Maybe I Was Wrong About Mark Sanchez: A New York Giants Fan's Opinion

Bryan Haas@@thehaastileoneFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2009

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of thee New York Jets celebrates after his 24-7 win over the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Ever since Draft Day 2009, I have been incredibly critical of the New York Jets' selection of USC QB Mark Sanchez.

On that day, I listed several of Sanchez's weaknesses and even went so far as to call him "the first NFL Draft Day bust of 2009."

And I've been happy to do that because I'm a New York Giants fan.

And even after a decent preseason, I still was skeptical of Sanchez's abilities.

However, after watching him play against the Texans in Week One, I have softened my opinion on the rookie QB considerably.

I will admit that I originally sat down on Sunday afternoon with the intention of watching Sanchez and the Jets get destroyed by the Houston defense.  Instead, by the second quarter, I found myself rooting for him and the Jets, despite the fact that I have always been a die-hard Giants fan.

I probably have a lot of explaining to do to my blue-and-red brethren.

Now, Sanchez didn't have an incredible day, but by the same token, he certainly did not falter at all either.

Yes, he threw an interception late in the game (that was then fumbled and returned for a touchdown by the Texans), but at no point did Sanchez lose his poise.

He seemed disciplined in the pocket, didn't force anything, and most importantly, made the fickle Jets faithful believe that their team did not take a leap of faith in selecting him with the fifth pick back in April.

One of the main questions that I raised back then was who exactly Sanchez would be throwing the ball to.  The Jets let their top receiver, Laveranues Coles, defect to the Bengals and had no clear cut star ready to take his place.

At the time, I guessed that six-year veteran Jericho Cotchery would be the go-to guy, and he was yesterday, catching six passes for 90 yards.

However, it was second year tight end Dustin Keller and third year receiver Chansi Stuckey that truly wowed me in this contest.

Keller, who has been highly touted since being drafted in 2008, led the team in receiving yards with 94.  Stuckey, who has been an afterthought in the Jets receiving corps, was left wide open by the Texans secondary and hauled in an impressive touchdown pass from Sanchez in the second quarter.  He finished with four receptions for 64 yards.

And let's not forget Thomas Jones, ladies and gentlemen.  He got off to a slow start in the affair with the Texans, but ended up rushing for 107 yards and two scores.

Now I'm not saying that Sanchez is the second coming of Joe Namath (who incidentally was in attendance for the game), but with his instincts and a surprisingly good receiving corps, the Jets might shock a lot of people this season.

The Jets offense has the potential to be scary good this season, and with Sanchez firmly under center, many seasons to come.

So maybe I was wrong back in April.  But then again, it's still only Week One.


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