Found May 30, 2012 on
Down and Distance:
New York Jets
San Diego Chargers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Every year there are some marquee players in the NFL who for some reason have sub-par seasons. Whether it be due to injury, coaching change, or just age, this seems to happen all the time. Ahead are the five quarterbacks who need to step it up in 2012 for their teams to have success.
Mark Sanchez-New York Jets
Marc Serota/Getty Images North America
Mark Sanchez is always criticized for his lack of accuracy and decision making; last year was no different. 2011 was Sanchez’s best as a pro, but that isn’t saying much. He posted nearly 3,500 yards and threw 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for a rating of 78.2.
His debacle against Miami in the last game of the season had Jets fans clamoring for a change. They got that change in the one and only Tim Tebow, whom the Jets acquired from Denver for a fourth and fifth round pick. Perhaps legitimate competition is just what Sanchez needs to take that next step as a franchise quarterback.
Philip Rivers-San Diego Chargers
Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America
Philip Rivers showed everyone last season that he is in fact human. After three straight years of elite level play, Rivers’ production dropped last season. He threw for 4,624 yards with 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
Perhaps injuries to Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson, and Malcom Floyd took a part in Rivers’ struggles. Nevertheless, the Chargers have always been a team that has underachieved. Rivers needs to have a season like he’s used to for San Diego to compete with the teams in the AFC West.
Josh Freeman-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Larry French/Getty Images North America
After an excellent 2010 campaign for Freeman and the Buccaneers, all was looking bright in Tampa. Then the 2011 season rolled around. The Bucs finished 4-12 on the year and Freeman had a rough year. Freeman threw for 3,592 yards with 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.
The young Bucs made some huge moves in the off-season, including picking up Vincent Jackson from the San Diego Chargers. With Jackson in the mix, Freeman now has a number one receiver he can rely on.
Peyton Manning-Denver Broncos
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images North America
There isn’t much that needs to be said here. Peyton Manning (perhaps the greatest regular season quarterback ever) is coming back from multiple neck surgeries at 36 years old. If anybody can come back from these injuries, it is Peyton Manning.
Manning is looking to stick it to Colts owner Jim Irsay for cutting him and not believing he could come back from injury. John Elway and the Broncos are hoping to get the Manning of old and they just might. Manning is primed and ready to continue his Hall of Fame career.
Michael Vick-Philadelphia Eagles
Rob Carr/Getty Images North America
Vick’s situation is similar to Josh Freeman’s. After a very good 2010 season in which he was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Vick struggled in 2011. He threw for only 3,303 yards with 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Vick had an identity crisis in 2011, as he tried to figure out whether he wanted to be a pocket passer or a running quarterback. Injuries to key players perhaps contributed to Vick’s dilemma. The preseason Super Bowl favorite didn’t even make the playoffs due to injuries and lack of chemistry.
With a full off-season to become acclimated with one another, watch out for Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.
BEST OF MAXIM
Welcome to the first ever New York Jets Life Podcast!
Hey Jets Fans, big news today! We just finished recording our first ever New York Jets Life Podcast today. After investing some money in a nice Blue Yeti microphone and pop screen, we decided to take the plunge into the podcast world. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while and I’m happy to say the first episode...
In the third episode of "Football Nation Today," Alex discusses the news from last week's NFL OTA camps, the NFLPA's collusion case against the NFL, and the decision to make knee-pads and thigh-pads mandatory.
1st Down: Stories from NFL OTA camps, including the seemingly indefinite quarterback controversy with the Jets between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, the effect...
Since Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones admitted she is still a virgin a little over a week ago, the entire sports world has been trying to get her together with Tim Tebow. In the eyes of many fans and most of his Jets teammates, Tebow makes perfect sense for the 29-year-old. As you can see from the photo above that ESPNNewYork.com’s Jane McManus shared on Twitter Thursday, Nick Mangold...
The Jets have their work cut out for them if they want to make it back to the playoffs in 2012.
The New York Jets had high hopes for the 2012 season but unfortunately, things do not always go as planned. In the Jets case, they went from being a supposed Super Bowl contender at the start of last season to an 8-8 finish and a lot of questions that need answering.
When healthy, LaRon Landry is a Pro Bowl caliber talent. Unfortunately for Landry, Achilles injuries have hampered his play and curtailed his season the past few years. GWR's Andrew Soares provides a full run-down of the Jets prized safety.
In our latest edition of Why Do You Hate The Jets? we examine the AFC South to see who, if anyone, has the unconditional right to look down upon the Jets. Spoiler Alert: not one team in this division holds such an honor. Here’s why:
Just Shut Up
Jacksonville Jaguars – Other than the fact that Jacksonville has been 20-28 over the past three seasons, the Jets absolutely dominated...
Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada found the New York Jets head coach in the crowd.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Versatile. It's one of the best compliments that can be handed out to a player. If you ask a coach what they look for in a player, you'll usually hear that word used multiple times. Looking ahead to the 2012 season, head coach Rex Ryan has a defensive line that is versatile in every sense of the word.Having spent their last two first round picks on...
The New York Jets have signed veteran offensive tackles Stephon Heyer and Ray Willis.
The 6-foot-6, 330-pound Heyer entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Washington in 2007 and started 33 games for the Redskins from 2007-10. In 2011 he was active for 12 games, including two starts, with the Oakland Raiders after signing as an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 3.
Photo Courtesy of John Leyba, The Denver Post
As I sorted out my top Denver Broncos defensive plays it was rather easy at first, until I got to the fifth and final spot. My efforts were severely hampered by a lack of video of some of the plays I had on my short list. I figured, heck with it, I’ll just pick my favorite defensive play from last season. The play itself was significant...
The New York Jets are only the 19th most popular team in the NFL according to a recent ESPN poll. The Jets are ranked behind the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins. The Jets may be media darlings, but not many Americans identify them as their favorite team. At least you can say it's not a bunch of bandwagon fans cheering on the green and white every Sunday...
The Buffalo Bills have the second-best offense in the AFC East, according to one expert.
James Walker, a blogger for ESPN, recently ranked the offenses of the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. The Patriots were ranked number one, followed by the Bills, Jets and Dolphins, respectively.
Walker said the Bills could be solid offensively, but there...