New York Jets QB Finished NFL Project?

Danny PaskasSenior Analyst INovember 9, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 6: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets calls an audible during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

"Mark Sanchez sucks!"

"Sanchez is overrated!"

I hear these statements all the time from New York Jets haters, especially from New York Giants fans.

These people seem to forget that Sanchez is only in his third season. In his first two years, while having just serviceable regular season stats, Sanchez was able to raise his level of play in the postseason to lead his team to back-to-back AFC Championship games.

I don't know how people can think a QB, only in year three, is a finished NFL product.

Let's look at a few stats;

In his first season, QB A played in nine games. In those nine games, QB A had a completion percentage of 48.2, passed for 1,043 yards, six TDs and nine INTs with a QB rating of 55.4.

In his second season, QB A played in all 16 games. In 16 games, QB A had a completion percentage of 52.8, passed for 3,762 yards, 24 TDs, 17 INTs with a QB rating of 75.9.

In Sanchez's first season he played in 15 games. He had a completion percentage of 53.8, passed for 2,444 yards, 12 TDs and 20 INTs with a QB rating of 63.

In his second season, Sanchez played in 16 games. He had a completion percentage of 54.8, passed for 3,291 yards, 17 TDs and 13 INTs with a QB rating of 75.3.

In his third season, QB A improved his completion percentage to 57.7 and raised his QB rating to 77.

Up to this point of the season, Sanchez has improved his completion percentage to 57.5 and raised his QB rating to 84. 

QB A has since won a Super Bowl and is currently fifth in the league in QB rating in his eighth season as the New York Giants QB.

Eli Manning endured some criticism just like Sanchez is dealing with his now. QBs need time to grow.

An NFL QB's first season is his "deer in the headlights" kind of year. It's the season when he is just getting used to the speed of the game while he learns the playbook.

The second season, he is given more responsibility and a little more freedom. In his second season, the QB should know the playbook, have more confidence and be more of a leader.

The third season is usually the turning point. If the QB has not proven himself already, this is his year to do it.

If Sanchez finishes out his third/current season the way he started it, he would finish with 26 TDs, 14 INTs, 3,550 yards with a QB rating of 84.

The great Tom Brady's third season stats? He had 23 TDs, 12 INTs, 3,620 yards and a QB rating of 85.9.

Sanchez has improved his completion percentage and QB rating in each of his two seasons. While he may not be able to be the focus of a pass-first offense just yet, he should be able to get there in a season or two.